Konate next? The 14 players Liverpool have got from Bundesliga since 2000
Liverpool are reportedly trying to sign Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, but how have their previous imports from the Bundesliga fared over the years?
Konate is regarded as one of the best young centre-backs in Europe and has a £34million release clause in his Leipzig contract.
We’ve taken a look at the 14 players Liverpool have signed from the Bundesliga since 2000 to see how their imports from Germany have generally fared.
After Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip were all sidelined with injuries, Liverpool signed Kabak six-month loan deal in February 2021.
The centre-back had a calamitous debut for the Reds as he collided with Alisson Becker and gifted Leicester’s Jamie Vardy the easiest goal of his career.
He’s since recovered from that rocky start but Liverpool’s interest in Konate could be a problem for the Turkey international.
Having played an integral role in Bayern Munich’s treble success in 2019-20, Thiago arrived in Merseyside with a big reputation.
But the Spain international is yet to live up to expectations at Anfield, winning just eight of his first 19 matches in a Liverpool shirt.
“I don’t read a word about what people talk about me,” Thiago told TNT Sports in March 2021. “I know that I receive some criticism about my performances, but I’m not happy with my performance since I came here.
“A new club, a strange situation, I had a strong injury, so get to into the rhythm it was hard, but it’s not an excuse.”
Liverpool spent £48million to bring Keita to the club from Red Bull Salzburg in 2018 and big things were expected of the midfielder.
The 26-year-old has shown flashes of brilliance, but injuries have hampered his time in England so far, and he has often found himself in and out of the team.
Karius joined Liverpool from Mainz 05 in a £4.75million deal in 2016 and eventually replaced Simon Mignolet as their first-choice goalkeeper.
But the 27-year-old made some very high profile mistakes, most notably in Liverpool’s 2018 Champions League final loss to Real Madrid.
The German hasn’t played for the Reds since, spending two seasons on loan at Besiktas before joining Union Berlin on a temporary deal.
“I still have a contract with Liverpool until 2022. But of course, I can imagine staying in Berlin if everything fits,” Karius told Sport Bild in March 2021.
“I’m not just passing through here. The mentality of the people and the spirit of the team are good for me. I’m basically a down-to-earth guy, even if I drive an expensive car.”
After some impressive performances for FC Augsburg, Klavan signed for the Reds in 2016 and made 53 appearances during his two-year spell on Merseyside.
Virgil van Dijk’s arrival in January 2018 saw the Estonia international fall down the pecking order, and he joined Cagliari in search of regular first-team football.
Manninger was released by FC Augsburg in 2016 and decided to re-unite with Klavan at Liverpool, signing a short-term contract with the club.
The goalkeeper failed to make a single first-team appearance for the Reds and retired from professional football in 2017.
After rejecting a new contract from Schalke, Matip joined Liverpool on a free transfer in 2016 and became one of Jurgen Klopp’s first signings at Anfield.
The centre-back has gone from strength to strength over the last few years, establishing himself in the XI during the Reds’ run to Champions League glory in 2018-19.
Injury problems have halted his progress in the past couple of years but, more importantly, he’s still been able to provide Liverpool fans with plenty of entertainment.
Firmino signed from Hoffenheim in 2015, but Liverpool didn’t see the best of him until Klopp arrived at Anfield a few months later.
The striker has become an integral part of their incredible front three, helping the club win the Champions League and Premier League in the space of 12 months.
“Journalists told me he hadn’t scored for a while, but the thing about Bobby is that I don’t think about scoring,” Klopp said in 2019.
“He is the connector for our team, he is so important for us. He is the only one who can play the position, and he plays the position in a very special way.”
While he has endured a difficult 2020-21, Firmino is undoubtedly one of their best-ever signings.
Can joined Liverpool from Bayer Leverkusen in 2014 and eventually became one of the first names on Klopp’s team sheet.
The Germany international had a taste for scoring spectacular goals and famously won the 2016-17 Premier League Goal of the Season for his strike against Watford.
But the 27-year-old allowed his contract to run down in 2018 before signing for Serie A giants Juventus on a free transfer.
🗓 OTD in 2014 the Reds signed Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen for £10m.
⭕️ 167 appearances
⚽️ 14 goals
🚲 Including this 2016/17 Goal of the Season effort against Watford!
Shame he arrogantly left for Juve to win trophies – how's that CL title going? pic.twitter.com/2J2CizQe4U
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) July 3, 2019
Hand-picked by Brendan Rodgers as one for the future, Yesil left Bayer Leverkusen and signed for Liverpool in a £1million deal in 2012.
The striker had a host of injury problems and made just two League Cup appearances for the Reds before getting released in 2016.
Liverpool signed Degen on a free transfer from Borussia Dortmund in 2008, but he was hampered by a series of injury problems.
The defender broke two of his ribs and punctured his lung on his competitive debut for the Reds before breaking his metatarsal in his next appearance.
“It is the saddest event of my life – I keep asking myself if I did something wrong in a past life,” Degen said after another injury setback in 2011.
He made just seven Premier League appearances during his three years at the club and was released in 2011.
After rejecting a new contract at Bayer Leverkusen, Voronin joined Liverpool alongside Fernando Torres in 2007, but the pair had contrasting fortunes at Anfield.
The former Ukraine international scored six goals in 40 appearances in all competitions and was sold to Dynamo Moscow in 2010.
Liverpool fought hard to sign Diarra from Bayern Munich in 2002, with manager Gerard Houllier comparing him to Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira.
After three years on loan in France, the defensive midfielder joined Lens on a permanent deal in 2005, having never made a first-team appearance for the Reds.
After six successful years at Bayern Munich, Babbel joined Liverpool in 2000 and helped the club win three trophies in his debut season, scoring against Alaves in the UEFA Cup final.
But his Liverpool career was forced to a sudden halt when he was diagnosed with Guillain–Barre syndrome ahead of the 2001-02 campaign.
The right-back returned after 15 months but failed to win back his place in the side, and was eventually sold to Stuttgart in 2004.