Ranking Liverpool's 5 greatest transfers under Jurgen Klopp
There are few football managers in the 21st century that have done what Jurgen Klopp has at Liverpool. The German took over the reins at what is essentially a sleeping giant and oversaw an evolution of the team to fit the image of his football. They went from chasing UEFA Champions League spots on the Premier League table to defending the European crown with honour.
He took a side consisting the likes of Adam Lallana, Alberto Moreno, Lucas Leiva, Emre Can and many more figures of Liverpool's yesteryear and replaced them gradually and discreetly with talents he saw fit to wear the red of Liverpool with pride. From dubious line-ups featuring sub-standard players, he now leads of a squad boasting of former PFA Player of the Year winner Mohamed Salah, defending Player of the Year and Ballon d'Or runner up Virgil van Dijk, Champions League Golden Glove winner Alisson Becker, and many more stellar names.
Despite Liverpool's numerous smart decisions in the transfer market, some transfers went on to define the way the European champions play and have gone on to cement their legacies as modern Merseyside icons.
We take a look at 5 of Liverpool's best signings under the Jurgen Klopp era, based on how much the players have contributed to the Reds' recent success and how integral they are to the side.
Honourable mention: Gini Wijnaldum
Reported fee: €27.50m
Gini Wijnaldum's transformation under Klopp has been unbelievable. From a relatively inconsistent attacking midfielder from a relegation-threatened Newcastle United side, the German maximised key aspects of the Dutchman's strengths and turned him into a phenomenal all-round midfield player. From ball retention to composed handling of the ball in midfield duels to the odd goal, Wijnaldum has a 'Jack of all trades, master of none' feel to him and is sure to be a key member of Klopp's plans heading in the future.
Klopp's decision to introduce the 29-year-old into the fray in place of Andy Robertson in the Champions League semi-final return leg at home to Barcelona proved to be s stroke of genius as Wijnaldum went on to be the catalyst for an unlikely Liverpool comeback. The former Newcastle man has been a great acquisition for the Reds.
5. Andy Robertson
Reported fee: €9m
The rise of Andy Robertson over the last decade has been nothing short of astounding. After coming through the ranks at Queen's Park Rangers, the Scottish left-back made his way to a Champions League-winning Reds side after stints at Dundee United and, more famously, a relegated Hull City.
Robertson plays with his heart on his sleeve and along with fellow full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold he has gone on to typify Klopp's Liverpool. Both work tirelessly to provide the Premier League leaders with width on the pitch, enabling the likes of Sadio Mane and Salah to drift infield. They also provide them with an incredible attacking outlet for the Merseyside club, with Robertson and Alexander-Arnold providing 11 and 12 assists respectively in the 2018/19 Premier League season.
The coming of age of Robertson was a timely gift for Liverpool amid Moreno's stock hitting rock bottom among the Anfield faithful. The Spaniard almost single-handedly cost Klopp from lifting his first European trophy at Liverpool in Basel, where they eventually came out second best to Unai Emery's Sevilla in the 2016 UEFA Europa League Final.
From nearly a nobody to arguably the most complete left-back in the world, Andy Robertson has come a long, long way since signing for Liverpool. From a Championship chaser to a Champions League winner, the Scottish captain grew in stature and has established himself as one of the best defenders in the world.
At 25 years of age, he has plenty left to offer the European Champions.