Ranking all 23 signings Jurgen Klopp has made as Liverpool manager
A lot has changed under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, thanks in no small part to a number of astute signings he has been able to make.
Not all of them have worked out, of course, so we’ve ranked the 23 signings Klopp has made since taking over as Reds boss in October 2015.
We’ve not included loanees (sorry, Ozan Kabak) or young players who were not intended to go straight into the first team, so that rules out the likes of Kamil Grabara, Ki-Jana Hoever and Harvey Elliott.
23. Loris Karius
You might think this is a bit harsh, but Dominic Solanke didn’t lose Liverpool a Champions League final, did he?
22. Ben Davies
He’s never going to play for the club, is he?
21. Alex Manninger
Not making a single appearance for Liverpool has actually helped Manninger, here.
20. Steven Caulker
We’re still not sure why this happened. Signing Caulker and playing him up front was quite fun at least.
19. Dominic Solanke
Nor are we sure why Liverpool really bothered with this. But still, one goal, an England cap and around £15million profit probably made it worth it.
18. Konstantinos Tsimikas
Liverpool’s first signing as Premier League champions, the former Olympiakos left-back was supposed to lighten the load on Andy Robertson’s shoulders, but he’s racked up more minutes for Greece than the Reds in 2020-21.
17. Marko Grujic
Klopp’s very first signing, Grujic has only appeared 14 times for Liverpool’s first team but has shown his potential in loan spells at Cardiff City and Hertha Berlin.
“I’ve been at Hertha for 22 years. This isn’t meant as an insult to anyone else, but Marko is by far the best midfielder I’ve seen in my time at the club,” Hertha manager Pal Dardai said in December 2018 after Grujic scored the only goal in a win over Frankfurt.
Adrian arrived at Anfield in 2019 to provide back-up for Alisson and has played far more than anticipated in his debut season.
The goalkeeper was the hero in the UEFA Super Cup win over Chelsea, but his mistakes did cost Liverpool their place in the FA Cup and the Champions League in 2019-20, while he was between the sticks when the Reds lost 7-2 at Aston Villa.
15. Takumi Minamino
He hasn’t looked that bad, but for whatever reason things just haven’t worked out so far, with Klopp seeing fit to ship him out on loan to Southampton.
14. Ragnar Klavan
A cheap, experienced squad player who described joining Liverpool as “like winning the lottery” and endeared himself to supporters with his steady if unspectacular displays.
Upon his departure for Cagliari, James Pearce wrote in the Liverpool Echo: “Klavan will take his place alongside the likes of Gary McAllister, Djimi Traore and Igor Biscan on Liverpool’s list of cult heroes.”
13. Naby Keita
Plenty of hype surrounded Keita’s big-money transfer from RB Leipzig, especially given the Reds had to wait 12 months before he arrived, but his Liverpool career has blown hot and cold so far.
The midfielder has shown flashes of brilliance and was improving before an untimely injury ended his debut campaign prematurely, and ever since then there’s just been more frustrations.
12. Thiago Alcantara
There have been some uncharitable comparisons to Juan Sebastian Veron at Manchester United, with Liverpool’s form dovetailing at the same time as Thiago started to regularly start at the turn of the year.
A treble-winner in his final season with Bayern Munich, he probably didn’t envisage his first year in Merseyside going quite like it has.
Few would have predicted he’d be quite so fouly, but he’s shown flashes of his brilliance and you can still imagine he could be a Rolls Royce with everything else clicking around him.
11. Xherdan Shaqiri
Shaqiri has been a bit-part player since joining Liverpool in a £
Get properly pumped for our next match by watching Shaqiri's bicycle kick in his Reds debut in Michigan 🚲
— Liverpool FC USA (@LFCUSA) January 17, 2021
10. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
People poured scorn on Oxlade-Chamberlain when he joined Liverpool, with the midfielder having previously declared his admiration of Steven Gerrard.
The former Arsenal man took a while to get to grips with life at Anfield, only to explode into form and suddenly appear the ideal Jurgen Klopp player.
After recovering from a knee ligament injury, the 26-year-old has once again made himself a key contributor in the middle of the park.
9. Diogo Jota
Liverpool’s best attacker behind Salah in his debut season at Anfield, the Portuguese has slotted in seamlessly. 12 goals so far in a campaign impacted by injury is not bad going at all.
8. Joel Matip
We initially wrote this list in February 2019, noting on Matip: “He’s alright, isn’t he? Fine, in fact. The sort of player you see constantly written off on social media but struggle to remember anything – either good or bad – he has ever done which caught your eye.”
It was around that time the centre-back was given the chance to cement his place in Liverpool’s starting XI. Given he ended the season a Champions League winner, nobody is writing him off on social media anymore.
Fabinho joined Liverpool from Monaco in 2018 and after a slow start, he has become one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. As solid as he is when deputising in defence, look at the chaos that ensues when you take him out of that midfield.
6. Georginio Wijnaldum
The whole point of Georginio Winjaldum – his vibe, if you will – is that he’s underrated. So we’re afraid he’s not allowed any higher than this.
(He is brilliant though.)
5. Alisson Becker
As we’ve seen with Alex Manninger, not being Loris Karius really helps on this list. Being a genuinely excellent goalkeeper also helps.
4. Sadio Mane
He scores goals, he copies his team-mate’s celebrations, he just seems like a really good laugh.
2020-21 hasn’t been a great campaign for Mane, far from it, but don’t forget how good he’s otherwise been.
3. Virgil van Dijk
“He’s our centre-half, he’s our number four, watch him defend and we watch him score. He can pass the ball, calm as you like, he’s Virgil van Dijk, he’s Virgil van Dijk.”
Good things come to those who wait, as Liverpool proved by biding their time to sign Van Dijk after an initial slap on the wrist from Southampton.
2. Andy Robertson
Okay, we’re taking into account value for money here, but it really is worth reminding yourself that Robertson – now one of the best players in the world in his position – cost £8million. £8million! In 2017! That’s enough to buy 15.4% of Benjamin Mendy.
1. Mohamed Salah
Klopp wanted to sign Julian Brandt instead only to be convinced Salah was the man to spearhead Liverpool’s attack by sporting director Michael Edwards.
Just look at the Thierry Henry-esque stats: 194 appearances, 121 goals, 45 assists, and the opening goal in a Champions League final victory.
Salah’s also been one of the few players to emerge from Liverpool’s 2020-21 with his reputation intact. The Egyptian is on track to finish as the Premier League’s top scorer in three of his four seasons at Liverpool.