Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have earned a reputation as two of the fastest players in the game at the moment but are they really the fastest players in the squad? A look at the highest top speed clocked by the Liverpool squad this season tells a different story!
Liverpool has made a name as one of the best counter-attacking teams in Europe under Jurgen Kopp and it goes without saying that pacey players are a necessity for this particular brand of football.
The Reds’ forwards Salah and Mane are often described as the quickest players in the game at the moment and players such as Philippe Coutinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold named Salah as the fastest player in the team when quizzed. Even Mane believes Salah is quicker than him. However, according to FIFA 19, Mane is the 10th fastest player in the game while Salah wasn’t even in the Top 20.
So, when Dailymail revealed the eight fastest Liverpool players so far this season, most people would have picked either Salah or Mane to top the list. In reality, Mane is the third fastest player in the team and Salah, the sixth fastest!
Now, the question is, who is the fastest player in the squad?
The honour goes to JOE GOMEZ!
In the game against Leicester earlier this season, Gomez was clocked at a top sprint speed of 21.6 mph! In the 1-1 draw against Chelsea, Gomez chased down Willian who had a head start to fairly deny the Brazilian a great goalscoring chance and many fans noticed how quick the 21-year-old was. However, few would have expected him to top the charts.
Liverpool’s defensive stalwart, Virgil van Dijk, is the second fastest player in the team with a top speed of 21.5 mph.
“Virgil van Dijk is quick and he has hit some good speeds, too. Obviously, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane are fast. Mo and Virgil have bantered about having a race but I think a few of us would fancy ourselves. Not that the sports science team would allow it. I think over the first 10 yards me and Virgil would be looking at Sadio and Mo’s backs. But we may claw some back towards the end.” Gomez said in his recent interview with The Daily Mail.
Interestingly, Gomez is also the second fastest defender in the Premier League, only behind Huddersfield Town’s Terrence Kongolo who reached 21.66 mph.
Here is the full list of Liverpool’s eight fastest players of the 2018-19 season so far.
#8. Georginio Wijnaldum – 20.7 mph
#7. Roberto Firmino – 20.9 mph
#6. Mohamed Salah – 20.9 mph
#5. Andrew Robertson – 21 mph
#4. Trent Alexander-Arnold – 21.1 mph
#3. Sadio Mane – 21.4 mph
#2. Virgil van Dijk – 21.5 mph
#1. Joe Gomez – 21.6 mph
Interestingly, all four of Liverpool’s first choice defenders are on the list which is good news for the Reds. Liverpool plays a high-line under Klopp with the full-backs joining the attack at every opportunity they get. In such a system, it is a huge plus to have quick defenders as their recovery pace can stop the opposition from hitting Liverpool on the counter.