Liverpool v Man City: Match in pictures
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp took the reins at Anfield six years ago today. After a steady start, the German has steered the club back towards the top of English football, collecting a long-awaited Premier League trophy and a Champions League along the way. Fans will surely hope to keep him around for as long as possible with some inspired signings brought into the fold, but it has not always worked out so perfectly. Express Sport picks out six of the best and three of the worst signings during Klopp’s tenure on Merseyside.
Starting with six of the best, it only took Salah four-and-a-bit seasons to join the illustrious Premier League 100 club if you discount the handful of appearances he made for Chelsea.
Having scored at a remarkable rate since arriving from Roma in 2017, Salah has been an unmitigated success at Anfield.
An initial £34million fee now seems extremely good value for a player who, across all competitions, has averaged 31 goals per season since stepping through the door.
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Into his fifth season as the Egyptian’s partner in crime, and sixth all told in a Liverpool shirt, Mane has grown into quite the player under Klopp.
Mane was the German’s first signing during his first summer at the helm, stepping up from Southampton where he showed early promise before taking his game to the next level at Anfield.
Although he does not possess the raw goalscoring nous of Salah, his 102 goals in 227 games for the Reds is still monumental by any normal standard, and he has certainly been one of Klopp’s best signings.
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Virgil van Dijk
Another import from Southampton, eyebrows were initially raised when £75m was shelled out for the Dutchman who, with all due respect, had never played at such a high level.
Klopp clearly saw the potential and the Reds pulled the trigger while Manchester City hesitated, landing them with a true Rolls Royce of a defender entering his prime years.
He repaid the faith by winning the 2019 PFA Players’ Player of the Year award during their title-winning season.
The 30-year-old was greatly missed as he sat out the majority of last campaign through injury, but now he is back this term, Liverpool look like the same well-oiled machine of old.
Widely considered to be one of the most successful bargains in Premier League history, Liverpool forked out just £8m to sign him from relegated Hull City in 2017.
Since then, he has made almost 200 appearances for the Reds, as well as kicking on to become Scotland captain.
The 27-year-old is loved by fans for his fiery demeanour, not to mention his relentless ability to fly forward as he and Trent Alexander-Arnold continue to terrorise opposing defences from full-back.
Although Alisson arrived from Roma in a £67m deal which made him the most expensive goalkeeper in history at the time, he has not disappointed.
Having been through some underwhelming stoppers between the sticks, more on one of those later, Alisson made a huge difference to the team’s success.
With himself and Van Dijk arriving within six months of each other, the pair made Liverpool into a defensive rock, going on to achieve Champions League glory shortly after their arrivals.
Also, who could forget his stunning headed winner against West Brom last season.
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The Brazilian’s goal-scoring exploits from midfield have slowed down dramatically since his Monaco days, but his role is so crucial to the Reds.
Patrolling the base of midfield and caressing passes long and short, Fabinho makes Klopp’s side tick, while his versatility means he can also deputise in a number of other positions.
This summer, the club tied him down to a long-term contract which will see him until the age of 33, yet another sign that he is a class act.
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Moving swiftly onto three of Klopp’s worst acquisitions, Karius arrived as a sprightly 23-year-old from Mainz, presumably full of ambition after being handed the No 1 jersey.
Unfortunately for the stopper, he will always be remembered for his double blunder during the 2018 Champions League final which was telling in the Reds’ 3-1 loss to Real Madrid.
He has never been able to resurrect his Liverpool career, and after two unsuccessful loan spells away he is still on Klopp’s books waiting to get another chance.
The Guinea international would not be heralded as a failure if Liverpool did not pay such an astronomical sum for him.
It took over £50m to lure him from RB Leipzig in 2018, with other undisclosed add-ons potentially taking the fee even higher.
Injuries have limited his appearances drastically at Anfield, but even when fit he is yet to consistently show the electric form which prompted the deal to begin with.
The 26-year-old must have been pinching himself when he got the call to join up with Klopp from Preston North End last season.
In truth, so was everybody else, but it turned out to be one final panic in last season’s desperate defensive injury crisis at Anfield.
Even when options are the back were beyond scarce, Davies failed to see the pitch for the Reds and he is midway through a loan spell at Sheffield United to see out this season.
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