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A fan’s review of the international break: Which players have been excellent and who should pull their socks up?



Liverpool head into the international break with a 100% win record from the first four Premier League games. The Reds have scored nine goals and conceded just one in their outings, which makes for pretty impressive reading.

We aren’t the only team with a 100% record as Chelsea and Watford are also tied with us on 12 points.

A Liverpool player is leading the race for the Golden Boot while new boy Alisson is topping the charts with his clean sheets as well.

In fact, a number of our players have started the season on fire while some are yet to impress. Of course, there will be a number of players that need to get their mojo back after a gruelling World Cup, and we look at who has impressed and who has not.

The stars for the Reds

James Milner

Where do we begin? The Englishman looks like a new player after the summer break. Milner has started all our games this season and has never looked in better shape.

The midfielder has dished out passes well, has assisted in goals and even scored one against Crystal Palace.

The 32-year-old seems to be doing everything right and is set to take part in a charity match during the international break.

Milner is the ultimate professional and it would be a big surprise if he is dropped from the team anytime soon.

Georginio Wijnaldum

He has to be the most improved player in the team. There were fears that Wijnaldum would be dropped to the bench after the arrivals of Naby Keita and Fabinho but he seems undroppable now.

Jurgen Klopp added that Wijnaldum’s mentality and ability to play in a number of positions has kept him in the team (h/t Mirror) and he has been fantastic for the side.

If there is a minor criticism in his gameplay, it has to be a lack of goals. Wijnaldum has been a surprise package this season and the extra competition seems to be getting the best out of the Dutchman.

Joe Gomez

We could have put Virgil van Dijk on the list but the central defender has always been rock-solid. What has been a bit of a surprise is the form of his partner, Joe Gomez.

The English youngster missed the last month of the previous campaign as he underwent surgery. Missing the Champions League final and the World Cup must have hurt but Gomez has returned with a point to prove.

The youngster has partnered Van Dijk well and has been impressive against every side. From dealing with Marko Arnautovic to Christian Benteke to Glenn Murray to Demarai Gray, Gomez hasn’t put a step wrong.

Should he continue playing in the same manner, it would be difficult for Joel Matip or Dejan Lovren to get back into the side.

Sadio Mane

Mane has always been fantastic but this season, he seems to have an extra hunger to score goals. Four from four games proves that he is taking his chances but the Senegal man does more than just find the back of the net.

His pace, movement and link-up play have made him one of the best forwards in the league.

Liverpool have to ensure Mane signs a new deal after the international break.

Andy Robertson

We could have included Naby Keita or Alisson but the pair hasn’t impressed enough. Robertson, however, has been incredible at the back and was recently announced the new Scotland captain.

The 24-year-old has come a long way from his Queens Park Rangers days and the Scotsman has to be the best left-back in the Premier League.

Robertson’s attacking ability was never in doubt but he has rarely been caught out defensively this season. The former Hull City man can only get better with more games under his belt, which is an ominous sign for our rivals this season.

The flops for the Reds

Roberto Firmino

This was a tough call to make. Firmino’s job isn’t to just score goals but to also create havoc with his runs and link-up play. Unfortunately, his passing has not been up to scratch and in our game against Leicester, he seemed frustrated as he was constantly fouling the opposition.

The former Hoffenheim man did score an important goal at King Power Stadium but we know he is capable of so much more.

After an excellent campaign last season, the Brazilian has set the bar high and he just needs one or two things to go his way before we see the best of the forward.

Mohamed Salah

Where do we start with Salah? The Egyptian was excellent last season as he scored 46 goals across all competitions and despite scoring a couple in four games, the Egyptian seems a little off the pace.

The forward hasn’t looked sharp and needs to work on his finishing. Surprisingly, the Egyptian had the same problem last season and started scoring for fun after the first international break.

Salah knows he isn’t the only striker Liverpool have but if we can get him to convert some of the chances, wins will come easier and by larger margins.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

A 19-year-old heading off into the World Cup after playing the Champions League final is a dream but Alexander-Arnold hasn’t really done enough this season.

Read more: Premier League new boy reveals why he snubbed Liverpool for London club

Sure, it has been only 4 games into the campaign but his end product has not been up to scratch. The Englishman has had one or two moments of brilliance – like that wonderful cross-field ball to Salah – but he has to be consistent in the coming months.