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Ranking the 10 best players in Jurgen Klopp’s 6 years at Liverpool

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With Jurgen Klopp celebrating six years as Liverpool manager, we count down the top-10 Reds to play under the iconic German.

On October 8, 2015, Klopp took charge at Anfield, signalling the start of one of the great periods in the club’s history.

Both Premier League and Champions League glory have been achieved, not to mention a rich brand of attacking football rarely seen at Liverpool.

There have been many wonderful footballers who have played their part in the Klopp era of dominance, from world-class goalkeepers to superstar forwards.

Here’s how we’ve ranked the 10 best players under Klopp.

 

10. Andy Robertson

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 2, 2019: Liverpool's Andy Robertson celebrates scoring the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It feels harsh putting anyone at No.10, considering the great service every individual has given, but Andy Robertson is up first.

Over the past four years, the Scot has made a strong case for being Liverpool’s greatest-ever left-back, performing with remarkable consistency.

Robertson possesses a cultured left foot that has accumulated 38 assists, as well as defensive solidity and a feisty character that rubs rival fans up the wrong way.

In many ways, he embodies what Klopp’s Liverpool are all about: running until he drops, producing endless quality and relating to the fans.

At 27 and a contract until 2026, there’s still plenty left in the tank, too.

 

9. Gini Wijnaldum

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 7, 2019: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring the third goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s midfield has struggled at times this season – is it any surprise that Gini Wijnaldum‘s exit has coincided with those issues?

The Dutchman may have been misunderstood by some, but for those who appreciated the job he did, he will forever go down as a Reds legend.

A midfielder blessed with bucket-loads of intelligence, physicality and underrated ability, Wijnaldum was a vital cog in the machine during the domestic and European triumphs.

Not only that, but he popped up with big moments as well, scoring three goals in Champions League semi-finals, as well as netting against the likes of Man City, Everton, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Wijnaldum’s second-half impact at home to Barcelona will never be forgotten.

 

8. Jordan Henderson

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 15, 2021: Liverpool's Jordan Henderson celebrates scoring the 3rd goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 1 game between Liverpool FC and AC Milan at Anfield. (Pic by Paul Currie/Propaganda)

Forget the current poor form Jordan Henderson is in, what he has achieved under Klopp has been phenomenal.

The 31-year-old became the first Liverpool player to lift a league title in 30 years and his all-round influence that season was arguably unrivalled.

Henderson has been there from the start of Klopp’s reign, too, unlike many, and the manager has clearly adored him from minute one.

Is he the most gifted player in the squad? Of course not. But he is the most influential figure off the pitch and continues to be criminally underrated as a footballer.

Henderson has made a strong case for being a better captain than Steven Gerrard, which says everything you need to know.

 

7. Fabinho

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Tuesday, September 28, 2021: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 2 game between FC Porto and Liverpool FC at the Estádio do Dragão. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fabinho may not have the longevity of Henderson or Wijnaldum, but we’re giving him the edge over them.

A world-class No. 6 was required to take Liverpool to the next level in 2018 and the Brazilian is exactly that, mastering the role in the last three-and-a-bit years.

An expert reading of the game is complemented by an ability to play defence-splitting passes and he is a warrior who stands out most in the toughest games.

Few individuals are missed more when they are absent, which is always the sign of a great player.

 

6. Trent Alexander-Arnold

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, December 26, 2019: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold scores the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If this list is compiled a few years down the line, Trent Alexander-Arnold will be even higher.

The 23-year-old has been a revelation for Liverpool, threatening to become arguably the most influential full-back of his generation.

The most technically gifted player in the Reds’ squad, Alexander-Arnold is a joy to watch, spraying long-range passes, breaking the lines in deft fashion and registering 45 assists overall.

He is Liverpool’s creative hub from right-back, which is astounding, and at 23, he still has so many years ahead of him.

A guaranteed future captain with the ability to become an all-time great – and it can’t go without saying that his performance away to Leicester in 2019/20 was astonishing.

