Football Features

Every Liverpool signing made by Jurgen Klopp ranked

By J Smith

Published: 15:25, 22 June 2022

Since arriving at Anfield in 2015, Jurgen Klopp has restored Liverpool as one of English and European football’s juggernauts.

Prior to his arrival, the Reds had fluctuated between title near-misses and mid-table obscurity with a distinct lack of silverware to fill the famous halls of Anfield.

But with some work developing younger players and a serious amount of expertise in securing the perfect parts to complement his side, Klopp has well and truly brought the good times back to the red half of Merseyside — a Champions League title, Premier League crown and EFL and FA Cup trophies are now under his belt and it’s hard to see them not challenging for more honours as long as he’s at the helm.

And they’re not content with just challenging, they want to win. Already in the 2022 summer transfer window Liverpool have signed Darwin Nunez, Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay, the former set to be one of the big moves of the Premier League ahead of the 2022/23 season.

Of course, we can’t rank those three just yet, but how have the other Klopp first-team signings fared? Read on to see how they stack up.

30. Ben Davies

Transfer deal: £1.6m (from Preston in 2021)

Liverpool experienced a centre-back crisis last season. Virgil van Dijk was injured long-term and Jurgen Klopp’s other options all took turns in the treatment room. So in January 2021 they signed Ben Davies from Preston North End for just under £2m, a respectable amount for someone who would be a rotation centre-back. As it turns out, though, he wasn’t even that. Davies did not play for Liverpool and only made the bench eight times, four of which came in the Champions League where Klopp was allowed to name 12 subs. He’s still a Liverpool player and only 26 but is currently on loan at Sheffield United.

29. Alexander Manninger

Transfer deal: Free (from Augsburg in 2016)

The third-choice goalkeeper spot is a weird one to judge as these players are often only brought in to cover a worst-case scenario. That’s what happened when Liverpool signed Alexander Manninger from Augsburg in 2016, to have an experienced man ready just in case their first-choice goalkeeper and back up got injured. Manninger retired after a year, with just four appearances on the subs bench (and zero on the pitch).

28. Andy Lonergan

Transfer deal: Free (from Middlesbrough in 2019)
Like Davies and Manninger, Andy Lonergan never played for Liverpool. He has since left the club on a permanent basis (to Everton of all teams).

That said, Lonergan was never really expected to do anything at Liverpool, having been signed when Alisson was out injured and Adrian was the club’s only goalkeeper.

Experience is always key, though, even when a player doesn’t play, so it was understandable that Liverpool made this move.

27. Tony Gallacher

Transfer deal: £200,000 (from Falkirk in 2021)

One appearance for Liverpool was enough for the Scottish left-back who joined the Reds in 2018 as an 18-year-old for £200,000. That outing came in the 5-0 EFL Cup loss to Aston Villa in 2019, where Klopp had to name an inexperienced squad due to his seniors being in Qatar for the Club World Cup. He’s since relocated to St. Johnstone.

26. Steven Caulker

Transfer deal: Loan (from QPR in 2016)

Even though it was only a short-term loan, Liverpool surprised everyone by making Steven Caulker one of Klopp’s first signings at the club. The centre-back, on loan from QPR, would make just four appearances for Liverpool in his four months, most famously coming on as a striker in the final few minutes of a 3-3 draw against Arsenal – Caulker’s Reds debut.

25. Sepp van den Berg

Transfer deal: £1.3m (from PEC Zwolle in 2019)

Another signing for the long-term, Liverpool spent £1.3m to bring Sepp van den Berg from PEC Zwolle in 2019. The Dutch centre-back is nowhere close to Klopp’s first team having made four appearances to date with three of those coming in the EFL Cup. So there’s still a lot of time for him to rise.

24. Dominic Solanke

Transfer deal: £3m (from Chelsea in 2017)

As far as transfer business goes, the signing and then sale of Dominic Solanke — and the profit made — was an excellent bit of work by Liverpool (and former sporting director Michael Edwards). But for on-field impact and performances it just didn’t work. Solanke joined Liverpool from Chelsea aged 19 and never really settled at Liverpool, playing 27 times across a two-year stay, managing just one goal against Brighton at the end of his first campaign.

23. Ozan Kabak

Transfer deal: Loan (from Schalke in 2016)

Another centre-back arrival from January 2021, Liverpool took less risk with Ozan Kabak than they did Davies and actually played him. The Turkish defender was signed on loan from Bundesliga strugglers Schalke and formed an unlikely centre-back pairing with Nathaniel Phillips that did relatively well, helping them secure a top-four finish in the Premier League before his Anfield career was (quite predictably, given the events of that season) cut short by injury. A short-term deal that did its job.

22. Loris Karius

Transfer deal: £4.75m (from Mainz 05 in 2016)

Before finding a certain Brazilian, Liverpool struggled for goalkeepers with Simon Mignolet not being overly reliable or really good enough for a top team. Loris Karius was signed and it was hoped that he would be the right man to replace Mignolet – and for a while it seemed like he would.

