Who are the most-improved Liverpool players of the last six months?

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald 7 Apr 2022 11:48 BST 4 min read
Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool, 2021-22

Virgil van Dijk is the most-improved Liverpool player over the last six months, according to SciSports.

Using in-game data to calculate the performance of every Liverpool player the Dutch defender has enjoyed the greatest improvement, statistically.

Van Dijk has been playing at an extremely high level for the majority of his Liverpool career, but that was interrupted last season when he suffered a serious knee injury which left him with just five Premier League starts to his name in the entire campaign.

The increase in his SciSports skill level can be attributed to the fact that he is back fit in 2021/22 and not only that, but has found his previous high levels with ease.

The second most-improved player in the Liverpool squad is goalkeeper, Alisson.

The Brazilian continues to be in the conversation for the best goalkeeper in the world and his performances have improved yet again in 2021/22.

Van Dijk has always been the first-choice defender at Liverpool, with Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate vying for the second spot in the back four at various points.

This season, despite the arrival of Konate, Matip has made the position his own and many Liverpool fans would admit that his level has been just as impressive as the Dutchman's.

In fourth is Jordan Henderson, and like Van Dijk, his spike in skill level can be attributed to a campaign free of injury, playing at the top level again.

In fifth is Andy Robertson. He continues to be an assist machine and has set up 13 goals for his team-mates in all competitions.

There are four Liverpool players who have suffered a decline in their performances over the past six months; Joe Gomez, Divock Origi, James Milner and Roberto Firmino.

Gomez's recent career has been ravaged by injury, Origi is no more than a regular substitute, Milner rarely starts games, while Firmino has been injured and also lost his place in the team to the likes of Diogo Jota and now Luis Diaz.

1. Virgil van DijkCB+23.0
2. AlissonGK+17.5
3. Joel MatipCB+15.8
4. Jordan HendersonCM+15.7
5. Andrew RobertsonLB+14.3
6. Luis DiazAML+14.0
7. FabinhoDM+13.8
8. Trent Alexander-ArnoldRB+12.9
9. Mohamed SalahAMR+10.7
10. Sadio ManeAML+10.6
11. Curis JonesCM+10.4
12. Diogo JotaCF+9.2
13. Konstantinos TsimikasLB+7.6
14. ThiagoCM+7.4
15. Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainCM+6.5
16. Ibrahima KonateCB+5.8
17. Naby KeitaCM+4.7
18. Takumi MinaminoAM+3.1
19. Caoimhin KelleherGK+2.5
20. Rhys WilliamsCB+2.0
21. Harvey ElliottAM+1.7
22. Joe GomezCB-0.4
23. Divock OrigiCF-0.6
24. James MilnerCM-1.2
25. Roberto FirminoCF-1.9

How is the SciSkill ranking calculated?

Over the course of a season, there are players who will enjoy increasingly poor performances and increasingly positive performances.

FootballTransfers, in partnership with SciSports, has determined Liverpool players over the last six months whose performances have improved or regressed.

SciSports explains how our development ratings are gathered:

“Among others, a positive development could be boosted by more playing time, playing time on a higher level or better performances on the pitch.

“A negative development could be due to the player being active on a lower level than he used to play, bad performances or the fact that he does not play that often as he used to do.

“A SciSkill Development of 0.0 could indicate that a player is performing exactly like our algorithm expects him to do. Another reason could be inactivity (e.g. a long-term injury or suspension).”

It should be noted that vast improvement does not necessarily mean that a player was underperforming previously.