Mohamed Salah and James Milner have new squad rival after Liverpool transfer deal

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool FC looks on during the UEFA Champions League Semifinal Leg Two match between Villarreal CF and Liverpool FC at Estadio de la Ceramica, May 3, 2022, Villarreal, Spain.


Liverpool profited from their expertise around penalty shootouts this season. Jurgen Klopp's men reached three cup finals and used penalties to secure the trophy in two of them, bringing the Carabao Cup and FA Cup back to Merseyside.

The Reds took a total of 17 penalties across both finals, scoring all but one of their attempts. Even Caoimhin Kelleher - the club's backup goalkeeper - managed to find the net against Chelsea in February.

Liverpool have a number of elite takers to choose from, with James Milner recognised as the team's designated first-choice option. This summer, it seems the club have added yet another top alternative.

Over the course of his career in the Premier League, the Milner has scored 17 of his 19 efforts from the spot. Given his experience and leadership of the squad behind the scenes, his authority over his teammates is understandable.

Behind him is usually Mohamed Salah, who has also proved to be prolific from the spot. The Egyptian international has taken 20 penalties in the Premier League, scoring 18 of them.

Klopp has a number of alternative options beyond those two players, with Fabinho in particular deemed as a composed finisher when required to step up. Dating back to his time as a designated taker for AS Monaco, the Brazilian has taken 19 penalties in league competitions, scoring 100% of them.

Considering the reliability of other players in the squad - such as Sadio Mane, Thiago Alcantara, Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold to name but a few - the Reds are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to penalties.

Liverpool have added to their strength this summer, signing Darwin Nunez from Benfica for an initial £64m which could rise to £85m further down the line.

The Uruguayan striker proved to be a highly efficient marksman this season, scoring 32 goals in all competitions. The 22 year-old converted 27.2% of his shots in the Portuguese Primiera Liga, which was the highest conversion rate of all players with at least 55 attempts across Europe's top five leagues.

Nunez appears ruthless in front of goal and when presented with penalties, nothing seems to change. Since his emergence as a youngster, he's taken a total of 10 penalties in all competitions for Benfica and Almeria, scoring every one of them. He's yet to register a miss.

He's unlikely to take duties from Milner or Salah in his debut campaign at Anfield, but those two players could realistically depart next year after their contracts have expired on Merseyside.

Regardless of whether Nunez ends up as Klopp's first pick in the coming years, he looks certain to strengthen the team's prowess during high-profile shootouts.

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