A long-range, first-time effort against Aston Villa to set the tone for what was a dominant (beyond expectations) performance against Unai Emery’s Aston Villa was the latest party trick from Dominik Szoboszlai to inspire comparisons with legendary No.8 Steven Gerrard.
The comparisons are slightly wide of the mark, if not completely wide of the directory of players to have previously pulled on the famous red shirt, according to Neil Jones who has nodded, instead, to a former midfield partner of the now Al-Ettifaq manager in Xabi Alonso.
“He may have taken over Steven Gerrard’s shirt at Anfield, but Szoboszlai’s early impact is reminiscent of that made by another Reds midfield maestro of that era,” the reporter wrote for Covering Liverpool on Substack. “It is nearly two decades now since Xabi Alonso arrived on Merseyside and immediately began wowing us with his poise and his class, and four games into his Reds career, Szoboszlai is already doing something similar.”
The Spaniard’s arrival at Anfield in 2004 marked a fresh start for the Merseysiders, with the former Real Sociedad man injecting creative and, some might forget, defensive quality into Rafa Benitez’s side.
The Hungarian (on a reported £120,000-a-week, according to Capology) has shown he’s more than capable of filling the defensive void left by ex-skipper Jordan Henderson following his switch to Saudi football, supporting the right flank to allow Trent Alexander-Arnold the licence to roam into midfield without consequence.
With an evident goal threat that exceeds what the Englishman had in his locker, however, it very much seems we have quite the upgrade on several accounts in the right central midfield role.
At 22 years of age, the world is very much Szoboszlai’s oyster and we’ll be excited to see how he interprets his role at Liverpool in the long run.