Unfortunately for the German, his Liverpool career will always be remembered for the 2018 Champions League final and his role in two of Real Madrid’s three goals, starting the end of his Reds spell. Karius finally left Liverpool this summer following loan spells at Besiktas and Union Berlin.

21. Marko Grujic

Transfer deal: £5.1m (from Red Star Belgrade in 2016)

Klopp’s first ever Liverpool signing, Marko Grujic was something of an unknown quantity when he joined Liverpool but that brought excitement at the thought of the Reds finding a hidden gem. He might have been too, but Grujic found more success on loan than he did at Anfield, particularly at Porto across the past two seasons, finally set to depart Liverpool permanent for the Dragons.

20. Ragnar Klavan

Transfer deal: £4.2m (from Augsburg in 2016)

Signed for a snip of a fee to provide cover at centre-back, Ragnar Klavan did an admirable job. He became something of a cult hero to Kopites for his unnecessary shows of skill upon receiving the ball under absolutely no pressure. Across his two years at Liverpool, Klavan played an impressive 53 times and now plays in his native Estonia for Paide Linnameeskond.

19. Ibrahima Konate

Transfer deal: £36m (from RB Leipzig in 2021)

Ibrahima Konate was Liverpool’s major acquisition in the summer of 2021, coming highly-rated from RB Leipzig and the Reds did have some competition for his signature.

After a slow start to live at Anfield, Konate grew in importance particularly in the knockout stages of the Champions League. In fact, Konate went unbeaten in his first 28 games as a Liverpool player, only tasting defeat in the Champions League final.

18. Takumi Minamino

Transfer deal: £7.25m (from Red Bull Salzburg in 2019)

After impressing Liverpool in the Champions League, while representing Red Bull Salzburg, it seemed Takumi Minamino could become another Anfield favourite but he failed to fully establish himself in Klopp’s starting lineup and the Japanese winger now looks to be on his way out.

17. Adrian

Transfer deal: Free (from West Ham in 2019)

When you’ve got a goalkeeper like Alisson, you don’t need to worry too much about having a world-class back up but in Adrian Liverpool brought a more than capable deputy. The Spaniard has stepped up when Liverpool needed him in various occasions including the 2019 UEFA Super Cup win over Chelsea on penalties and, to date, has kept seven clean sheets across 25 appearances

Another dependable individual off the bench Adrian is content being Alisson’s backup and he was in goal for Liverpool’s 2019 Super Cup win over Chelsea on penalties and to date has kept seven clean sheets across 25 appearances.

16. Konstantinos Tsimikas

Transfer deal: £11.75m (from Olympiacos in 2020)

Liverpool have arguably the best right-back and left-back the Premier League but they still need depth with Konstantinos Tsimikas proving to be a solid understudy for Andrew Robertson. So far the Greek international has made 33 appearances in all competitions subsequently registering six assists.

15. Naby Keita

Transfer deal: £48m (from RB Leipzig in 2018)

Klopp had to wait a full year after signing Naby Keita before getting the chance to put the Guinean in his team. Keita arrived with a lot of promise but after four full seasons of Liverpool it feels as though fans are still waiting for him to truly kick on. There is still time, of course.

Find the latest Premier League winner odds for the 2023/2024 season here:

Club Sky Bet
Man City 6/5
Liverpool 2/1
Arsenal 5/2
Tottenham 200/1
Aston Villa 500/1
You have to be 18+ to gamble. All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (13:15, 11/03/2024). BeGambleAware.

14. Xherdan Shaqiri

Transfer deal: £13m (from Stoke City in 2018)

His signing from relegated Stoke raised a few eyebrows but not every signing has to be a world class, some are bought to be useful squad players and that’s exactly what Xherdan Shaqiri was. The Swiss Power Cube played 63 times for Liverpool in total and was a part of the dramatic Reds comeback against Barcelona en route to the 2019 Champions League final win. A Liverpool career littered by big moments, Shaqiri will be remembered fondly even if he didn’t make too much of a mark.

13. Harvey Elliott

Transfer deal: £2m (from Fulham in 2021)

Harvey Elliott could turn out to be one of the best signings of the Klopp era at Liverpool. He is already the youngest-ever player in Premier League history, having made his debut for Fulham aged 16 years and 30 days, since joining Liverpool the Englishman had to grind away before given the chance of establishing himself as a key member of the Reds squad.

12. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Transfer deal: £35m (from Arsenal in 2017)

Another midfield signing, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined the Reds from Arsenal having grown frustrated of being played at wing-back. Liverpool parted with £35m for the Englishman and when fit arguments can definitely be made to say he was worth it.

The main thing keeping Oxlade-Chamberlain from perhaps featuring higher is his injury record that has denied him a long run in the Liverpool starting XI as, when fit, the Englishman is one of Liverpool’s most dangerous goal threats from midfield.

11. Luis Diaz

Transfer deal: £37m (from Porto in 2022)

Talk about hitting the ground running. After moving from Porto earlier this year Luis Diaz has played 26 times for Liverpool in all competitions registering six goals and five assists in the process, with a full pre-season under his belt there’s every chance Diaz could become the Reds ‘most valuable player’ in the seasons to come.

