Liverpool 2023/24 season review: Top scorers, assists and player of the year

Liverpool didn’t finish Jurgen Klopp’s reign exactly how they would have envisaged when the legendary boss announced in January his planned summer departure.

At the time, the Reds were targeting a quadruple. They soon landed the Carabao Cup, but FA Cup elimination by Manchester United, a Europa League humbling at the hands of Atalanta, and a drop in Premier League form from April onwards left the club with a single trophy in 2023/24.

Regardless, that is better than most and Klopp’s side still recorded a comfortable top three finish, were fewer than ten points off eventual champions Manchester City and lost only two of their first 32 Premier League fixtures.

With Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, James Milner and others leaving last summer, on top of Sadio Mane going in 2022, there has been an element of transition too as Klopp attempted to integrate new arrivals and also blood emerging academy talents.

For the first time, even though he still finished top scorer with 25 goals and broke a decades-old Ian Rush record, the cracks have shown for Mohamed Salah due to an injury derailing the second half of his season. Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, so often the heroes of the Klopp era, simply havent spent enough time on the pitch because of their own injury issues.

Liverpool will begin a new chapter in 2024/25, with a fresh sporting structure ushered in by the return of former recruitment chief Michael Edwards into a more senior role, and the appointment of Arne Slot from Feyenoord as the Reds’ first new manager in nine years.

Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van DijkVirgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk never had a settled defence around him / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

Newly installed club captain Virgil van Dijk felt like the only constant in Liverpool’s backline given the injuries to Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson, Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konate and Alisson. The Dutchman missed only two Premier League games – both due to suspension in the first month of the season – and played every minute of 35 of his league appearances.

Only Arsenal (29) and Manchester City (34) conceded fewer than Liverpool (41) over 38 games, which is remarkable consider the often revolving door nature of the defence around Van Dijk. He even scored the late extra-time winner in the Carabao Cup final to deliver the trophy with captain’s goal.

Honourable mentions: Harvey Elliott, Alexis Mac Allister

Dominik Szoboszlai vs Leicester City

Dominik SzoboszlaiDominik Szoboszlai

Dominik Szoboszlai has scored some stunners this season / Matt McNulty/GettyImages

Liverpool’s two most expensive summer buys – Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister – both have an eye for the spectacular and have each chipped in with some excellent goals this season. Mac Allister scored a great one from distance against Fulham at Anfield in December, while Szoboszlai’s against Leicester in the Carabao Cup in October wasn’t dissimilar. But it seemed to have a bit more aggression about it as the ball clipped the underside of the bar as it flew in.

Honourable mentions: Alexis Mac Allister vs Fulham, Alexis Mac Allister vs Sheffield United, Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Fulham, Dominik Szoboszlai vs Aston Villa

Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool

Liverpool went to the Emirates Stadium and wonLiverpool went to the Emirates Stadium and won

Liverpool went to the Emirates Stadium and won / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Liverpool may not have gone on to win the FA Cup, but they knocked Arsenal out in the third round and were one of only three visiting teams to win at the Emirates Stadium all season. What’s more, with Virgil van Dijk ill and Mohamed Salah on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations, the Reds – wearing purple on the day – did it without their two most influential players. Ibrahima Konate and the young Jarell Quansah particularly impressed in Van Dijk’s absence.

There was some good fortune about it in the form of Arsenal’s wasteful finishing, but Liverpool were always in the cup tie and crucially went ahead with ten minutes of the 90 to play when Jakub Kiwior turned the ball into his own net. Luis Diaz later made it 2-0 deep into stoppage time.

Honourable mentions: Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool AET, Liverpool 3-0 Aston Villa, Sparta Prague 1-5 Liverpool, Liverpool 6-1 Sparta Prague

Alexis Mac Allister

Alexis Mac AllisterAlexis Mac Allister

Alexis Mac Allister has quickly slotted in / James Baylis – AMA/GettyImages

Liverpool snapped up Alexis Mac Allister after he helped Brighton & Hove Albion to their highest ever league finish, and within mere months of winning the World Cup with Argentina. The deal, £35m rising to £55m with add-ons, was done early too, so it meant a proper pre-season.

That has to have been one of the factors behind how seamless it has been for him. The 25-year-old seemed to be able to do it all in midfield, from winning the ball back, to maintaining possession control, to creating and scoring goals himself.

He brought a bit of bite as well, which is an underrated attribute.

Honourable mentions: Wataru Endo, Dominik Szoboszlai

Joe Gomez

Joe Gomez - Soccer PlayerJoe Gomez - Soccer Player

Joe Gomez proved an invaluable asset / Visionhaus/GettyImages

There has rarely been any doubting of Joe Gomez’s natural ability, but being fit enough to actually get on the pitch and then to stay on it is as important when it comes to realising potential. That is something that he hasn’t had throughout his Liverpool career since 2015.

So for the versatile defender, who got his chances to play because of injuries, to suddenly make 51 appearances is huge. Only once in his career had he ever reached 40 in a single campaign before.

Right-back, centre-back, left-back and even once in midfield are the roles that Gomez has filled over the past ten months, while his form earned him an England recall in March in almost three years. He’s still waiting for that first career goal though.

Honourable mentions: Caoimhin Kelleher, Harvey Elliott, Conor Bradley

Darwin Nunez

Darwin NunezDarwin Nunez

Darwin Nunez is not consistently delivering / James Baylis – AMA/GettyImages

If Darwin Nunez gets enough chances, he will score goals, which is how the Uruguayan wound up with 18 to his name across all competitions in 2023/24. Between Christmas and mid-March, he was in pretty great form too, finding the net six times in eight Premier League appearances. But then you consider that brief patch accounted more than half of his league tally (11) for the whole season and he finished the campaign by drawing blanks in Liverpool’s last eight league fixtures.

Nunez ranked second in the Premier League with ‘Big Chances Missed’ wth a monstrous 27 – only Erling Haaland (36) squandered more clearcut opportunities but it didn’t really matter for him. Given that he was the man brought in – for a fee worth up to £85m, no less – to replace the goals of Liverpool’s ageing front three, only a third of which remains, his output is nowhere near good enough.

Dishonourable mentions: Mohamed Salah, Andrew Robertson, Ryan Gravenberch

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