The players Liverpool signed alongside Sadio Mane and how they fared
Sadio Mane joined Liverpool in July 2016 and has been worth every penny of his £30million transfer fee.
Like most Liverpool signings back then, Mane joined the club from Southampton. Unlike Rickie Lambert, the Senegal international became an integral part of an intimidating forward trio and won the Premier League and Champions League for the Reds.
But he was not the only player to arrive at Anfield that summer – Jurgen Klopp’s first as Reds manager. We’ve taken a look at the five other faces that joined Liverpool in the same window as Mane and how they fared.
Matip has been a classy contributor during his five years at Anfield – when he’s not been injured.
The free transfer from Schalke has never made more than 30 Premier League appearances in a single season, which has inhibited his chances of ever establishing himself as first choice in the centre of defence.
But the Cameroon international did start in the 2019 Champions League final and assisted Divok Origi’s late clincher with a subtle pass.
Matip remains at the club but the return of Virgil van Dijk and the signing of Ibrahima Konate has probably relegated him to the substitute’s bench for now.
Oh my word! 😮
A disaster for Loris Karius!
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 26, 2018
Forget spending £70million on a centre-back, sometimes all you need is a cheap and experienced defender who describes joining the club as “like winning the lottery”.
Klavan only cost Liverpool £4.2million from Augsberg and, despite once failing a trial with Sunderland (Sunderland!), he generally put in a good shift during his two years at Anfield.
Highlights included being named man of the match at Goodison in 2016 and scoring a last-minute winner away at Burnley in January 2018.
Liverpool have had far worse, that’s for sure.
Signing Manninger in 1996 would have been a decent signing. Signing him in 2016, when the goalkeeper was the footballing equivalent of a browning steak in Tesco’s reduced aisle, was… surprising.
Manninger was on Arsenal’s books when they won the Double in 1998 but failed to make an appearance for Liverpool and retired at the end of the 2016-17 season.
Perhaps Jurgen Klopp just couldn’t be arsed travelling outside of Bavaria – the 39-year-old was signed from Augsburg days after Klavan.
A real success.
After starring during Newcastle’s relegation season, Liverpool paid £30million to secure Wijnaldum and the Netherlands international quickly won over the fans with his all-action performances in midfield.
But Wijnaldum was underrated at Anfield for a reason – most of his good work went unnoticed by outsiders and a string of high-profile midfielders were linked with Liverpool, in a view to replacing him.
Despite his goal-scoring cameo during that night against Barcelona, Wijnaldum always looked likely to leave Liverpool at the end of his contract and he joined PSG in June 2021.
Speaking after his departure, Wijnaldum told The Guardian: “On social media, if we lost, I was the one who got the blame. There was a moment when I was like: ‘Wow. If they only knew what I was doing to stay fit and play every game.’
“Other players might have said: ‘OK, I am not fit.’ You get players in their last year who are like: ‘I’m not playing because it is a risk.’ I did the opposite.”
"We've built this Liverpool on his legs, lungs, brain and his huge, beautiful heart. If – and it is still if – he goes, he does so knowing we as his teammates are eternally grateful …"
Jurgen Klopp on Gini Wijnaldum in today's Liverpool programme ❤️pic.twitter.com/juCa6nSIyf
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 23, 2021