Jurgen Klopp's first Liverpool FC XI: Where are they now? Liverpool FC History
Liverpool FC History

Jurgen Klopp's first Liverpool FC XI: Where are they now?

Jurgen Klopp's first Liverpool FC XI: Where are they now?

The end of an era is quickly approaching so let's take a trip down memory lane to see how it all started.

After 3 and a half years in charge at Anfield, Brendan Rodgers was shown the door following a 1-1 draw against Everton which saw Liverpool sit in 10th place in the Premier League.

It was time for a change…

In stepped ex-Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp, who took over as manager of Liverpool on October 17th, 2015.

Since ushering the words ‘I am the normal one’ in his first press conference after taking on the job, he has become the most successful manager the Reds have had in the 21st century, accumulating eight trophies over his time in charge including the prestigious Champions League and clinching Liverpool’s first Premier League title.

However, on January 26th, 2024, the news that Liverpool fans had been dreading came upon them. Klopp announced that he would be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season, sending ripples throughout the footballing world.

At the time of writing, Klopp has taken charge of 489 matches, winning 304, drawing 99 and losing 86 which is incredible considering the amount of work he has had to put in to turn Liverpool from ‘doubters to believers.

With his last Liverpool game on the horizon, his exit from the club is imminent, marking an end to an incredible era.

Throughout his 9 years in charge of the Merseyside outfit, it is safe to say that his team has come a long way compared to the first XI that Klopp fielded in a 0-0 draw to Tottenham Hotspurs.

So with Klopp’s final game quickly approaching, here is the first XI that Klopp opted to field as manager of Liverpool FC.

GK- Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge)

Jurgen Klopp's first Liverpool FC XI: Where are they now?

The Belgian goalkeeper signed for Liverpool in 2013 from Sunderland for £9.12 million, quickly becoming the Reds number one for racking up 204 appearances over a six-year stint.

However, midway through the 2017/2018 season, Liverpool opted to sign German shot-stopper Loris Karius from Mainz which saw Mignolet drop to deputy goalkeeper. Due to the later arrival of current goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Mignolet parted ways with the club, moving to Club Brugge in his native country, still plying his trade there right now.

Now 36 years old, since moving club, he has mustered three Belgium Pro Leagues, two Belgium Super Cups, adding to the Champions League that he picked up during his time on Merseyside.

Although Mignolet put a shift in for the Reds, it is evident that Klopp upgraded between the sticks when he chose to bring in Alisson.

LB- Alberto Moreno (Villarreal)

Jurgen Klopp's first Liverpool FC XI: Where are they now?

Joining Liverpool from Sevilla in 2014 for £15 million, Moreno had a fairly impressive start to life on Merseyside, but never truly hit his potential in his five-year stay at the club.

He was an attacking full-back who was signed by Brenden Rodgers following an impressive campaign at Spanish club Sevilla.

Following Rodgers' departure from the club, in came Klopp who opted to use Moreno as he fit perfectly into Klopp’s ‘heavy metal football’. But his downturn in a Liverpool shirt came in the 2016 Europa League final against his former club, where his poor performance contributed drastically as his team was beaten 3-1.

After departing in 2019, Moreno moved back to Spain this time playing for Villareal.

Since being at the club, he has won the Europa League with them beating Manchester United in the final. After the game Moreno took to Instagram live, which saw him say “Get out Manchester United, get out” something that sums up the phrase ‘once a Red always a Red’.

CB- Mamadou Sakho (Free Agent)

Jurgen Klopp's first Liverpool FC XI: Where are they now?

The French centre-back was widely considered as the next up within the French football scene after becoming the youngest ever player to captain PSG, doing so at 17.

Despite his career starting at such a high, his career never really came too much at Anfield with the player often being in the headlines for the wrong reasons, for example it was reported that the defender had a bust-up with then-manager Rodgers as well as a doping scandal which eventually he cleared his name and finally breaking some rules on a pre-season tour which saw Klopp send him home.

Since leaving, the now 34-year-old has had spells at Crystal Palace under former boss Roy Hodgson and Montpellier but after leaving the Ligue 1 side last year, he now remains without a club.

CB- Martin Skrtel (Retired)

Jurgen Klopp's first Liverpool FC XI: Where are they now?

The Slovakian powerhouse is the perfect player Liverpool needed to help get them through the managerial transition, with the defender displaying all the top attributes of being a true leader on the pitch, seeing him become a well-respected cult hero.

After mustering up 242 games across his eight-year spell at Liverpool, Skrtel has since played for Turkish giants Fenerbahçe, Atalanta and Istanbul Basaksehir, before moving back to his home country to end his career at Spartak Trnava.

Liverpool has had their share of powerful centre-backs, but it is safe to say Martin Skrtel, although not the best compared to the rest, will go down as a fan favourite.

RB- Nathanial Clyne (Crystal Palace)

Jurgen Klopp's first Liverpool FC XI: Where are they now?

After bursting through the Crystal Place academy, Clyne moved to Southampton and after a consistently good three years on the South Coast, Liverpool came calling in 2015.

