Jordan Henderson has been mind-bogglingly effective in holding midfield this season, captaining Liverpool like a true leader and racking up some unrivalled passing, tackling and ground coverage statistics.
Coutinho was himself jaw-dropping up until the end of November, when a cruel foot injury stopped his season abruptly, although he should be fit enough to return this weekend coming against Manchester United.
Adam Lallana’s been brilliant too, but it’s the aforementioned duo who’ve scored highest in CIES Football Observatory’s mid-season rankings, based on a player’s performances from the start of 2016/17 only.
We assume it must be an aggregate score, which is why Coutinho’s injury hasn’t affected his positioning.
Henderson ranks 8th in terms of defensive midfielders, behind Thiago, Pogba, Herrera, Alonso, Pjanic, Hamsik and Banega, just in front of Kante and Keita.
Coutinho comes in 2nd for attacking midfielders, behind Kevin De Bruyne but in front of Payet, Ozil, Boudebouz, Forsberg, Silva, Hazard, Ilicic and Eriksen!
Not bad for a player who’s missed Liverpool’s past nine games…
If that wasn’t enough, CIES also rank James Milner as the 2nd best fullback in Europe so far!
We’re not exactly sure what calculations have been used, but are pleased our players are being rewarded for their fantastic form throughout the majority of this campaign.
Just one question.. Where’s Adam Lallana?!