Thiago next? The nine players Liverpool have signed from the Bundesliga
Liverpool are being heavily linked with a move for Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara but they’ve had mixed success with their imports from Germany over the years.
Thiago is regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world, and he has entered the final 12 months of his contract with the German side.
We’ve taken a look at the nine players Liverpool have signed from the Bundesliga since 2000 to see how their imports from Germany have generally fared.
Liverpool spent £48million to bring Keita to the club from Red Bull Salzburg in 2018 and big things were expected of the midfielder.
The 25-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 £4.75 million 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 has spent the last two seasons on loan at Besiktas, but he believes his immediate future remains with Klopp’s side.
“I can move forward in training at Liverpool. As the second-choice goalkeeper in England you know that you get your chances,” Karius told Transfermarkt in June 2020.
“I am currently at the best club in the world, play for titles, have the highest level around me every day in training. I am fully aware that I am in a good position to be in Liverpool. I have great conditions there.”
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 has gone from strength to strength over the last few years, establishing himself in the XI during their run to Champions League glory in 2018-19.
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.”
Can joined Liverpool from Bayer Leverkusen in 2014 and the midfielder 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 26-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
Liverpool signed Degen on a free transfer from Borussia Dortmund in 2008, but he was 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 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.