He almost instantly became Klopp’s go-to right-back and looked to be on Merseyside for years to come but sadly he was plagued with injuries which saw him spend a good chunk of his time on the medical table.

With that being the case, he never really got his foot back into the starting XI consistently, later seeing him go on loan to Bournemouth before returning to boyhood club Crystal Palace.

Some may wonder who Klopp’s first-choice right-back has been ever since… Does Trent Alexander-Arnold ring a bell?

CDM- Emre Can (Borussia Dortmund)

Jurgen Klopp's first Liverpool FC XI: Where are they now?

After coming through the Bayern Munich academy and an impressive first season at Bayer Leverkusen, the German midfielder got his move to Anfield in 2014.

A consistently solid midfielder, Can pushed for a move away from the club seeing him eventually leave on a free transfer in 2018 to Italian giants Juventus, before parting ways and seeing him back in his home country but this time playing at Bayern Munich’s arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Coming to Liverpool early on his career seemed promising but he never truly lived up to the expectations and his approach to push for an exit may have raised a few eyebrows, but he still enjoyed a decent stint at the club.

It would be rude not to mention that bicycle kick against Watford…

CDM- Lucas Leiva (Retired)

Jurgen Klopp's first Liverpool FC XI: Where are they now?

When you define underrated player, Lucas Leiva is a name that may pop up.

He may not have been a name that Liverpool fans would throw around but his contribution during his 10 years at the club was second to none.

He scored just once in his 247 appearances, but he was a menacing holding midfielder who would consistently break up play and do the simple things well.

After parting ways with the Reds in 2017, he went on to join Lazio and won their Player of the Season in his first year before venturing back to Brazil to join his boyhood club Gremio before calling it a day.

LW- Phillipe Coutinho (Al-Duhail on-loan)

Jurgen Klopp's first Liverpool FC XI: Where are they now?

The Brazilian magician was a sight to behold under Jurgen Klopp.

Under Klopp he played 89 times, scoring 37 times and picking up 22 assists. Fans do wonder about the levels that Klopp’s side could’ve reached if Coutinho stayed put a few years longer to play consistently with Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah but sadly we only got to see it for half a season before Barcelona came calling.

To put it into context how good Coutinho was, Liverpool sold him to the Spanish giants for an incredible £142 million, a move that the Brazilian magician dreamt of.

His time at the Camp Nou didn’t exactly go the way he, the club and fans alike would’ve hoped for, with a lack of game time meant that he wasn’t able to fully flourish, eventually seeing him go on loan to Bayern Munich and then Aston Villa (a move that become permanent), before being shipped back out on loan again to Al-Duhail in Qatar for the 2023/24 season.

It has been widely acknowledged that Klopp wanted him to stay with him saying “Stay, and they will end up building a statue in your honour or leave and you will just be another player.”

Something that must linger in his mind to this very day.

RW- James Milner (Brighton)

Jurgen Klopp's first Liverpool FC XI: Where are they now?

Mr Vesatile himself became one of Klopp’s go-to men during his time at the club, with his constant professionalism, experience and consistency making him someone that the German manager could always rely on.

After winning every trophy that was available to him during his time at the club bar the Europa League, Milner moved on to his 7th club of his career that being Brighton and Hove Albion in 2023/24, partnering up with the next player on this list…

CAM- Adam Lallana (Brighton)

Jurgen Klopp's first Liverpool FC XI: Where are they now?

After an incredible three seasons at Southampton,

Lallana joined Liverpool in 2014 and was an instant fan favourite.

He was an energetic attacker midfielder, who was a joy to watch with the ball at his feet that had the likes of PSG trying to capture his signature, until the bombardment of injuries came and he just wasn’t ever able to fully recover.

A move to Brighton followed the year after winning the Premier League with the Reds, where he has become a valuable player and leader for the Seagulls.

ST- Divock Origi (Nottingham Forrest on-loan)

Jurgen Klopp's first Liverpool FC XI: Where are they now?

Despite not being a regular starter like the majority of players on this list, Origi has somewhat left the biggest legacy behind.

The definition of super sub. There are so many moments where the Reds would’ve fallen short if it wasn’t for this man right here.

Just when the Merseyside was destined for a 0-0 draw-up steps Divock Origi headed the ball home following a Jordan Pickford mistake handing Liverpool the win in the 96th minute.

How about that late header from the man himself in the 86th minute to give Liverpool a 3-2 lead over Newcastle and a much-needed 3 points to keep up with Manchester City in the 2018/19 title race?

Or Belgium's vital role in “THAT” Champions League comeback against Barcelona, scoring the first and last goal, finishing the “Corner taken quickly” moment before scoring again in the final to hand Liverpool the Champions League trophy.

Crucial goal after crucial goal followed him throughout the entirety of his Liverpool career, until the curtains closed and he moved on to AC Milan in 2021, joining Nottingham Forrest on loan this season.

He may not have managed to secure regular playing time at any club throughout his career, but his legacy at Anfield with live on forever.

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