Power Ranking Liverpool's Squad Player by Player

Mark Jones@@Mark_Jones86Featured ColumnistNovember 30, 2013

Power Ranking Liverpool's Squad Player by Player

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    Everyone can see that Liverpool are doing well at the moment, but who are the Reds' top performers?

    Manager Brendan Rodgers will of course be at pains to point out that everything Liverpool do depends on a collective team effort, but it is impossible to ignore the fact that there have been moments in the campaign when the Reds have come to rely on the individual qualities of some of their players.

    Where do those players stand right now though?

    Here we chart the current status of every player to have played in a competitive match for Liverpool this season (leaving out Andre Wisdom, who appeared in three games before his loan move to Derby County) and rank just where they at the moment in terms of their importance to Rodgers and their teammates.

22. Jose Enrique (Injured, Back February)

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    Having played with a knee injury for a large portion of the season, Enrique has now gone under the knife and will be out of action for around 10 weeks.

    As a result he drops to the foot of our list, but no doubt he'll start climbing upon his return.

21. Iago Aspas (Injured, Back December)

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    A tough beginning to Liverpool life was made all the tougher for Iago Aspas due to a torn thigh muscle he suffered in October, and he hasn't featured since coming on as a late substitute in the 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.

    He is scheduled to return soon though, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him featuring on the bench in next week's home double-header against Norwich and West Ham.

20. Jordon Ibe

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    The Capital One Cup tie against Notts County remains teenager Ibe's only first-team appearance this season, but he has stayed fit and available in that time.

    October's Crystal Palace game is his last involvement in a matchday squad though, as he's been picking up valuable experience with the under-21 side.

19. Martin Kelly

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    Thankfully Kelly now seems to be over the injury problems which have blighted him over the past year, but he currently faces a huge battle to get into the team.

    Glen Johnson's consistency and the re-emergence of Jon Flanagan have placed the defender in something of a limbo, but he's a determined character who will be eager to keep going and build on the 29 minutes of Premier League action he's played this season.

18. Raheem Sterling

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    The increased competition for places this season has hit Sterling more than most, and whereas this time last year he was a first team regular, at this point he's only started one Premier League game so far.

    He hasn't featured at all in the last four games, but he's still young and talented enough to bounce back from this and enjoy a long career at the club.

17. Luis Alberto

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    Still no Premier League starts for the young Spaniard in his first season in English football, but he remains a regular member of the matchday squad.

    Forthcoming fixtures against Hull, Norwich and West Ham might offer him the opportunity to get off the bench and start contributing more, as he's certainly got the promise and talent to do so.

16. Aly Cissokho

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    The injury to Enrique has given the Frenchman the chance to stake a claim for the left-back berth, but he seems to have been overtaken in that battle by Jon Flanagan.

    Having started the previous four league games Cissokho wasn't involved in the squad for the clash with Everton, and it will be interesting to see if he returns, at least to the bench, in the game against Hull.

15. Joe Allen

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    Last Saturday's Merseyside derby marked a first Premier League start of the season for Joe Allen, but his close range miss will ensure that he won't want to remember it for long.

    The Welshman had only started the game because of the fitness issues concerning Daniel Sturridge, and despite his qualities it would be a surprise if he held on to that starting berth in the weeks to come, when he's more than likely going to be seen coming off the bench.

14. Victor Moses

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    After five consecutive starts following his loan move from Chelsea, Moses has now been dropped to the bench for the previous four games.

    Much of that is of course down to the return of Philippe Coutinho from injury, but ahead of the Reds facing three games in seven days it wouldn't be a surprise to see him back starting at least one of them.

13. Kolo Toure

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    There was always a sense the competition for places in Liverpool's defence would catch up with Toure, and perhaps it just has.

    Injury permitting he was a regular for the Reds in the first few months of the season, but he's now missed out on the last two games and coupled with the switch back to a more conventional back four might ensure that he'll find it tough to get back into the team.

12. Mamadou Sakho

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    France's World Cup hero missed the two Liverpool games either side of the international break, with the move away from a back three ensuring that he'll find it difficult to displace Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger as the club's central defenders.

