Liverpool have sent one of the most press resistant midfielders in the world out on loan


2023/24 has so far not been a vintage season for Liverpool’s loan army.

Where the likes of Conor Bradley excelled away from Anfield last campaign, this one has seen a number of failures to launch. Poor Rhys Williams had spells at two different clubs cancelled in January alone, for example.

One of the few success stories has been Tyler Morton at Hull City. And thankfully, the 21-year-old has been good enough alone to make up for his fellow youngster’s struggles.

Already praised to the high heavens by Hull manager Liam Rosenior, Morton now has the data to back that up. Experts at the CIES Football Observatory have named the England U21 star as one of the top 100 midfielders for ball retention under pressure in world football.

It gets better, though. Of the premier 100, Morton is actually the third youngest on the list. Behind esteemed names Gavi of Barcelona and Warren Zaire-Emery of PSG, the Liverpool talent is one of the top up and comers on the planet.

Morton is actually 74th on the list, with a ‘ball retention under high pressure’ rate of 86.9%. This is still considerably lower than Darlington Nagbe of Columbus Crew, who leads the way. Manchester City’s Rodri is second with 92.1%. But, Morton ranks higher than the likes of former reported Liverpool target Douglas Luiz, who posts 86.7%.

Morton makes impressive list
This is the perhaps the kind of statistic that won’t mean all that much to a certain segment of football fans. But it is interesting.

It essentially means that Morton is adept at either finding a pass or dribbling away when being hurriedly closed down by opponents.

Clearly, this is something Jurgen Klopp values highly in his midfielders. The Reds are often said to be looking for ‘press resistant’ players who can find a way through and set them on their way in attacks.

As a fascinating aside, the data here may also point to why Liverpool decided that Arthur Melo might have been a good fit last season.

Arthur famously played just 13 minutes of football for the Reds having joined on loan from Juventus. But now at Fiorentina, the Brazilian is showing his quality. He features towards the top of this metric, with CIES giving him a score of 90.3%. That’s enough to get him to 10th on the list here. Impressive.

In terms of Morton though, it’s a little insight into exactly why he thinks he can be a long-term success at Liverpool. Klopp is clearly a fan, and you’d have expected that his chances would arrive in the first-team next season.

The manager’s imminent departure has of course now thrown that into doubt. But whoever the new manager coming in is, you can bet that they’ll be well aware of Tyler.

After all the quality he’s shown this season, Morton deserves a go in the first-team. He’s a gem right under our nose.

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