16 Nov 2015

LFC Shocker: 'Magnificent' defender is Liverpool's top chance-creator, and he's embarrassing £86m-trio

Depressing fact: Despite having some of the league's most expensive attackers, only ONE Liverpool player is in the Premier League's top 20 for chance-creation, and he arrived on a free transfer.

The Reds are struggling to consistently score goals this season, but chance-creation is also an ongoing issue, and some of the team's most experienced players are abjectly failing to pull their weight in this vital area.

Before I get to the stats table, the biggest disappointment this season (in terms of chance-creation) is undoubtedly Philippe Coutinho.

Last season, Coutinho created 59 chances in the league, which equates to one every 47 minutes pitch time.

That's a comparatively poor result, but this year, the Brazilian appears to have regressed every further:

* Games Played: 11

* Total Minutes Played: 927

* Chances Created: 14 (1 every 66 minutes)

Here are Liverpool's top ten chance creators this season (so far):

* Coutinho and Lallana are way off the pace, and given their primary roles in the team, it's not really good enough.

* It's a little disturbing to discover that Moreno - a defender - is Liverpool's most consistent chance creator.

* It's similarly disturbing to note that Lucas - a defensive midfielder renowned for his creative paucity - is only three chances behind Coutinho (and three ahead of Firmino).

* As for Emre Can, the supposed heir to Steven Gerrard's throne - forget about it. Can is even being out-created by Lucas, which tells its own story.

* As the comparative figures show, Liverpool's players are embarrassingly off the pace, with the likes of Ozil and Payet leaving Lallana and Co in the dust. Raheem Sterling, however, has regressed from last season (one chance 40 minutes for LFC). This is hardly surprising, though. Sterling is overrated (and overvalued) and his figures at the end of the season will prove that.

Liverpool did fantastically well to con Man City out of £49m, and if Barcelona offer a similar amount for Coutinho, LFC should (IMO) take it. The Brazilian is an exciting player, but when it comes to his primary role (goals, assists, and chance-creation), he's just not consistent or prolific enough.

For me, there are a few conclusions to draw from the table.

* Moreno - hailed this week by Jan Molby as 'magnificent' - should be converted into a left-sided attacking midfielder. Spurs did it with Gareth Bale, and look at the results. Klopp should capitalise on the Spaniard's attacking prowess.

* As an attacking force, Lallana is a busted flush. He doesn't score, assist, or create chances on a regular basis. Just dump him on the bench already and give someone else a run in the team (i.e. Teixeira).

* Kudos to Milner for his chance-creation. I'm not his biggest fan, but credit where credit's due. This is also another reason why Can should be dropped for Hendo, and not Milner.

As for Coutinho: he seriously needs to buck his ideas up. A player of his talent should not be producing such pitiful chance-creation stats.

* Firmino (£29m) Coutinho (£30m-rated), and Lallana (£26m): Combined cost/worth = £86m

Author: Jaimie K


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