Jurgen Klopp’s first summer transfer window at Liverpool ended with over £70m worth of new recruits. Much of their transfer spending was funded by offloading fringe players such as Christian Benteke, Jordon Ibe and Brad Smith. The Reds ended the transfer window with a profit which continued in January as no new players arrived.
We are over the halfway point of the season and Liverpool are now facing a battle to stay in the top four following a dismal run of form in 2017. We take a look at how their summer signings have fared in their Liverpool career so far.
Sadio ManeEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Southampton
Transfer fee: £34m
Ex-Southampton winger, Sadio Mane, was identified by Klopp as the perfect player to fit his high-pressing system implemented on Merseyside. It took £34m to prise him away from the Saints, where he had become a key player following his move from Red Bull Salzburg. Klopp had reportedly shown an interest in Mane during his time with Dortmund and did not hesitate to bring him to Anfield.
The Senegalese international was an instant hit, scoring a magnificent solo goal against Arsenal in the first game of the season. His goal-scoring form continued, and he netted a memorable injury-time winner against Merseyside rivals Everton. It was no surprise to see Liverpool’s season derail when Mane left for the African Cup of Nations. On his return, he downed Tottenham with two goals at Anfield. His transfer has been a resounding success.
Hit or Miss? – HIT
Joel MatipEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Schalke
Transfer fee: Free
While Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City spent over £30m on new defenders, Liverpool picked up ex-Schalke centre-back, Joel Matip, on a free transfer. The former Cameroon international racked up over 250 appearances in the Bundesliga and Liverpool fans were hopeful he would solve their defensive problems.
His introduction to the first-team was seamless, and he instantly improved the Reds’ defensive woes. Liverpool hadn’t lost a game with Matip in the side until they were shocked by Swansea in January. The 25-year-old has proved to be a shrewd piece of business and can become a vital part of Liverpool’s defence for years to come.
Hit or Miss? – Hit
Ragnar KlavanEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Augsburg
Transfer fee: £4.5m
Signed from Augsburg to provide defensive cover, Ragnar Klavan initially made an excellent start to life in England. Despite conceding three goals to Arsenal and two to Burnley, he played well against Hull and Tottenham. However, Liverpool began to ship goals with Klavan in the side.
With Matip facing issues with clearance from FIFA, Klavan was the preferred option next to Dejan Lovren during Liverpool’s poor run of form since the turn of the year. The Estonian struggled during this rough period and has failed to prove his worth to the Anfield faithful. It is clear that Klavan lacks the ability to play for Liverpool. With Joe Gomez and Lucas Leiva providing cover at the back, Klavan could be moved on in the summer.
Hit or Miss? – Miss
Loris KariusEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Mainz
Transfer fee: £4.5m
German goalkeeper, Loris Karius, was recruited by Klopp to provide competition for Simon Mignolet in between the sticks. The Belgian shot-stopper made a number of mistakes last season meaning a new goalkeeper was needed. Karius arrived with a reputation as one of Germany’s brightest goalkeeping prospects. He was installed as Liverpool’s number one following hand surgery but soon found himself demoted to the bench.
A dreadful performance against Bournemouth which allowed the Cherries to complete a remarkable comeback was the beginning of the end for Karius, who was also beaten far too easily by Dimitri Payet’s free-kick at Anfield. Klopp decided to recall Mignolet after Karius’ blunders, but the ex-Sunderland keeper has also proved unreliable meaning Liverpool have been linked with a move for Joe Hart in the summer.
Hit or Miss? – Miss
Georginio WijnaldumEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Newcastle
Transfer fee: £20m
Klopp also recognised Newcastle midfielder, Georginio Wijnaldum, as the perfect man to play in his 4-3-3 system. The Dutchman arrived as Newcastle’s top scorer for a fee of £20m. He made a slow start to life at Anfield but quickly adapted to Liverpool’s system and became an integral part of the side. His ability win back the ball, and his coolness under pressure has been a joy to behold this season.
He has scored vital goals including the equaliser at Chelsea and the winner against Manchester City; two excellent headers. For some unbeknown reason, Klopp preferred to use Emre Can in the engine room in recent weeks, but following Wijnaldum’s return to the side against Spurs, Liverpool looked a different side and the Dutch international could have been named man of the match for his performance. Wijnaldum’s work-rate and desire to win has seen him win the support of the Kop as he looks to cement his place in the Liverpool midfield.
Hit or Miss? – Hit
Marko GrujicEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Red Star Belgrade
Transfer fee: £5m
Liverpool completed the £5m signing of Serbian midfielder, Marko Grujic, back in January but he remained at his club until the end of the season; guiding them to the league title. He finally arrived in England and made his debut in a pre-season friendly against Barcelona where he scored a fine looping header.
He eventually made his debut in the EFL Cup against Derby and made another appearance against Tottenham. Grujic was quiet as he was slowly adapting to the English game before an injury ruled him out of contention. He is set to remain on the sidelines after another setback following a hamstring injury.
Hit or Miss? – n/a
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