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  • David Tyrer

Player Ratings: Liverpool squad 2018-19 season (Part 2)

In the first part of our player ratings, we went through the key players in defence, apart from the full backs.

In this piece, we'll look at the two key players at full back and the boys in the midfield that made us tick this season.

Here we go to part 2:

Trent Alexander Arnold - 8

What a season for the Reds' local lad. Trent has become a household name over the past couple of seasons.

From an under-23 star two years ago at the age of 18 to a two time Champions League finalist, Champions League winner and World Cup semi-finalist by the end of this season.

The 20-year old is still being used as sparingly as Jurgen Klopp can manage though, playing just 40 games last season (not all from the start either), compared to his full-back partner Andy Robertson who played almost every game he was available for.

The youngster will be in his third full season by the start of this coming season, long before he even manages to turn 21, and he'll have already played over 100 times for Liverpool.

With a combination of 32 goals and assists, many of which came last season, he is going to be one of the best attacking full-backs in the world by this time next year. He can literally only continue to improve.

Andy Robertson - 8.5

Whilst Trent is still only 20 and continuing his developing, it almost feels as if Andy Robertson is a seasoned pro, such has been his elevation to probably the best left-back in Europe in the last 18 months.

From almost beginning a season in the Championship with Hull two years ago, to being a European Champion, coveted by half of Europe's top sides and becoming the Scotland captain, it's been a rapid rise for the 25 year old.

Last season, he was undoubtedly our most consistent player. While Van Dijk would have immense games, he was also culpable for going missing once or twice during the season (albeit rarely).

Andy Robbo was the picture of reliable, never turning in a display below a 7. The fact that he is so unerringly consistent defensively is one thing. But adding 13 assists in all competitions last season was just the icing on the cake.

Like Trent, he's still far off his own prime years so it's frightening to think how much better he could become.

Fabinho - 7.5

If we're honest, it wasn't the greatest start to Fabinho's Liverpool career. Within a few weeks of the season starting there were rumours that he was unhappy in Liverpool the city and at Liverpool the football club.

He appeared only on occasion, always on the bench but rarely getting onto the pitch. Until late in 2018, when he was thrust into the team. Presumably, Klopp felt he had acclimated to the country and was ready for the Premier League.

A few hits and misses in December, with a particular miss coming against Arsenal, and Fabinho become something of a fixture in the midfield. But he was still in and out of the team.

Fast forward to the final of the Champions League though, and most fans were much calmer for knowing he was on the team sheet. This supposedly unflappable Brazilian, in the mold of Fernandinho and N'Golo Kante was finally showing his true form.

The fact that we only got his best for the final 3-4 months shouldn't be overlooked. Like many of the new signings, we can expect to see even more from him next season. But 41 appearances, including 39 starting, wasn't a bad first season all in all.

He even got his first goal for the club, too!

Jordan Henderson - 7.5

Since Jurgen Klopp arrived Jordan Henderson, like James Milner (although, not to the same extent) has been used in a variety of positions and roles.

Not least of all as the defensive midfielder, that Klopp didn't believe he needed. He's always come in for a lot of criticism during that time.

No one has ever doubted Henderon's work rate and his attitude, but his attributes and qualities for that role have often been called into question. Particularly his range of passing.

But a late-season switch back in to his more favoured role further forward and the captain and team's fortunes were suddenly changed. What had once been a solid midfield, suddenly became more dynamic and more of a threat in open play.

Coupled with Naby Keita's late emergence in a midfield-3 (although Keita did miss the later stage of the season), Henderson was practically 'reborn' and Klopp gave all of the credit to his captain.

Due to that successful role 'change', it will probably mean the club are unlikely to try to add to our midfield during this summer's transfer window.

Regardless, this season was the one in which Henderson passed 300 games for Liverpool, more than half of those as captain and lifted the Champions League. A great personal season, in the end, for Hendo.

James Milner - 7

You never really think of Jimmy Milner as a regular for Liverpool, this was his 4th season at the club and, at the age of 33, he still appeared in 45 matches, with 14 goals and assists.

From a first season playing across different positions, a second when he was primarily at left-back, and last season when he filled in across a variety of positions, Milner entered this season looking likely to spend most of his time on the bench.

But he actually started over 40 games this season. At the grand old age of 32-33 and ended it as a Champions League winner.

If ever there was a match this season, and there were a fair few, where Jurgen felt that Liverpool's inexperienced, young charges were letting the midfield control slip, or were at risk of losing a goal, you'd see him shouting the word 'Milly' down the touchline.

Klopp relies heavily on 'Milly' and thus, the former Aston Villa, Newcastle, Leeds and Man City player will see next season become the longest he has spent at any one club and surpass the over 200 times he played for City. He will be hugely important, again.

Come back tomorrow for part 3.

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