The 3 most improved Liverpool players of 2016

Jurgen Klopp’s men came from behind to beat Stoke 4-1 at Anfield last week, and then got the better of Manchester City on New Year’s Eve to open up a four-point gap to Pep Guardiola’s side in third.

The Reds have been in excellent form in front of goal this season, with their tally of 46 goals scored the most of any side in the division.

Unsurprisingly, they are well-placed to challenge for the title in the second half of the season, although they remain six points behind leaders Chelsea following their run of 13 wins in a row.

Nonetheless, the Reds are six points clear of fifth place Arsenal as Klopp’s men look to get back into the Champions League this season, and they also have a League Cup semi-final against Southampton to look forward to in the New Year.

And, with 2016 at an end, we thought we’d take a look back on what has been a great year for Liverpool, and have thus selected their 3 most improved players from 2016.

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Adam Lallana

Many felt that Adam Lallana deserved his big money move to Liverpool back in 2014, yet he didn’t set the world alight in his first campaign at Anfield.

He scored just seven goals in 41 games in all competitions, and also started the 2015/16 campaign in similar vein, netting just twice before the turn of the year.

However, under Klopp, Lallana looks like the player we all saw at Southampton a few years ago.

The 28-year-old netted five times in 2016 for the Reds as he became a more prominent member of the squad, and this season he has taken it up another level, scoring seven times and laying on six assists for the Premier League’s second place side.

Lallana has also become an integral member of the England team, having netted three times in three games for his country this season, including the only goal of the Sam Allardyce era.

An important player for both club and country, Lallana has come a long way in 2016, and is set for a bright 2017 if he continues his great form.

Jordan Henderson

There was talk that Klopp may not use Jordan Henderson in the middle for Liverpool when the German took over in October last year, but the England midfielder is now a key part of the team.

The 26-year-old has started all 18 of the Reds’ Premier League games this season, and has scored once and laid on four assists in helping Klopp’s side challenge for the title.

His confidence appears to be up, as illustrated by his sensational strike against Chelsea back in September, and he has matured into an excellent Premier League midfielder.

Adept as defensively as he is going forward, Henderson deservedly captained his country against Slovenia and Spain, and has grown into an integral member of both club and country.

Roberto Firmino

Liverpool spent £29 million on Brazilian international Roberto Firmino in 2015, yet the early indications suggested that it was money not terribly well spent.

The 25-year-old didn’t score at all under Brendan Rodgers before he lost his job in October, and then only netted once before the turn of the year in their 4-1 win over Manchester City on November 21.

However, 2016 has been a fine year for Firmino, who went on to score ten times for Liverpool in the second half of last season, and he has carried that form into this campaign, where he has netted seven times and laid on three assists in 19 games.

Firmino has formed quite the partnership with compatriot Philippe Coutinho and summer signing Sadio Mane in the first half of the season, and Liverpool fans, and indeed Premier League followers, are beginning to see why the Reds spent £29 million on him last year.