Even if in the end Liverpool didn’t quite manage to break their long title drought, it was a phenomenal 2018-19 Premier League season for the Reds, earning 97 points and playing some exceptional football along the way. And the season isn’t quite over yet.
There’s still the small matter of the Champions League final, their second in two years and the third European final for the club under Jürgen Klopp. And when it comes to the players, there’s been a lot of deserving praise to go around as we wait for that final.
From goalkeeping heroics to the assists of the fullbacks to the hard-running midfield and the deadly attack. Liverpool ended the league season first in goals against and second in goals scored. They earned 97 damn points. And everyone played their part.
However, having voted on the best defender, midfielder, and forward this week, Liverpool Offside readers believed that three players deserved just that little bit extra praise for what has come so far in 2018-19, and now it’s time to vote again on the overall winner.
The 27-year-old Senegalese star took top spot in the forward vote, and having won the golden boot this season—shared with teammate Mohamed Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang—and with it having felt at times during the winter in particular that it was Mané more than anyone putting the rest of the team on his back and carrying them to results when they weren’t at their best, it’s easy to see why. Last year, Salah was the standout. Next year it could be Firmino. All three of Liverpool’s attackers are amongst the best in the world, but this season it was Mané standing out just that little bit more.
Looking just at the numbers can’t do justice to how important Wijnaldum was to Liverpool this season. Rarely flashy but always doing the right thing, playing the right ball, resisting the press and supporting the attack and covering for the defence, for long stretches of the season Wijnaldum didn’t put a step wrong, and just how important he was to the side was often most clear when he was out of it. He was the glue in midfield, and when he was in it and on his game Liverpool just worked. And the results of Liverpool just working were quite often glorious.
Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool’s new colossus did more than just marshal the league’s best defence—though he certainly did that—he also added four goals and a pair of assists in the league, with six goals and four assists in all competitions. Calm under pressure, commanding in organizing the players around him to their own career-best seasons, able to pick a pass over the top that would make almost any midfielder jealous, and a commanding presence on set pieces. In short, Van Dijk did it all—and he did it all well. He may have arrived with question marks about his £75M transfer fee, but 18 months on he looks worth twice that.
Liverpool’s 2018-19 Player of the Season
This poll is closed
Virgil van Dijk
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