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Saturday, August 6

Sturridge and Coutinho lead Liverpool's 15 most important players

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says that he's happy with how Liverpool are playing, but knows there's room for improvement.
With less than two weeks to go until the start of the Premier League season, clubs are finalising their squads for the new campaign.
But who are the biggest teams' most important men? Glenn Price ranks Liverpool's top 15 players.

1. Daniel Sturridge
The striker is currently the Reds' only established world-class talent. His goal-scoring record for Liverpool is incredible (43 goals in 69 appearances), despite his Anfield career being hampered by injuries. When he is fit, Sturridge is undoubtedly Liverpool's most important player, and the club's biggest challenge is to keep him that way.


2. Philippe Coutinho
The Brazilian is on the verge of becoming a top star for Liverpool. Blessed with wonderful feet and an eye for a pass, Coutinho can produce moments of magic out of absolutely nothing.


3. Sadio Mane
Liverpool's third-most-expensive signing ever will be expected to hit the ground running following his £30 million move from Southampton this summer. More goals are needed in this Liverpool side, and Klopp will be hoping the Senegal international can provide them.


4. Emre Can
Klopp entrusted the German to run games from the heart of midfield last season, and he can expect to be given similar responsibilities in 2016-17. At 22, Can should make that position his own for the long-term.
5. Roberto Firmino
Having initially struggled in his first season in the Premier League, Firmino soon settled and began to show regular glimpses of his quality. From Jan. 13, the forward went on to score 10 goals -- a contribution similar to that is expected this campaign.


6. Divock Origi
Given Sturridge's lack of reliability over injuries during his time at the club, Liverpool need another striker at the same level of ability. Origi flourished last season under Klopp, and he has the talent to push Sturridge for a starting spot.


7. Nathaniel Clyne
Liverpool have the right-back position boxed off for the foreseeable future, with the England international by far the most dependable player in the squad. Clyne gives at least 7/10 performances every week, and that means Klopp has one less problem to deal with.


8. Jordan Henderson
The central midfielder is the club's captain and has the energy and work ethic to fully implement Klopp's high-pressing system. Struggled with injury last season, but he is a key player when fit.


9. Dejan Lovren
Lovren is now Liverpool's leader of the back four after enduring a difficult beginning to his career on Merseyside. New signing Joel Matip or Mamadou Sakho will compete for the other centre-back position; the Croatian's place is secure.

10. Adam Lallana
The former Southampton man might not find the back of the net as much as he should, but Klopp is a huge fan of him. Lallana is relentless in his pressing and can contribute well going forward either from the wing or in the No. 10 role.
Liverpool finished eighth in the Premier League last season.
11. Mamadou Sakho
It remains to be seen how Matip adapts to life in England, so Sakho could well continue his central-defensive partnership with Lovren if he resolves his issues with the manager.

12. James Milner
The 30-year-old can play anywhere on the pitch, and that can be useful for the Reds. Having suffered an injury crisis last season, Milner will be on hand to fill in wherever if the same happens again, and his experience will be an important part of the squad dynamic.

13. Loris Karius
He may have to wait a while to make his debut for the club after suffering a broken hand in preseason, but the former Mainz goalkeeper will need to be an improvement on Simon Mignolet if Liverpool are to have a solid defence this season.


14. Danny Ings
Ings is clearly playing second fiddle behind Sturridge and Origi, but he has the ability to be a dependable option for Liverpool. The former Burnley striker also offers Klopp something different up front and will be keen to prove himself after missing a large chunk of last season through injury.


15. Joe Gomez
The defender has yet to play under Klopp due to long-term injury, but the 19-year-old could be Liverpool's future in defence. He appeared at left-back for the Reds last season but is expected to make the move to centre of the defence this season.

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