Where are they now? Liverpool’s young FA Cup XI from Klopp’s first season

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Liverpool celebrate Philippe Coutinho goal in FA Cup fourth-round replay at West Ham

Jurgen Klopp led Liverpool to the League Cup and Europa League finals in his first season at Anfield – but a second-string side exited the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Angelo Ogbonna’s extra-time header saw the Reds dumped out at the hands of West Ham United in a midweek replay at Upton Park, with Klopp making 10 changes to the team he had picked in the Premier League at the weekend.

Just one of the starting XI from that day is still at the club, emphasising the amount of change we’ve seen under the former Borussia Dortmund boss. Here’s what they’re all up to now.

Simon Mignolet

Mignolet lasted longer than many fans expected before finally departing Liverpool in the summer to return to his native Belgium with Club Brugge.

Jon Flanagan

The local lad was no longer a fixture in the side by 2016, with injuries preventing him from building on a breakthrough 2013-14 campaign – this was one of just eight appearances in a season in which he was very much a backup.

After two loan spells away from Anfield, as well as being sentenced for common assault, Flanagan made an eventual exit to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers in the summer of 2018.

The full-back has played semi-regularly in his first season for the Scottish side but has struggled with injuries once again in 2019-20.

Tiago Ilori

Liverpool fought hard to sign Ilori, winning the battle to bring the English-born Portuguese defender over from Sporting in 2013, but he had to wait until the 2015-16 season for his first-team debut.

The trip to Upton Park would mark the last time he appeared in a Liverpool shirt, moving to Reading in January 2017 and playing for the Royals in the Championship play-off final.

In January 2019, three years since his final game in red, the 25-year-old returned to Sporting to be reunited with his former Liverpool colleague Sebastián Coates.

Lucas Leiva

The Brazilian midfielder was forced to fill in at centre-back in east London after Dejan Lovren and Steven Caulker had started the first game at Anfield.

After 10 years of service on Merseyside, Lucas moved to Lazio in 2017 and has already become a fan favourite in Rome.

READ: Seven reasons why Lucas will always be loved by Liverpool fans and players

Brad Smith

Smith surprisingly played a whole 10 times for Liverpool and even more surprisingly scored for the club (against Exeter City, but it still counts).

He also started the trend of Bournemouth giving Liverpool big money for players they could have probably signed for a lot less, and has yet to reach double figures for league appearances since joining the Cherries in 2016.

Smith, an Australian international, spent time on loan at Seattle Sounders and is now on loan in the Championship with Cardiff city.

Jordon Ibe

The other man from the starting XI to end up on the south coast, Ibe was considerably more expensive when he linked up with Eddie Howe.

The former Wycombe man had joined Liverpool just after his 16th birthday, and there was a bit of a surprise when he was allowed to leave, even if it was for £15million.

With just 48 minutes of Premier League football to his name this term, Liverpool needn’t have worried.

READ: The six fringe players Liverpool have sold in three seasons for £10m+

Kevin Stewart

Young midfielder Stewart, a product of Tottenham’s academy, got a fair crack of the whip in Klopp’s first season and was even given Premier League run-outs against Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea and Leicester the following campaign.

However, with Gini Wijnaldum arriving in the summer of 2016 and going straight into the first team, Stewart’s time would soon be up.

He left Anfield for Hull City in 2017 and has outlasted a fair few managers during his three years with the Tigers.

Pedro Chirivella

The wildcard within a group of wildcards, Chirivella was making his first ever Reds start in the middle of midfield at Upton Park.

After impressing in that game, he was handed a new contract and a first Premier League start that same season, and the new deal is still running.

Having made a series of loan moves, the midfielder has made a surprise resurgence in recent months at Anfield as one of the more ‘experienced’ members of Klopp’s new batch of youngsters given cup outings.

Joao Carlos Teixeira

A six-figure signing from the Sporting academy, Joao Carlos arrived in 2012 with high expectations and made his Premier League debut during the 16-game unbeaten run which took Liverpool within touching distance of the 2013-14 title.

However, by January 2016 he hadn’t pushed on all that much, enjoying a fruitful loan spell with Brighton but only hovering around the fringes upon his return.

The Portuguese played seven times under Klopp, including one run-out in the Europa League, but returned to his homeland with Porto that summer and has since moved on to Vitoria Guimaraes.

Philippe Coutinho

Whatever happened to him? Oh, yeah, right.

Liverpool’s goalscorer at Upton Park, with a lovely under-the-wall free-kick, stuck around until January 2018 when Barcelona and their deep pockets came calling.

The £142million man is now on loan at Bayern Munich after things really didn’t go to plan at the Camp Nou.

Christian Benteke

Perhaps the biggest victim of the managerial change, Benteke may well have thrived if Brendan Rodgers hadn’t been replaced by Klopp just months after the Belgian’s arrival.

The striker scored seven goals before the turn of the year in his first season, but it soon became clear he wasn’t the right fit for the new head coach.

Now in his fourth season at Crystal Palace, it’s all gone a little sad.


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