16 Oct 2016

'Wow': England star reveals he 'admires' €81m Liverpool-duo and hails Lallana's 'Cruyff turns'

Unlike in previous seasons, Liverpool's attacking midfielders have hit the ground running this season, and Nathaniel Clyne admits he's impressed by the skill he sees every day in training.

Speaking to the Daily Mail this week, Clyne enthused:

"I often watch our attacking players and think 'Wow'. You have to admire it. Firmino’s touch, Coutinho jinking around, Mane taking on players, Lallana doing Cruyff turns. I see it all the time at the training ground, and it’s good to watch".

Yes, it's good to watch, but for me, Lallana's 'Cruyff turns' = pointless showboating that often achieves nothing. In fact, I don't recall a single instance in the last two years when a Lallana Cruyff turn actually led (directly or indirectly) to a goal or an assist for Liverpool.

As for 'Firmino's touch' - Clyne must be watching a different player because the Brazilian's first touch is often a weak spot during games. Indeed, over the last year, Firmino's ball control stats are the worst in Liverpool's squad (OPTA).

What cannot be denied, though, the collective impact this season of Mane, Lallana, Coutino, and Firmino, and at the end of the day, that's what it's all about. Combined stats this season:

* Total LFC goals scored this season = 26

* Mane, Lallana, Coutinho, and Firmino contribution = 14 goals/12 assists (26) in 8 games.

Pretty impressive, and this prodigious creative return will hopefully continue against Man Utd on Monday.

^ Coutinho/Firmino: Combined €81m value (CIES Football Observatory)


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