Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has raved over three early Jurgen Klopp signings who have gone on to become stars of his current team.
The German has transformed the Merseyside giant’s fortunes over the past few years, and Carragher believes successful early recruitment was key.
“He achieved Champions League qualification in his first full season after adding only three signings in the summer of 2016 – Sadio Mane from Southampton, Schalke’s Joel Matip and Gini Wijnaldum,” he wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph.
“None of them were regarded among the most coveted in Europe when they joined. Indeed, Wijnaldum had been part of a Newcastle midfield which had just been relegated. Liverpool have been justifiably praised for making an increasing number of astute signings under Klopp – some of them very expensive – but look how many have improved and increased in value since joining the club.”
Carragher makes an excellent point, here. A lot of Liverpool’s most successful signings have been big money ones, such as Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, but Klopp has also really improved the players he already had and who he has brought to the club. The trio Carragher mentions above are fine examples of that. Mane joined the Reds for £34million from Southampton [Source: BBC], with some viewing that as too much for a talented, but inconsistent, attacker. Wijnaldum, meanwhile, cost £25million despite being part of a relegated Newcastle team [Source: BBC]. Matip, on the other hand, was a free agent signing who cost Liverpool nothing. Now, how much would each of those players cost now? The dominant Cameroonian centre half? £30million at least. The imperious Dutch midfielder? You’re talking £60million. And Mane? It’s unlikely that the Reds would allow him to leave for anything below £100million. That’s both incredible recruitment from Liverpool as a club and masterful coaching by Klopp.