 

5. Roberto Firmino

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Tuesday, September 28, 2021: Liverpool's two-goal hero Roberto Firmino applauds the travelling supporters after the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 2 game between FC Porto and Liverpool FC at the Estádio do Dragão. Liverpool won 5-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Roberto Firmino hasn’t had a good 18 months or so, but that shouldn’t detract from what he has done during the Klopp era.

No player has made more appearances (291) under the German at Liverpool are anywhere else – James Milner (246) is well behind in second place at Anfield – and he has been the perfect foil for his fellow attackers.

At his best, Firmino’s penchant for dropping deep and wreaking havoc was unrivalled in Europe and he famously scored the goal that clinched Club World Cup glory in 2019.

An eccentric showman famed for outrageous flicks and no-look finishes, he is also the ultimate team player, pressing like nobody else at his peak.

If Firmino can return to his former level, he will feel like a *cliche alert* new signing.

 

4. Alisson

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 16, 2021: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker scores the winning second goal with a head in injury time during the FA Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion FC and Liverpool FC at The Hawthorns. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If Virgil van Dijk was colossal in changing Liverpool’s fortunes around in January 2018, Alisson felt like the final piece of the jigsaw later that year.

The 29-year-old has been the best goalkeeper in the world in the years since then, possessing an aura between the sticks and finally filling a Reds void that had been gaping for too long.

Part of Alisson‘s brilliance is that everything looks so easy – he rarely has to make great saves because his positional sense and reaction times are so immense – making him the anti-Jordan Pickford!

There is also the small matter of him scoring the winner at West Brom last season – without that, there would be no Champions League football at Anfield in 2021/22.

Let’s not forget that save against Napoli, too.

 

3. Sadio Mane

Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game, Bayern Munich (Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport)

Mane is another who hasn’t been at his world-beating best of late, but what he has achieved at Liverpool makes him one of the greatest attackers in the club’s history.

His arrival in 2016 felt like a catalyst, in terms of Klopp’s side going up a significant gear, with his blistering pace and end product showcased from his debut at Arsenal onwards.

Mane was possibly Liverpool’s star man in the title-winning season and his record of 102 goals in 227 matches is stunning for a wide player.

He is a relentless fighter on the pitch, has produced many iconic moments, and as an added bonus, comes across as the nicest man on the planet.

There may be fears that Mane’s very best days are behind him, but it would be exactly like him to silence the doubters emphatically.

 

2. Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool celebrates the first goal in front of the Manchester Utd fans during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: 19th January 2020. Picture credit should read: Darren Staples/Sportimage via PA Images

Van Dijk just misses out on top spot, but if this list was based on the most influential players under Klopp, he would lead the way.

The level that the Dutchman has performed at since he arrived has been better than any centre-back in the world – by a mile, in fact.

It is easy to pick flaws in even the great players, but when it comes to Van Dijk, he is as complete as any defender in the past 30 years.

Quick, strong, dominant in the air, effortless in possession, a superb reader of play, a leader, dangerous in the opposition box, enviable good looks – he really does have everything!

Last season’s long-term absence was as damaging as any injury has been for a Liverpool player since Gerrard and it is huge to see him back fit again.

 

1. Mohamed Salah

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 18, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It just has to be Mohamed Salah.

Van Dijk wasn’t far away from pipping him, but he hasn’t done it for as long as the Egyptian King, who is the best player in the world on current form.

Salah has been an unstoppable machine ever since joining from Roma in 2017, dismantling his initial reputation as a ‘one-season wonder’ and working his way into an all-time Liverpool XI.

His record of 134 goals in 212 appearances is scarcely believable for an out-and-out striker – that includes a Champions League final strike – but the fact that he plays out wide makes it the stuff of legend.

Salah is a once-in-a-generation Liverpool talent who is finally getting the widespread praise he deserves – the hope is that there are many years of him to come.

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