“The forwards of Liverpool are good…they scare me. They’re dangerous, I mean it.”
-Pep Guardiola prior to getting walloped 3-0 at Anfield.
The peak of the terror teams across Europe felt at the prospect of facing Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool was probably the 2017/18 season. While the sight of the prolific trio of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané on the team sheet—they of the mind-boggling 91 goals that campaign—were the primary antagonists in their opponent’s nightmares, it was also the thought of facing the blistering pace across the entire squad that most concerned whoever they happened to face.
From Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho to Roma’s Eusebio Di Francesco to Manchester City’s Guardiola, teams set their sides up in fear when the Reds came to town, trying their best to simply not get caught out by Europe’s scariest counterattack.
Salah running down the wing and Mané gunning the afterburners as they torch flailing defenders continues to be a common sight at Anfield, but it will be a surprise to even the most ardent Liverpool supporters that neither are even the fastest in the squad.
While the two wingers are probably the quickest in red in terms of their ability to accelerate to top speed from a standstill, the title of fastest in the squad so far this season actually goes to…defender Joe Gomez.
Maxing out at incredible 21.6 miles per hourclose to being fastest in the league—the fleet-footed youngster just about beats out his center back partner Virgil Van Dijk in a footrace, with the Dutchman coming in at 21.5 miles per hour, an impressive feat considering his colossal frame.
With first choice fullbacks Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold also breaking the 21 miles per hour mark, it is easy to see how Liverpool’s phenomenal defensive record of four league goals conceded in 10 games has been aided by the ability of the back four to recover with pace.
Check out the full list of Liverpool speedsters:
#8. Georginio Wijnaldum – 20.7 mph
#7. Roberto Firmino – 20.9 mph
#6. Mohamed Salah – 20.9 mph
#5. Andrew Robertson – 21 mph
#4. Trent Alexander-Arnold – 21.1 mph
#3. Sadio Mane – 21.4 mph
#2. Virgil van Dijk – 21.5 mph
#1. Joe Gomez – 21.6 mph