On Sunday Jurgen Klopp celebrated being manager of Liverpool Football Club for exactly two years but it comes at a time when his job security is very much creeping into the minds of fans and pundits alike with questions being asked about how much progress the club has made under the German.
Central to the criticisms against the former Borussia Dortmund manager is Liverpool’s obvious lack of solidity in defensive areas and why he hasn’t sorted that out in 4 transfer windows since taking over from Brendan Rodgers.
There was the high profile chase of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk this summer but it didn’t come to fruition and Liverpool’s defence is as it were. As he chose to not bring in another centre-back, I will be rating all 12 of Jurgen Klopp’s transfer dealings at the club.
Loan from QPR
After spending the first 6 months of the season on the bench on loan at Southampton, Steven Caulker joined Liverpool on another loan from Queens Park Rangers in the winter of 2016 as Klopp’s first major signing in Merseyside. He was surely brought in as a backup to the regular back four as he made only 5 appearances with one of those being in a Striker’s position!
£5.1m from Red Star Belgrade
Touted as one of the best youngsters from Eastern Europe, Liverpool paid £5.1m to sign the youngster but allowed him stay on in Belgrade as he helped Red Star win the Serbian Super Liga.
He has been in England for just over a year now and having played in 11 games for Liverpool, he has simply not shown the potential Klopp and his scouting team probably saw before making him their first cash signing but at 21, there is time for him to still impress in the remaining four years of his contract.
Senegalese forward Sadio Mane is Klopp’s biggest signing of his 2-year reign in Merseyside in terms of price and performance. He shrugged off the heavily criticised tag of being Liverpool’s club record signing to hit a well taken solo goal on his debut against Arsenal with electric speed that has come to become a constant scene at Anfield.
With the prices being paid for players over the last 12 months sky-rocketing to high heavens, Mane has surely proven to be a steal for Klopp and has duly repaid the club by scoring from a very impressive 30% of his shots on goal in the Premier League.
£25m from Newcastle
Another quite expensive signing of 2016 after the capture of Sadio Mane, Wijnaldum has settled well into Klopp’s midfield after a good debut season in the Premier League with relegated Newcastle where he scored 11 goals from an attacking midfield position.
Klopp has mostly deployed him as a box-to-box midfielder in Liverpool but he has certainly shown that he can play at a high level. Among his 6 goals for the Reds are important goals against Manchester City, Middlesborough and Arsenal.
£4.7m from Mainz
4 Clean sheets
Lorius Karius was brought in to usurp Simon Mignolet in between the sticks but a string of high-profile errors at the start of last season saw his Belgian rival restored to the first team but Klopp has shown faith in his country man this season by playing him in big games against Arsenal and Sevilla in the Champions League.
Free from Schalke 04
The Cameroonian defender was brought in on a free as he chose to not sign a new deal at the German club. He enjoyed a very good debut season in the Premier league last year but has also been suspect in alot of goals conceded by the club and is probably not the kind of defender for the level Liverpool want to be. Good signing in his own right.
£4.2 from Augsburg
When the Estonian centre-back signed for Liverpool, he would not have envisaged that he would have started as many games as he has. Liverpool’s lack of numbers at the back have ensured he is a constant figure for the Kops though and against lower level teams, he has looked reasonably good.
Against same-level or higher opposition though, he has been found wanting in terms of speed and decision making and is surely not a title winning defender.
Free from Augsburg
At 39 years old, many wondered why Jurgen Klopp decided to bring former Arsenal and Juventus goalkeeper Alex Manninger to the club. He failed to make any appearances for the club but I will be recording a score for this transfer as I think the club had no business even engaging in this piece of business!
£34.3m from AS Roma
After an underwhelming spell in England with Chelsea, Salah moved to the Italian capital and shot himself back into reckoning with good performances for Roma. Klopp paid big money to bring the Egyptian back to the Premier League and he has duly delivered with big performances so far since joining in the summer.
He is surely competing very well for EPL signing of the 2017 summer.
£10m from Hull City
Liverpool have not quite gotten it right with most of their left back signings in the Premier League Era save for John Arne Riise and maybe Fabio Aurelio to some extent. With James Milner having to play at LB for majority of last season, it was imperative the club brought in a real left back and with Moreno suddenly picking up form, he has not featured enough to praise or criticise him. He is 23 and surely there is room to improve and play.
Free (Compensation fee yet to be agreed)
The English youngster chose to move on a free to the northeast after being one of Chelsea’s best youth players over the last couple of seasons. He has shown signs of turning out to be a shrewd piece of business for the Kops and even though his youth records are signs of hope, the jury will be out soon.
£35m from Arsenal
After 6 seasons at the Emirates, Oxlade-Chamberlain snubbed Arsenal’s new contract offer and another bumper offer from Chelsea in a bid to achieve his dream of playing in central midfield instead of being deployed at right wing-back.
Of his 6 games in a Liverpool shirt, he has been on the winning side only once, coming on after 78 minutes in the 3-2 win against Leicester City. He has struggled to perform in his new red jersey and with Naby Keita coming next summer and no defined position open to the Englishman, it is difficult to understand the rationale behind the £35m outlay. A no-no for me.