Opinion - Anfield Watch's Writers' Player of the Season

Opinion - Anfield Watch's Writers' Player of the Season

Liverpool still have one more game to play this season, and it's a fairly big one.

The Reds will face Real Madrid in the Champions League final. The fixture, which is taking place in Paris, will kick-off at 8:00pm BST on Saturday.

However, enough football has been played for us to give an opinion on who has been Liverpool's best player this season.

Lachlan Ballingall - Sadio Mane

Mane was criticised for his form last season. Some people felt his time at Anfield could be coming to an end.

Mane has shown this season that he is still a very good footballer.

Mane has been absolutely exceptional for Liverpool, especially at the backend of the campaign. The winger has scored 23 goals and registered five assists in 50 appearances.

However, Mane has found the back of the net eight times in his past 10 matches. The pointy-end of the season is where trophies are won and lost.

There is no denying that Mane's recent form is a key reason why Liverpool have been able to secure the Carabao and FA Cup. He has stood up when it has mattered most.

What has made the 30-year-old's campaign even more impressive is that he featured in the Africa Cup of Nations at the beginning of the year.

Senegal ended up winning the tournament. With that being the case, I was convinced that he would return to Liverpool fatigued. That was not the case.

Hopefully Mane can play a key role in the Champions League final on Saturday. The forward has scored against Real Madrid in a European Cup final before (2018).

But, the Reds still lost that particular fixture 3-1. Had Loris Karius not gifted the La Liga side two goals on the night, things could have panned out very differently. It just wasn't meant to be.

Charlie Webb - Trent Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool have had so many great players step up this campaign. Mohamed Salah, Fabinho, Alisson, Thiago Alcantara and Mane just to name a few.

However, I’ve gone slightly out of the box for my Liverpool Player of the Season. I’m going with our very own ‘Scouser in our team’ - Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The right-back has often been criticised for being poor defensively. However, this season, he’s massively improved in that department.

With Liverpool having the most of the possession in all of their games, it’s hard for the 23-year-old to have a massive impact defensively.

This season though, he’s really stepped up. Alexander-Arnold has been averaging 2.3 interceptions per 90 minutes and 9.7 balls recovered per 90.

These stats are arguably two of the most important attributes you need as a Liverpool defender and Alexander-Arnold has been thriving at both of those tasks.

Even though he has improved defensively, his attacking capabilities have also improved.

Just one look at his stats on FBref shows that the Scouser is one of the best passers in the world, being in the top 1% of players in a large majority of the stats.

Alexander-Arnold also has the most assists per 90 of any defender in the top five leagues this season, with a very impressive 0.38 per 90.

Also, the Scouser only came up one assist short of winning the Playmaker of the Season award in the Premier League.

This has been a landmark season for the youngster and to think he is still only 23 is crazy.

Hopefully, he can keep up this form and perform at this level with Liverpool for the next 10 or so years.

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