Jurgen Klopp has been in charge of Liverpool for three-and-a-half-years, making him the fifth longest-serving Premier League manager, behind Eddie Howe, Sean Dyche, Mauricio Pochettino, and Chris Hughton.
Since replacing Brendan Rodgers in the dugout Klopp has spent £393 million on new recruits (transfermarkt); some stunning, others very good, while a couple are best left forgotten.
We have shredded those 13 purchased players down to the best five, ranked fifth to first...
The goalkeeper just pips the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to claim the fifth spot on our list.
Liverpool splashed out a whopping £67m - a brief world record for a goalkeeper - to lure Alisson over from Roma last summer. A significant fee maybe, but the Brazilian has since stepped up to the plate and registered more clean sheets (17) than any other Premier League keeper, conceding a league-low 18, while has a save success rate of 77.78%; meaning he’s played a pivotal role in Liverpool’s best ever start in the Premier League era.
Alisson may have a high-quality defence in front of him, but the undervalued art of goalkeeping is staying alert at all times, as was the case earlier this season when he was widely praised for that stunning last-gasp save against Napoli, which ensured that Liverpool progressed through to the Champions League knockout stages. He’s likely to be called upon a few more times as his side go in search of a famous league and European double.
4. Andy Robertson
In terms of bang for your buck, there’s a clear winner: Andy Robertson. It’s almost impossible to comprehend that the defender cost just £8m from Hull in July 2017. That’s £19m less than Luke Shaw, while Benjamin Mendy cost Man City £52m...
The top-three players in this catalogue may have grabbed the headlines this season, but Robertson can lay claim to being Liverpool’s most underrated player. The unsung hero has thrived under Klopp, earning the title of ‘Flying Scotsman’ thanks to his lung-busting displays. roaring up and down the left flank.
“I am still tired to look at Robertson. He makes a 100m sprint per minute! Incredible,” said Jose Mourinho after Man Utd’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in December.
Robertson has been a key ingredient of Liverpool’s immense defence, while he’s bagged eight top-flight assists, putting him seventh in that particular category.
3. Sadio Mane
First caught the eye at Southampton - like a number of Liverpool players - but since switching to the Reds in 2016 for £34m, he’s gone from a very good - albeit erratic player - to world class.
“You sign a player then hope he can take a few more steps and he did that. So far, so good. He is a very, very important player for us, and a very nice person,” said Klopp last summer.
The boss deserves full credit for fine-tuning the Senegalese superstar’s game. Mane’s significantly improved his decision making, quality of his finishing, and positioning, while he’s one of only four players to score 10+ goals in each of the last five Premier League seasons, and with 17 so far this term he has a great chance of winning the Golden Boot.
Teammate Mo Salah may have gone off the boil slightly in front of goal, but Mane has sizzled during this pivotal period of the season; scoring 11 goals in his last 11 games, including seven in five, and braces against Watford, Burnley, and Bayern Munich.
2. Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool's jittery defence used to leak in goals for fun. Not anymore.
Signed for a £75m from Southampton in January 2018, Virgil van Dijk made an instant impact after bagging the winner on his dream debut against rivals Everton in the FA Cup. He’d play a pivotal role in Liverpool’s voyage through the Champions League knockout stages through to the final.
This season Liverpool are top of the league, have conceded the fewest goals, and have the most clean sheets, while from an individual perspective VVD’s stats are stunning; he ranks top of the pile in a whole host of areas, and has remarkably not yet been dribbled past by an opposition player.
Regardless of whether Liverpool win the league or not, this man has an excellent chance of becoming only the third defender to win the PFA Player of the Year award.
1. Mo Salah
91 Liverpool appearances, 64 goals.
He may be suffering from a mini-drought in front of goal but Mo Salah has just squeezed past Virgil van Dijk in our list of Klopp’s best Liverpool signings.
Salah’s debut season at Liverpool was nothing short of exceptional. The Egyptian, who Klopp signed for £37m from Roma (bargain), hammered home a Premier League record 32 goals, winning the Golden Boot award, along with a host of individual accolades.
Since returning to England he’s bamboozled many a defender with a combination of trickery, pace, and panache, while goalkeepers have been left spellbound by that wand of a left foot.
Salah may be going through a ‘blip’ but he still has 17 Premier League goals and seven assists to his name this season - only Sergio Aguero has more goals to date (18) - meaning Liverpool’s star man has every chance of becoming the sixth player to win back-to-back Golden Boots.