Jurgen Klopp’s first ever Liverpool starting line-up shows just how much he has transformed the club

Since succeeding Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager in 2015, Klopp has managed to transform the Reds from a team struggling to compete for trophies into one of the top teams in European football.

While Liverpool have lacked consistency in the early stages of this season, Klopp’s time in charge has been an undeniable success overall, with the German winning the Premier League, Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, the FA Cup and the League Cup. his time at Anfield.

Last season, his side came agonizingly close to an unprecedented quadruple before falling behind in the closing weeks of the season, with Manchester City winning the Premier League title just days before losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris .

Still, it’s been a remarkable turnaround for the Reds in recent years, with Klopp no ​​doubt the catalyst for their upturn in fortunes.

It took the German four years to win his first piece of silverware at Anfield when Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur in the 2019 Champions League final.

But that’s hardly surprising given the scale of the rebuild required since his arrival on Merseyside.

Klopp’s first game as Liverpool manager came against Tottenham in 2015 (Image: Alamy)

In his first game as Liverpool manager, a 0-0 draw away to Spurs in October 2015, Klopp started the following line-up: Simon Mignolet, Alberto Moreno, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana, Lucas Leiva, Emre Can. , Philippe Coutinho, James Milner and Divock Origi.

Only one player from that starting line-up still remains at Liverpool – vice-captain Milner.

Goalkeeper Mignolet lost his place in the team at the start of next season but would remain a back-up at Anfield until 2019 when he joined Club Brugge in Belgium.

Moreno would play a small role at Anfield before leaving in 2019 for Spanish side Villarreal.

Klopp allowed Skrtel to leave for Fenerbahce in 2016, while Sakho will join Crystal Palace in 2017 after a loan spell at Selhurst Park.

The match ended in a goalless draw at White Hart Lane (Image: Alamy)
The match ended in a goalless draw at White Hart Lane (Image: Alamy)

Clyne would remain at Liverpool until 2019 before leaving at the end of his contract, with the former England international later joining Palace.

Lallana would play an important role for Klopp in his first few seasons at Anfield and win both the Champions League and the Premier League before leaving in the summer of 2020 after his contract expired.

Fan favorite Lucas Leiva left in 2017 after 10 years at Liverpool, the Brazilian moving to Italian side Lazio.

Can would leave Anfield on acrimonious terms in 2018, rejecting a contract offer to join Juventus on a free transfer, while Coutinho was sold to Barcelona for £142m in 2018 – a move that helped fund Virgil’s crucial signings van Dyck and Allison.

Liverpool's starting line-up against Spurs (Image: Alamy)
Liverpool’s starting line-up against Spurs (Image: Alamy)

Meanwhile, cult hero Origi left Liverpool this summer to join AC Milan, ending his eight-year spell with the Premier League side.

When you compare the squad that faced Tottenham in 2016 with Liverpool’s current squad, it’s clear how impressive a job Klopp has done since arriving on Merseyside – especially when you compare the club’s net spend with the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United United.

Earlier this week, Klopp was asked to reflect on the problems he faced when he first arrived at Liverpool.

“I can’t remember the problems anymore. Let me look at it, I think, OK, what were the problems? I didn’t have any players that week for training and we had to play Tottenham at the weekend – that was a big problem, to be honest,” Klopp said.

Klopp has won many trophies with Liverpool (Image: Alamy)
Klopp has won many trophies with Liverpool (Image: Alamy)

“But I only came on Wednesday and Thursday and we played on Saturday, was it an early kick-off too? Of course, that was my problem, I’m not comparing.

“It doesn’t matter what it was seven years ago, it really doesn’t.”

Klopp is clearly focusing on the here and now. His side face Premier League leaders Arsenal at the Emirates next Sunday, knowing that a defeat would likely dash their hopes of a title challenge this season.

But whether or not Liverpool could clinch major silverware this season, there is no doubt that Klopp will go down as one of the greatest managers in the club’s history.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *