International Football Round-Up: How Liverpool Players Fared
The first international break of the 2023/24 season witnessed 16 key players from Liverpool donning their national colours. A mixed bag of performances and moments left supporters with much to mull over. Here’s a detailed look at their contributions.
Liverpool Stars Shine and Stumble
While a majority of Liverpool’s first team were away, Ibrahima Konate and Trent Alexander-Arnold found themselves sidelined, withdrawing from the France and England squads respectively due to injuries. In an interesting development, Ryan Gravenberch chose to stay at the AXA Training Centre, sidelining the Netherlands U21 call-up to familiarise himself with the dynamics of his new team.
Reds’ fans would be breathing a sigh of relief knowing that those who ventured into international duties returned without major injury concerns. Among those making headlines were Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota, both finding the net for their national teams. Additionally, young talent Ben Doak, showcasing his adaptability, took up a centre-forward position for Scotland U21s, garnering appreciation.
A late addition to the Egyptian side, Mohamed Salah joined post the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia. Although he was absent for the qualifier, Salah marked his presence in the full duration of the friendly against Tunisia. However, in a contrasting tale, Liverpool’s reliable goalkeepers, Alisson and Caoimhin Kelleher, despite travelling, remained absent from the field for their respective countries.
Liverpool Players’ International Duty in Numbers
A few Reds displayed unwavering stamina, with Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, and Dominik Szoboszlai clocking a full 180 minutes for their teams. Here’s a breakdown of the minutes played by Liverpool’s international stars:
- Van Dijk – 180
- Robertson – 180
- Szoboszlai – 180
- Mac Allister – 162
- Gakpo – 142
- Nunez – 118
- Endo – 116
- Diaz – 95
- Salah, Jota, Tsimikas, Elliott – 90 each
- Doak – 77
- Bajcetic – 26
- Alisson, Kelleher – 0 each
Gakpo and Jota both found themselves on the scoreboard twice, with Jota, representing Portugal, particularly in the spotlight.
- Gakpo – 2
- Jota – 2
Masters of the Assist
Jota’s twin strikes were complemented by an assist. But it was Nunez who truly made a mark, registering two assists in his maiden appearance for Uruguay. A cheeky mention: Robertson’s assist for Harry Maguire’s own goal won’t make the count here!
- Nunez – 2
- Jota – 1