With Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrating his four-year anniversary at Anfield, we look back at the German’s first starting line-up and where the players are now…
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Perhaps, the one who got away? Signed in the summer of 2014, Can showed flashes of brilliance under Klopp – a wonder goal away at Watford sticks in the memory – and grew to become one of Liverpool’s first-choice midfielders in Klopp’s first two seasons at Anfield. The midfielder scored the first goal of the Klopp era, netting in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.
He continued to flourish under Klopp during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons, but with talks over a new contract stalling, his future at the club was thrown into doubt. By March 2018, Can had scored six goals but an injury threatened to ruin his season. He did return to feature in Liverpool’s Champions League defeat to Real Madrid, but it proved to be last appearance for the club before a move to Juventus. The 25-year-old ended his first season as a Serie A title winner, but with competition for places fierce in Turin he found himself left out of Juve’s Champions League squad this season.
Lucas Leiva was already old hat by the time Klopp arrived, having joined Liverpool back in 2007. He was handed the captain’s armband against Crystal Palace a month after the new manager joined, but the arrival of Georginio Wijnaldum the following summer saw him pushed down the pecking order.
Only making 12 starts in 2016/17 proved too much for the Brazilian to deal with, and he was sold to Lazio for £5m.
Lallana flourished with the attacking licence given by Klopp, picking up six assists during the German’s first season at the helm, and another seven the year after, when he also netted eight league goals.
Injuries have devastated his club career ever since, starting only six league games in the intervening two-and-a-bit years. Lallana did come on from the bench on Saturday against Leicester as he continues his comeback from another setback, but poor physical health may have stolen what could have been a bright few years under Klopp from the former Southampton man.
A key figure at Anfield when Klopp arrived, Coutinho remained one of the first names on the team sheet for the remainder of the German’s first season with Liverpool. He went on to score 12 goals in all competitions during the 2015/16 season and continued his excellent form under Klopp, producing thirteen goals in 31 games in the following campaign.
Coutinho’s importance at Liverpool was recognised when he signed a new long-term deal with the club in January 2017, but Barcelona eventually came calling and just a year later he was on his way to the Nou Camp in a staggering deal worth £142m. However, the Brazilian failed to make the same kind of impact he made at Anfield in Spain, and this summer he was sent on loan to Bayern Munich, where he has scored two goals in his eight appearances so far this season.
Chosen essentially by default with Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge both ruled out, Origi nearly took full advantage of his starting berth when he struck the bar with an early header on Klopp’s debut.
Since then, Origi has proven a useful squad player for Klopp, scoring seven times from 14 league starts the following season before spending 2017/18 on loan at Wolfsburg. But if that suggested he might be on his way out of Anfield, his performances last season had him back in the door.
A last-minute winner in the Merseyside derby, another late winner at Newcastle and goals in the Champions League semi-final and final earned him a new long-term contract at Anfield earlier this year.
Joe Allen – A favourite of departing boss Brendan Rodgers, Allen found life tough going in the all-action approach Klopp adopted in the early days of his Liverpool career. A number of hamstring injuries did little to help him impress the new manager, and he moved to Stoke for £13m the following summer.
Jordon Ibe – Ibe enjoyed what looked like it might be a breakthrough season in some of Klopp’s first year in charge at Anfield, but it proved a false dawn as he was deemed surplus to requirements and shipped out to Bournemouth for a healthy £15m. Having made his first-team bow the year before, Ibe started 10 of the 30 league games Klopp presided over in his first campaign, but managed just two assists and one goal from 27 appearances – and his time was up.
Klopp’s reign in numbers
Here a look at some of the numbers from Jurgen Klopp’s four-year reign at Anfield…
221 – number of games played in all competitions.
320 – points won in the Premier League from 152 matches at an average of 2.11 per game.
146 – the number of games it took Klopp to record 300 league points – the fewest required by any of the club’s managers.
458 – goals scored in all competitions – averaging 2.07 goals per game, the highest ratio by any Reds manager in the last 123 years.
58.82 – win percentage (130 in 221 games), bettered only by one previous Liverpool manager – John McKenna (69.44).
92 – wins in Klopp’s first 150 Premier League games, more than any other Liverpool manager.
44 – average number of minutes between Liverpool goals (458 goals in 20,010 minutes).
43 – number of occasions Klopp’s side have scored four goals or more in a game.
14 – number of Premier League teams Klopp is unbeaten against.