Jürgen Klopp has been Liverpool manager for seven years now, won every trophy on offer, and seen players come and go for the Reds. This summer, though, feels a little bit different with the breaking up of his famous front three departures of multiple players who have been key parts of the team for years.
The attack of Roberto Firmino flanked by Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah hadn’t played the same kind of role in 2021-22 as past seasons, but it was the departure of Mané that ensured it would never play together again. There was also the departure of forwards Divock Origi, at Liverpool from before Klopp, and Takumi Minamino.
“We are very thankful to the boys,” Klopp said when asked about the now ex-Reds who have departed this summer. “Their contribution was outstanding—all in a slightly different way. Div was here before me, out on loan and stuff like this, but had an incredibly successful spell here, even when I didn’t play him that often.
“I said it often enough: my fault, and a little bit all of the quality in the squad. But he is a Liverpool legend definitely. When you think about Divock, you cannot avoid a smile, because so many great moments were only possible because of him. The goals against Everton, Champions League, the final. Absolutely great.”
Origi’s cult hero status thanks to those goals in the Champions League and against Everton over the years means he will never be forgotten by Liverpool fans, but for many the most significant departure is Mané’s as Liverpool now look to a future with Darwin Núñez, Luis Diaz, and Diogo Jota alongside Salah and Firmino.
“What can we say about Sadio?” Klopp continued on the departed Senegalese star. “What a player. A world-class player. He and we together reinvented him as a nine as well in the last season, which he played outstandingly well. I like the way it happened now because it was completely clean.
“We knew, he told us, his agent told us they wanted to leave, they wanted to have a new challenge, find a new club. So, as well a Liverpool legend, one of the all-time Premier League greats, I would say a fantastic person as well. He is very thankful for all the things we did, and we are very thankful. Now he is at another club.”
By comparison, Minamino perhaps wasn’t at Liverpool as long as Mané or Origi and didn’t make the contributions to league and European triumphs that they did, but without his goals the Reds wouldn’t have won the domestic cup double last season—ensuring he too will be remembered in coming seasons by Liverpool fans.
“And then Taki,” Klopp concluded. “Not that long here but a similar influence on the things we did. Won big trophies here. We became champions together when he came in the winter and then we won the domestic cups together, which we wouldn’t have won without him, that’s the 100 per cent truth.
“Now Monaco, a good club, he will play there, will have a great career. He will always be welcome when he comes back, 100 per cent, a fantastic person. Players [leave] and you bring other players in, and now we are very excited about the new team.”