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Liverpool’s Top Five Jürgen Klopp Signings Ranked

Happy Klopp Anniversary Week! Let’s look back at the top five best player signings of Klopp’s Anfield career.

Leicester City v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

This week marks the three year anniversary of Jürgen Klopp becoming manager of Liverpool Football Club. Klopp’s influence has brought about many changes at the club, but one of the biggest changes is the type and calibre of player that the club has brought on since his arrival. Three seasons of transfer windows have only produced a handful of duds, and his massive success rate has helped to once again make Liverpool Football Club one of the most feared teams in all of Europe.

Let’s look back at Klopp’s top five best player signings since he took control of the Reds. “Best” here is determined by a combination of the cost of the player, the smoothness of the transfer, and the size of the hole being filled in the team.

5. Sadio Mané

Procured from Southampton for £30m in the summer of 2016, the choice of Mané came as a surprise to many fans who had their hearts set on Mario Götze joining Liverpool instead. It’s hard to believe that there was a time when £30m felt like overpaying for a player who just recently made the 30-player shortlist for this year’s Ballon d’Or. Mané’s instant connection with Roberto Firmino very quickly cemented him as an integral cog in the machine that Klopp was slowly building. His whopper of a goal in his first Premier League match against Arsenal paired with his entertaining personality immediately endeared him to the Anfield faithful.

4. Alisson Becker

Finally, finally Liverpool Football Club found itself a world class goalkeeper in the form of Brazilian shot stopper Alisson. He arrived from AS Roma for £66m, breaking the transfer record for a goalkeeper. For what he offers the team, that money feels like a steal, but it was still a hefty sum for the club to put out. It got them their man, but it also made a statement that Klopp was serious about this project and the club is willing to give him the money he needs to get the players he deems necessary. Alisson hasn’t yet played enough games with the team to get him higher up on this list. Hopefully his strong performances remain consistent, and Liverpool have themselves a stalwart goalkeeper for the best part of the next decade. He is also the second player on this list currently on the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist. And speaking of...

3. Mohamed Salah

If we’re talking pure value for money, there’s no better example of that here than our Egyptian King. If Roma gauged Liverpool a bit to get Alisson, it’s only fair because buying Salah from them for only £35m the summer before was pretty much highway robbery. In his first season at Anfield, Salah got himself a boss song, and broke just about every record there was to break in the Premier League, including the most goals scored in a single season. Voted Premier League Player of the Year and also the African Player of the Year, among a host of other individual honors, Salah is the final player on this list to make the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist, and the one with the best shot of lifting the trophy. Salah massively exceeded expectations in his first season — probably quadrupling his price tag in the process. He’s not higher on the list because for years it hadn’t been Liverpool’s attack that needed fixing. At the point when Salah arrived, Klopp already had the likes of Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino, Emre Can, and Philippe Coutinho at his disposal. While his presence in Liverpool’s attacking triad has proved invaluable, that wasn’t the biggest problem that needed addressing that summer.

2. Virgil van Dijk

The biggest problem that Klopp needed to address was, of course, Liverpool’s defense. Year after year, the team’s leaky back line was a source of consternation for fans and humor for our rivals. It was clear that the Reds’ inability to avoid conceding goals was the final barrier keeping them from reaching the next level. Enter Virgil van Dijk. Maybe Klopp and the transfer committee’s most complicated transfer to date, they managed to fudge it up a bit, and the Dutchman didn’t get to don Liverpool red until January of 2018. Southampton also punished Liverpool by placing a huge price tag on his head. But what’s a measly £75m when it means you get the best central defender in the league — and maybe all of Europe? Van Dijk stamped his presence on this team immediately, and suddenly it has never been less stressful to be a Liverpool fan than it has these past ten months or so with his guarding the goal.

And finally, the best Jürgen Klopp signing for Liverpool is...

1. Andy Robertson

Andy Robertson?” you may find yourself asking. “Ahead of Salah and van Dijk? How?” It’s simple. He checks all of the boxes in the very scientific algorithm for what makes the best transfer. His fee? A mere £8m was all it took to pry the Scotsman away from Hull City in the summer of 2017. That is madness. That’s pocket change. Give me a solid couple of decades, and I could probably come up with £8m. Then there’s the smoothness of the transfer. No one even batted an eye when Robbo showed up on Merseyside. There was no bidding war, no long, drawn out process, no airing of grievances to the press. Liverpool wanted Robertson, so they just went ahead and got him. And finally, there was the issue of the hole he was filling in the team. Left-back, left-back, left-back. For years, that was Liverpool’s main problem area. Klopp tried to tourniquet the wound with trusty James Milner in the role when it became clear that Alberto Moreno wasn’t going to cut it. But it wasn’t until Robertson broke into the team that Klopp finally had a steady, trustworthy, talented, inexhaustible figure in that once seemingly impossible-to-fill role. If it weren’t for Benjamin Mendy, Andy Robertson would categorically be the best left-back in the league. And I’m willing to argue that he gives Mendy a run for his money (literally). Who — besides perhaps Klopp — would have guessed that when he arrived at Melwood to zero fanfare?

Now have your say. How do you rank Klopp’s signings? Does Gini Wijnaldum break your top five? Does Naby Keïta? Let us know in the comments what you think.

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