26-year-old not pulling his weight: Three things we learned about Liverpool in win v Everton
COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Football Insider analyses three talking points from Liverpool’s 1-0 victory against Everton in the Premier League.
Wijnaldum is under performing
Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum was unable to stamp his authority on the game against Everton and will be disappointed with his contribution. The 26-year-old was fairly quiet in the match and offered very little attacking threat. The midfielder moved to Anfield after scoring 11 goals last season for a struggling Newcastle side, but has been unable to replicate that at Liverpool. The Merseyside club do have several attacking threats, but Wijnaldum has certainly not been pulling his weight this season from an attacking point of view. Adam Lallana, Emre Can and Jordan Henderson appear to be the best midfield trio for manager Jurgen Klopp, with the three offering a good balance of attack and defence. Wijnaldum has now scored one goal in 20 appearances and certainly needs to improve that record in front of goal.
Coutinho will make club serious title contenders
Liverpool have just about been able to cope without their talisman Philippe Coutinho, who is hopeful of returning against Manchester City at the end of December. The 24-year-old will give the side an extra bit of attacking quality and should help Jurgen Klopp’s side catch Chelsea. The Merseyside club are now just six points behind leaders Chelsea and have some good momentum with them. They have moved up to second in the league table with the Everton victory and are considered the biggest challengers to Antonio Conte’s side. Coutinho is certainly the standout player in the Reds squad and his return could coincide with a serious title challenge.
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Firmino has suffered a dip in form
Roberto Firmino has now gone six Premier League games without scoring and is suffering from playing in a wide position. The 25-year-old has been used as a winger in the absence of Philippe Coutinho during recent games and looked much more effective as a central striker at the beginning of the season. The Brazil international has been unable to threaten defences recently, but Divock Origi has been doing a fantastic job through the middle. Firmino has scored six goals and supplied six assists this season, but looks a shadow of that player at the minute. He will be desperate to return to his best and help fire Liverpool to the title, but could face tough competition to keep his starting spot with the return of Daniel Sturridge. Firmino had several good opportunities to break his goal drought against Everton and was frustrated on several occasions.
In other Liverpool news, Klopp has named this defender among the top five footballers he has ever worked with.