10. Thiago

Transfer deal: £25m (from Bayern Munich in 2020)

Liverpool did well to add Thiago to what was (and still is) a relatively thin roster in terms of numbers and quality. And for a relative bargain fee, at that. Although it’s fair to say we are still waiting to see the Thiago they came to appreciate at Bayern Munich, with the Spaniard only being able to show glimpses of his quality amid the usual injury problems.

9. Joel Matip

Transfer deal: Free transfer (from Schalke in 2016)

Joel Matip flew slightly under the radar in his first few years at Liverpool, especially as they were looking to move away from a leaky defence but the centre-back has grown into one of the top defenders in Europe. There aren’t many more reliable centre-backs in the Premier League right now, with Matip consistently dominant in defence whenever called upon alongside Virgil van Dijk.

8. Georginio Wijnaldum

Transfer deal: £23m (from Newcastle in 2016)

Lauded as Liverpool’s “unsung hero”, before leaving for Paris Saint-Germain, the multifunctional Dutchman scored goals and was a creative spark while never being afraid to get stuck into a tackle, some transformation from the inconsistent attacking midfielder he was originally signed as from Newcastle.

7. Diogo Jota

Transfer deal: £41m (from Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2020)

A player who has done everything asked of him by Klopp since his arrival. Diogo Jota joined from Wolves for over £40m in the summer of 2020 and has already played 85 times for the club — scoring 34 goals in the process — despite having to compete with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Luis Diaz.

6. Fabinho

Transfer deal: £39m (from Monaco in 2018)

A relative unknown when he joined from Monaco in 2018 having been part of the side that won Ligue 1 a year earlier. That all changed quickly with Gary Neville naming Fabinho the Premier League’s best holding midfielder. His importance to Klopp’s set-up cannot be understated.

To assistant coach Pep Lijnders, he was ‘the lighthouse within Liverpool’s organised chaos’  who truly helped the team take control of matches from the base of their midfield.

5. Andrew Robertson

Transfer deal: £8m (from Hull City in 2017)

Arriving for just £8m from relegated Hull City, Robertson was certain to be a bench-warmer for a couple of years before heading back down the footballing pyramid, right?

Not quite. The Scotland international has given Klopp and Liverpool unbelievable value for money, elevating himself as the most impressive left-back in the Premier League, if not Europe. Tackles, crosses, assists, and endless energy, Robertson has it all.

4. Alisson

Transfer deal: £67m (from Roma in 2018)

A real game-changer. You could easily pinpoit three of four Klopp signings to have seriously transformed Liverpool and Alisson is most certainly one of them. He was the final piece of Liverpool’s defensive puzzle, signed after the 2018 Champions League final. Within a year he was lifting the big-eared trophy having kept a clean sheet in the Champions League final, helping Liverpool to their sixth crown and providing the basis for their Premier League triumph a year later.

One of the best goalkeepers in the world.

You could easily pinpoint three or four Klopp signings to have seriously transformed Liverpool and Alisson is most certainly one of them. Make no mistake, he’s been worth every single penny of that £56m the Reds handed over to Roma in 2018.

3. Virgil van Dijk

Transfer deal: £75m (from Southampton in 2017)

Alisson was the final piece of the puzzle, but Virgil van Dijk was worth about 20 pieces. The Dutchman was the defensive signing Liverpool needed to turn things around and before him they looked like they couldn’t defend for toffee.

His arrival helped Liverpool produce a 68-game unbeaten run at Anfield, win the Premier League and Champions League. On a personal level, Van Dijk won the 2018/19 Player of the Season award, was the Ballon d’Or runner-up and, of course, went on a run of 50 league games without being dribbled past.

2. Sadio Mane

Transfer deal: £34m (from Southampton in 2016)

One of a long list of players Liverpool have signed from Southampton and by far and away the best. There’s no doubting Sadio Mane has been absolutely top class from the day he joined Liverpool and leaves as one of the club’s best ever players, as per Klopp.

“It’s a big moment. There is no point in anyone trying to pretend otherwise. One of Liverpool’s greatest ever players is leaving and we must acknowledge how significant this is,” Klopp said after Mane’s departure to Bayern Munich was confirmed.

“He leaves with our gratitude and our love. He leaves with his status among the greats guaranteed. And yes, he leaves in a moment where he is one of the best players in world football.

“But we must not dwell on what we now lose, instead celebrate what we were privileged to have. The goals he scored, the trophies he won; a legend, for sure, but also a modern-day Liverpool icon.”

Mane leaves Liverpool having bagged 120 goals across 269 matches in all competitions.

1. Mohamed Salah

Transfer deal: £39m (from Roma in 2017)

The best signing of the Klopp era, without a doubt. Mohamed Salah’s arrival from Roma in 2017 may be the best business Liverpool have ever done, even when you take into account the £39m they parted with.

Salah has scored over 100 times in the Premier League alone for Liverpool, becoming the division’s highest-scoring African player, including 32 goals in his first campaign with the Reds to set a single-season record in the competition. He’s also made the final three for FIFA’s The Best Men’s Player award for 2021. Salah has broken so many Liverpool records and will probably break a few more before he does leave Anfield, which will be a devastating moment for the club.

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