Wednesday 21 February 2018

Revealed: The statistic which shows that one of Liverpool's most criticised players is actually a key man

Jordan Henderson's long-range effort earned Liverpool a 2-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge
Jordan Henderson's long-range effort earned Liverpool a 2-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge Sportsdesk

Liverpool have impressed thus far in the Premier League as Jurgen Klopp's methods finally take hold after almost 12 months in charge.

The German manager's famously exacting tactics can take a while to get used to - not least because the increased intensity oftentimes leads to injury among some of the more undercooked players in the squad.

Read more: A year on from his appointment, Liverpool players and coaches explain how Jurgen Klopp has transformed the club

Liverpool's attacking strategy of interchanging positions has worked a treat, with the Reds netting a joint-best 18 goals in the first seven games, as Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana perpetually alternate roles.

Their defence has looked stronger too, with Dejan Lovren - partnering the impressive new signing Joel Matip - finally looking like the player Brendan Rodgers hoped to be buying when the ex-Liverpool boss agreed a big fee with Southampton for his services.

Central midfield is one where Liverpool are still yet to nail down their best pair. Captain Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum have been Klopp's preferred midfield two thus far, but with Emre Can only returning from injury, the German could well force his way into the side.

Henderson, although he is the captain, has never been universally adored by the Liverpool faithful, and there were plenty of rumours during the summer that Klopp was prepared to jettison the England international if he could find the right replacement.

To Henderson's credit, he has started the season strongly, winning the Goal of the Month competition for his screamer against Chelsea, while new stats show that almost no player in the league is working harder for their team.

The Telegraph have measured which players have run the most miles so far this season, with Henderson clocking up a huge 51.2, which is the second best behind Burnley's George Boyd.

Interestingly, Wijnaldum is ninth on the list with 49.1 miles, which highlights just how hard Liverpool's midfield duo have worked.

The pair will come up against the rangy Paul Pogba on Monday Night Football when Premier League action resumes following the international break, and the Liverpool men will need to add considerably more miles to their odometers if they wish to keep pace with the all-action Frenchman.

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