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One player is quietly doing something for Liverpool that Jurgen Klopp will love it



Cody Gakpo has already made Liverpool more productive from high turnovers

Liverpool’s pressing has been roundly and rightly criticized this season, but the condemnation has focused almost entirely on the defensive aspect of eliminating opponents. However, efficiency has also diminished from an attacking perspective, making Jurgen Klopp’s ‘favorite playmaker’ much less powerful.

Opta has a metric called High Turnovers, which is when a team wins the ball to start a possession streak within 40m of the opposition’s goal. In the 2020/21 Premier League, the Reds have had 67 shots from them, 1.76 per game and the second most in the division.

They then hit rock bottom last season at 1.87 a game, but before a 0-0 draw with Chelsea, Liverpool had managed 18 in their 18 games in 2022/23, one of the lowest totals in the elite. By those standards, their efforts against Graham Potter’s team were a significant step in the right direction.

In terms of high overall sales, the Reds haven’t delivered a much more efficient performance. Contrary to their season average of 9.4 per game, Liverpool won 12 possessions in the final 40 yards on Saturday. However, three of them have resulted in shots, their second best tally of the season (behind the five they scored in the 1-0 win over West Ham).

Cody Gakpo,

The most interesting thing is that the new member of the team, Cody Gakpo, shot on goal every time. The former was the most encouraging from his point of view, as he won the ball himself.

Midway through the first half, the Dutch international pressed and tackled Lewis Hall and headed for goal. It would have been wiser to pass to Mohamed Salah or Naby Keita rather than shoot the ball into the stands at Anfield Road, but Klopp would have enjoyed his latest recruit regaining possession to set up a shot.

After the break there were two more incidents. As Chelsea looked to build from behind, Andy Robertson put pressure on Hakim Ziyech on the touchline. They battled down to the backline, from where the Scot found Gakpo, though the impressive Thiago Silva was ready to block his shot.

The latter example was more impressive given the long-term health of the Liverpool strike as Gakpo linked up with Darwin Nunez. As the ball circled in midfield, the Uruguayan made contact with Thiago Alcantara to ensure they regained possession.