Liverpool Player of the Year: The title was wrapped up in record time – but who was the driving force?

After the Reds clinched a first top-flight title in 30 years, the BTSport.com writers cast their votes to determine who deserves the individual award.

Published: 4 September 2020 - 3.21pm
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BTSport.com writers have ranked their top five performers for the Reds this season – who deserves the gong?

Liverpool’s 30-year wait to be champions of England again is over.

Jurgen Klopp has created a ruthless winning machine, complete with several key contributors who made the success possible.

We’ve crunched the numbers and these are the results. Do you agree?

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5. Mohamed Salah 

By his own lofty standards, Salah was relatively slow out of the blocks this season. The Egyptian forward may have been more explosive in previous seasons, but last year’s joint-top scorer has been a model of consistency.

The 28-year-old, who was named Player of the Tournament in December’s Club World Cup, is third in the race for the Premier League golden boot with 19 goals and his nine assists are more than any of those above him in the scoring charts.

What’s more, earlier this season he marked his 100th league appearance with his 70th league goal for the club and became the first Liverpool player since Michael Owen to hit the 20-goal mark in three consecutive seasons.

Salah has been less prolific this term but he remains the club’s leading scorer in the league and his contribution to Liverpool’s record-breaking campaign should not be understated.

4. Jordan Henderson 

Henderson’s journey to Champions League and Premier League-winning captain was far from plain sailing, but he has produced his best football at Anfield this season and has been an inspiring leader on and off the field.

Eight years ago, Henderson revealed he was in tears at the prospect of leaving Liverpool. Now he’s one of the most effective midfielders in Europe and Klopp’s trusted lieutenant.

Public perception has shifted after two successive remarkable campaigns, but he is more than a figurehead. His tactical awareness was tested when he deputised for Fabinho after the Brazilian sustained an injury in November and he passed with ease.

Henderson has made 30 league appearances this season, scoring four goals and contributing five assists, but his influence is unquantifiable.

The man who Klopp once said he ‘could write 500 pages about’ has completed his personal redemption story at Liverpool.

Now a certified legend after becoming the first Liverpool captain since Alan Hansen to win the league, Henderson’s legacy on Merseyside has been cemented.

3. Trent Alexander-Arnold 

Liverpool’s transcendent full-back has gone from strength to strength this season.

He has already equalled his own record for the number of assists by a defender in a single season (12), and is behind only Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne overall.

The marauding right-back, who was nominated for the 2019 Ballon d'Or award alongside six of his team-mates, has proven he can shape matches from defence, best exemplified by his performance against Leicester in December.

In a victory that extended his boyhood club's lead at the top of the table to 13 points, he played a hand in all four goals by scoring one, assisting two, and winning a penalty.

Recognition followed when he became the first full-back to win the Premier League Player of the Month since 2007 and he was named in the 2019 UEFA Team of the Year.

Alexander-Arnold’s meteoric rise shows no sign of relenting after a hugely influential season for the champions in which he has featured in every single league game.

2. Sadio Mane 

The perfect embodiment of Klopp’s all-action philosophy, Mane is currently sixth in this season’s race for the golden boot gong with 16 goals and has also provided 7 assists.

The Senegal forward has stood out in Liverpool’s much-revered front three because of his propensity to score match-winning goals.

He scored a dramatic late winner against Aston Villa in November and continued his trend of bagging late goals against Norwich and West Ham.

He provided the spark yet again against Villa at Anfield last Saturday. With the game goalless after 70 minutes and a draw looking the most likely result, he met Naby Keita’s cross to put the champions in front and score his 50th goal at Anfield.

His tendency to bail Liverpool out with a moment of genius has characterised the Reds' title-winning campaign and he has a genuine chance of collecting every major accolade for individuals this season.

1.  Virgil van Dijk 

Van Dijk’s transformative effect arguably outstrips that of any other Premier League player – and the world’s most expensive defender has been voted BTSport.com’s Liverpool Player of the Year.

The Dutchman lays claim to the best defender in the world tag and he has had another remarkably successful season on Merseyside.

The imperious centre-back has made 34 league appearances in the title-winning campaign, keeping 15 clean sheets and scoring four goals.

The difference between the miserly pre-Van Dijk defence and today’s watertight unit is stark, with the Reds near impenetrable once again - conceding only 26 league goals.

Speaking after Liverpool were confirmed champions, he told BT Sport: “It’s unbelievable, what a season. We’ve been incredible.

“To be part of this group of players and part of this journey is incredible and I am very proud to be able to call myself a Premier League winner.”