    The amount of money invested in Sakho and his good start to Liverpool life so far suggests that it won't be long before he forces his way back into the team though, and once he's there it could well be for a sustained period of time.

11. Daniel Agger

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    Currently in possession of one of the centre-back's shirts, Agger has returned from failing to start five Premier League games in a row to beginning and ending the last two.

    There remains the belief that he's not quite been in top form recently though, and given the wealth of talent that Liverpool have available to them who can play in his area of the pitch, he might well be nervously looking over his shoulder at his competitors.

10. Jon Flanagan

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    A surprisingly high appearance in the rankings for Liverpool's shock of November, who has come in from the cold to start matches at Arsenal and Everton.

    Against the Blues Flanagan was superb, and he earned praise from the likes of Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Brendan Rodgers for his level of performance. As long as he doesn't let that go to his head then he has a great opportunity to nail down the left-back spot in the coming weeks.

9. Glen Johnson

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    One of the first names on the teamsheet when fit, Johnson's has been a frustrating absence at times for the Reds this season.

    However, he's started four of the last five Premier League games, but he loses a couple of ranking places for being part of the Reds defence which leaked three goals against Everton last weekend.

    The forthcoming games should see him able get on the front foot more, and the Reds will benefit from that.

8. Martin Skrtel

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    Skrtel has to be considered as the current first-choice central defender. He started the game against Manchester United at the beginning of September and has been a mainstay in every match since.

    There were plenty of times when he didn't look comfortable in the Everton game, but he's done well to re-establish himself with the Reds and certainly deserves the opportunity to stay in the team.

7. Lucas Leiva

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    Constantly patrolling the midfield and providing the sturdy foundation on which others can shine, Lucas is as important to Liverpool now as he's ever been.

    With an eye on getting into his country's squad as they host the World Cup next summer, he'll be eager to keep fit and flying as one of the key men in Rodgers' red machine.

6. Philippe Coutinho

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    The Brazilian's return to action has perhaps been the best thing about November for Liverpool, who are now back to benefiting from Coutinho's unpredictability and his eye for goal.

    His early strike at Goodison Park will hopefully herald a return to the type of displays we witnessed at the back end of last season, and if he can do that in the next week then Liverpool will be well on their way to picking up nine points from nine in what looks to be a crucial period in their campaign.

5. Steven Gerrard

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    From being criticised for his performance in the defeat at Arsenal, Gerrard has bounced back in Liverpool's previous two games to have a hand in six of their seven goals.

    His set pieces accounted for four of them, and he's shown that his delivery from free-kicks and corners can be a huge weapon in a Liverpool side who are packed with plenty of players with a strong ability in the air.

4. Jordan Henderson

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    Liverpool's Mr 100 per cent kept his record of playing in every minute of every league game alive with his role in the draw at Everton, and he's only likely to add to that at Hull this weekend.

    He'll be determined to see that record improved with increases in his goals and assists, but as long as he keeps getting around the pitch in the energetic manner that we've become accustomed to, then that only looks to be a matter of time.

3. Daniel Sturridge

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    England exertions meant that Sturridge had to be left on the bench for the vast majority of the Merseyside derby, but that was never going to dull his goalscoring ability.

    The forward's fine flicked header broke Everton hearts and ensured him an even bigger place in those of Liverpudlians' who were in love with him already.

2. Simon Mignolet

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    It is safe to say that Liverpool would have lost the Merseyside derby were it not for the saves made by their Belgian goalkeeper, who was terrific on the day and without whom Everton would probably have scored about six.

    The former Sunderland man has been excellent since his move from Wearside, and there is surely little doubt that he has to be in the discussion when it comes to the top stoppers in the Premier League.

1. Luis Suarez

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    The undisputed No. 1 Liverpool player on current form simply has to be Luis Suarez, who with nine goals in seven Premier League games has managed the same total that the entire Tottenham Hotspur squad have scored in 12.

    You'd have to be brave or stupid to back against Suarez extending that run over the coming games against Hull, Norwich and West Ham, matches in which he'd expect to find the net and expect to keep Liverpool in the mix at the top of the table.