Liverpool's offensive power has garnered a lot of praise this season, scoring four or more goals in three of their five matches so far. Yet for all the acclaim the Reds are currently receiving, it could be argued that their output isn't being given as much attention as it should. The club is the highest scoring team in the Premier League in 2016 - with 50 goals - and still their attack is only referred to as good or dangerous instead of the very best.
Part of the reason is undoubtedly the defensive fragility that has plagued the side, where individual errors have presented opposing teams with easy goals, leading to dropped points and a less than stellar win-loss record, and thus, a mediocre league position. An inconsistency that sees them alternate between mercilessly mauling top opposition and limply losing to presumably weaker sides is another factor.
A third component is the lack of a bona fide superstar attacker, or at least a publically recognised one. Daniel Sturridge has the second best non-penalty goals per 90 ratio of any striker in the league since he joined the club, but the narrative surrounding him has always been one of wasted potential due to injury troubles and a difficult personality. Roberto Firmino posted the third best goals plus assist tallies per 90 last season, but his sedulous, considered and decidedly un-Brazilian playing style, as well as a lack of standout athleticism means he is consistently underrated. Philippe Coutinho scores the kinds of goals that create superstar mythologies, but he's also streaky, and 70% of his shots are still off target or blocked. Origi might have notched the second best goals per 90 ratio of any U20 player in the past five years of the Premier League, but he was shit in France, you know. L'Equipe said so.
So surely, Liverpool are still missing that undisputable marquee striker, right? Jürgen Klopp is unimpressed with this idea:
“No. We have the only attacking options I want.
"When I thought what I had to do in the transfer window, I always heard about: ‘We have to sign this striker or this kind of striker.’
"It’s really difficult out there to find better strikers who are available. Available is not always possible. It’s really difficult to find available strikers who are better than ours.
"But it’s not about having the best, it’s about doing the best. I am happy with the squad.
“We will speak a lot about this. When we have won the last game everybody agrees with me and if we haven’t won the last game everybody thinks: ‘What is he talking about?’
"That’s part of the deal and I have no problem with it. But I don’t change my mind every week."
While it is almost certainly going to get him in hot water with the media at some point, Klopp's caustic disregard for their narrative drivel is a weekly joy to behold. So too are the improvements in the individual players' understanding of their role within the team and how they should interplay with each other, exemplified for instance by Jordan Henderson's development in the holding midfield role, or the attacking trident's smoothly coordinated movements, both on display during last week's drubbing of Leicester.
Such continued improvement would be most welcome at Stamford Bridge on Friday night.