In our Transfers that shook the club feature, Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at deals that many may not have seen coming and the impact that they had during their time by using statistical data and pundit remarks.
Last Sunday’s victory over Manchester City was arguably the defining moment in Liverpool’s Premier League history – and Jurgen Klopp’s Anfield career.
Liverpool head into November’s international break eight points clear at the top of the Premier League, with it looking like the end of their wait for a top-flight title is getting ever closer by the day.
When the two forces joined back in 2015, it may have been difficult to envisage the level of success that was to come – with Liverpool falling from the heights of their second-place finish in 2013/14 which had essentially cost Brendan Rodgers his job in the first place.
But with the Reds having asserted themselves as a force in both English and European football in the four years under the German’s control, there seems little doubt that his arrival was the start of something special for the 18-time league champions.
Klopp’s first year or so may have been slightly underwhelming, with the Reds finishing eighth having replaced Rodgers in October 2015.
But a final-day qualification for the Champions League the following season set everything in motion for what was to come. In many ways, Liverpool never looked back on their way to European glory in June.
A key success of Klopp’s reign has been his signings. His additions have, for the most part, gone on to benefit Liverpool, with eight of the XI that started the Champions League final brought to the club by Klopp.
While he may have been blessed with funds (receiving over £130m for Philippe Coutinho in 2018), he also had an eye for a bargain, namely in sourcing Andy Robertson for £8.1m from Hull City, while the purchase of Virgil van Dijk showcased the pragmatism of the manager’s transfer strategy, opting to make the defender the world’s most expensive one at the time as he has gone on to be talked up as a potential Ballon d’Or winner.
The club are currently on a 29-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, with some pundits tipping them to finish the season unbeaten – which would eclipse Arsenal’s unbeaten record set in 2004. Klopp truly has history at Liverpool’s fingertips.
What Klopp has assembled in his time as boss has seen Liverpool achieve a fairly quick turnaround – going from Europa League nearly-men to kings of the continent in under four seasons is a real success story in terms of identifying talent, astute tactics, and now, top-tier trophies.
The Reds now look poised to complete the final piece of the puzzle, and having built a sizeable lead ahead of the Christmas period, it looks like Klopp’s Liverpool project is about to come to fruition in double-quick time.
Can Klopp consider himself on the same level as Shankly & Paisley?
Liverpool fans, what moment of Klopp’s reign do you treasure the most? Let us know in the comments below!
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