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Jurgen Klopp’s Top Five “Klopp Players”

Klopp has a knack of bringing out the best in all of us, but these players in particular thrived under the gaffer.

Leicester City v Liverpool - Premier League - King Power Stadium Photo by Nigel French/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

What defines a “Klopp player?” For me, this is a player Klopp was able to identify their raw, unpolished talent, and mold them from an average-to-good player, to an indispensable, truly world class—arguably the best in the world in their position—one. As such, the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker do not qualify for this list; they were already nearly at the peak of their powers when they arrived on Merseyside.

With Kloppo in charge of the Mighty Reds, we saw otherwise overlooked and unheralded players become global superstars of the sport.

We saw players that wouldn’t get a chance at other “big clubs” become an integral part of an all-conquering Liverpool side that became English, European, and World Champions. We saw players who were written off by other clubs or other managers become The Man For The Moment at Liverpool, and helped us achieve the highest honors.

This all is due in large part to the man himself. Kloppo created a culture at Liverpool based on hard work and meritocracy. He built a squad where everyone felt valued, and every pulled together, to the best of their ability. He took the talent that players had, and made them better at exploiting their strengths, and hiding their weaknesses. And, most importantly, he knew how to manage player’s psyches to keep them focused and motivated.

Liverpool’s transfer success under Klopp is no accident. Yes, we have the laptop gurus, but so do other clubs. Klopp showed an uncanny ability to work with any player we brought in to get the best out of them.

We have seen some failed transfers, such as Timo Werner or Moisés Caicedo struggle at other clubs. Some have pointed to these transfers as “lucky” for Liverpool. But I disagree. I think if Werner, Caicedo, or others who chose poorly had chosen Liverpool instead, Klopp would’ve gotten the best out of them.

That’s enough rambling for now. Here’s the list:

1. Andy Robertson

Robbo was an unheralded signing, for a paltry £8 million from relegated Hull City. He is now widely regarded as one of the best left backs in the world. It’s funny to think back on it, but Robbo was being kept out of the side by Alberto Moreno, but once the Scottish fullback grabbed the shirt, he never let it go.

Robertson has become one of the leaders of the dressing room, and has become a fan favorite because of his humor, work rate, and incredible shithousery. It’s hard to think of a player who accomplished so much, who came in with such low expectations. And one who constantly proves the haters wrong as Andy Robertson. He is the quintessential “Klopp Player.”

2. Roberto Firmino

Ah, the striker that Brendan Rodgers didn’t even want.

When Klopp came in, Firmino had either been riding the bench or played at right wing back under his predecessor. Klopp immediately saw that Firmino was the perfect false 9 for his squad; he moved him up top, gave him the #9 shirt, and he soon started scoring bangers and teeing up his teammates left, right, and center. The rest is history.

There’s something that the Kop wants you to know, the best in the world is Bobby Firmino.

3. Mohamed Salah

The narrative surrounding Salah’s signing was that Liverpool were signing a Chelsea flop. Then he scored 44 goals in all competitions and nearly fired Liverpool to a Champions League title. Then the narrative was “once season wonder.” He has scored 204 goals and added 82 assists. And counting.

Does Salah achieve such greatness at another club, under another manager? Given his decent but not spectacular numbers at Roma before coming to Liverpool, and his lackluster season at Chelsea, I think it’s fair to say that Mo wouldn’t be Mo without Klopp.

4. Trent Alexander-Arnold

Trent made his debut under Klopp in October 2016, and less than a year later he was curling in a free kick in Champions League qualification, for a Champions League season he would go on to start in the final. It was a meteoric rise to stardom for Trent, and he still has so much more to show at Liverpool. However, not many managers would trust a youngster like Klopp trusted Trent. And that trust has been repaid many times over.

5. Divock Origi

Origi certainly has had an interesting career, hasn’t he? Even during Klopp’s reign, he was in and out of the side. He was integral to getting to the Europa League final in Klopp’s first season, and the Reds might’ve won it if he had been healthy. But then he was loaned out, and seemed to be out of the squad for good, until he came out, quite out of the blue, against The Blues, to score the most improbable late winner in football history.

Origi became The Man for The Moment, especially in 2018/19. He scored a brace in a do or die elimination match vs. Barcelona, including the unforgettable “Corner taken quickly.” And then he scored a late goal to clinch Liverpool’s sixth European Cup.

Klopp could’ve given up on Origi on any number of occasions, but Big Div was ready when called upon. The perfect squad player, and incredible man management.

Honorable mentions: James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum, Sadio Mane, Curtis Jones, Adrian, Adam Lallana.

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