Jürgen Klopp has been very meticulous in signing players, not wanting to spend big money on a purchase unless he is totally content with how they will fit his cohesive unit. With that in mind, ahead of what may be a frantic summer window linked with all sorts of players, how do we feel Klopp has performed in windows that have passed?
Thanks Oli Greenwood for this guest post!
Signed for just over £5m in January 2016, Grujić was Klopp’s first official signing – before being loaned back to Red Star Belgrade until the summer. It seems too early to make a judgement on the young Serbian due to restricted game time. His loan spell to Cardiff has shown he has ability, but whether he can establish himself in Liverpool’s first team is yet to be seen.
A young goalkeeper signed for £300,000, yet to make a senior appearance. May not ever crack the first team and could potentially seek a loan move to the lower echelons of English football to prove his ability.
The first major signing on this list, and the first to be seen as a resounding success. One of the many Southampton players to have joined Liverpool in the last few years, question marks were raised when Liverpool made a £30m move in June 2016 – before the major inflation of prices 12 months later. Mané now looks to be a bargain after scoring 13 goals in his debut season last year. Mané plays a major part in our front three that performs so well together, and despite a dip in form mid season this year, he has since rediscovered his best form and will look to end the season well.
Signed for just under £5m on the back of a great season with Mainz 05, Karius struggled to settle and usurp Simon Mignolet last season. Karius has made tremendous strides this year, questioning whether a new goalkeeper is in fact our priority in the summer window. Karius would have surely been a lower rating had this list been compiled 3 months ago, but on the basis of his recent performance and his potential he warrants a higher rating. Karius was a very cheap signing in today’s market, and should he continue to improve he could prove to be a wonderful bargain.
It’s difficult to ever begrudge a free transfer, but we wouldn’t be wrong in saying we’d hoped for slightly better from Matip. Certainly not a bad signing, and he is still relatively young at 26 to be able to make a success of his career on Merseyside. He and Dejan Lovren have been rotating at the back to partner Virgil Van Dijk, and whilst both have been hot and cold in the side, it can’t be questioned that for sheer value and potential, Matip has still been a decent signing.
Signed for FC Augsburg for £4.2m, Klavan has been an understudy, prepared to step in when injuries hit our starting defenders. Klavan is quietly competent and does the job required in an understated way, aside from his step over antics when in space at the back. Klavan gets an extra 0.5 for just the goal vs Burnley this season.
Not much to say about this signing really. Brought in to be a third choice keeper and to help in the coaching setup. It seems harsh to give Manninger any rating at all due to his lack of involvement.
Georginio Wijnaldum, or rather Gini, has had a peculiar time on Merseyside. He regularly performs in big games at Anfield, and disappears when away from home far too regularly. There is no doubting Gini is wonderful on the ball, and certainly works hard. It is yet unclear if he has warranted his £25m fee, but as aforementioned with Karius and Matip, there is still time for Gini to make a true mark for the reds. A very likeable character also.
What can be said about the Egyptian King that hasn’t been said already? Our best signing since Luis Suárez, and possibly our best in the Premier League era in terms of sheer impact. The first player to hit 40 goals in a season since Rush, a potential goalscoring record setter with 30 goals in the league, one behind the record, with four games to play. Salah has been one of the best players in the league this season, and hopefully he can continue his form beyond the World Cup into next season so we can continue waxing lyrical.
Dominic Solanke works hard, and is unlucky to have not scored for us so far this season. He will continue to develop and work hard in the future, and hopefully once he ends his drought, the floodgates will open. Solanke could do with being the main man for a year and to get a run of games out on loan somewhere. Still, a lot of potential in this young lad and he will hopefully come good for Liverpool.
The best left back in the league this season? He’s certainly a viable shout. Robbo has it all, defends well, attacks well, presses well, crosses well and is…well, frankly brilliant. Nobody would have expected the £8m signing from relegated Hull to grow such a great player for us this year. Robbo has single handedly made our most vulnerable position one of our most comfortable. My personal highlight was his press against Manchester City in the 4-3 victory that led him all the way to their left back. Long may Andy Roberto Carlos continue his performances.
Subject to ridicule at the £35m price tag, and his desire to play in central midfield. How wrong they were. Ox has become a phenomenon at Liverpool – from handling interviews with Philippe Coutinho with class and professionalism, to getting better with each and every passing performance. Possibly on course for a starting role for England at the World Cup, Ox has truly rejuvenated his career at Liverpool and looks to be a versatile starter for us for a long time.
Virgil Van Dijk
The final signing Klopp has made thus far, and what a signing he has been. Van Dijk has totally absolved Liverpool’s defensive woes, and it is no surprise that Lovren and Karius have both started performing better since Van Dijk has arrived. The Dutchman commanded quite a hefty fee, £75m, but has proven to be worth every penny. Van Dijk will only get better, and as we strengthen our side in the coming windows, VVD could become yet more integral to our spine.
Average Rating: 7.9
From immediate all stars, to young talent still needing to be nurtured and developed, Liverpool have been especially productive in recent transfer windows. Although fans often clamour for marquee signings, Liverpool have quietly built a cohesive side whilst maintaining the lowest net spend of the top 6. Klopp hasn’t made a bad signing yet, and long may that continue.