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7 players who left new club within 18 months of Liverpool exit

It often proves to be the case that the grass isn’t greener after leaving Anfield, as some ex-Reds have found out following their departures.

‘Stay here and they will end up building a statue in your honour. Go somewhere else – to Barcelona, to Bayern Munich, to Real Madrid – and you will be just another player. Here you can be something more.’

Those were reportedly Jurgen Klopp‘s words of wisdom as one player made a high-profile exit from the club for what was one of the biggest fees of all time.

The likes of Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling have shown that it is possible to move on and have a successful career elsewhere, but that is often not the case.

In recent years, several players found themselves on the hunt for a new club sooner than expected after departing Anfield.

Here, we take a look at those who have left Klopp’s Liverpool only to find themselves on the move again within a year and a half.

 

Sadio Mane

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 11, 2023: Bayern Munich's Sadio Mané during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Manchester City FC and FC Bayern Munich at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sadio Mane left on a high having notched 23 goals and five assists to fire the Reds to within two games of an unfathomable quadruple.

His departure was announced shortly after defeat in the 2022 Champions League final to Real Madrid, but he failed to make his mark at his new club Bayern Munich.

Mane netted 12 times for the Bundesliga champions as he missed out on the winter World Cup through injury, with boss Thomas Tuchel admitting the forward felt “hurt” by how things had turned out in Germany.

The 31-year-old has since become one of a number of former Reds to make a lucrative switch to the Saudi Pro League, joining Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr.

 

Divock Origi

LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 8, 2023: AC Milan's Divock Origi looks dejected after missing a chance during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg game between Tottenham Hotspur FC and AC Milan at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Belgian became a Kop hero during his time on Merseyside despite never nailing down a starting place and fans wished him well on his next venture.

Divock Origi signed for AC Milan last summer in a move that was intended to revitalise his career but was sadly jeered at the San Siro as recently as April.

He has since returned to the Premier League with Nottingham Forest and will be hoping to become a key feature in Steve Cooper’s forward line.

Bad news for Everton!

 

Gini Wijnaldum

2GPERW0 Paris, France. 28th Sep, 2021. Georginio Wijnaldum of Paris St Germain during the UEFA Champions League match at Le Parc des Princes, Paris. Picture credit should read: David Klein/Sportimage Credit: Sportimage/Alamy Live News

Four senior players departed upon their contract expiries this summer, but Gini Wijnaldum became the first significant player of the Klopp era to walk for free in 2021.

The midfielder signed for PSG that summer and was cruelly named Ligue 1’s ‘Flop of the Year’ by the end of the campaign having also failed to earn the love of the supporters.

He spent the following season on loan at Roma before being reunited with Jordan Henderson at Al-Ettifaq this summer.

 

Philippe Coutinho

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 20, 2023: Aston Villa's Philippe Coutinho during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Everton FC at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp’s well-known “statue” comments were, of course, related to Philippe Coutinho‘s £146 million departure in 2018.

The Brazilian has gone on to play for two of the clubs mentioned in the quote having joined Bayern Munich on loan from Barcelona just 18 months after his Liverpool exit.

Having left Anfield as the squad’s best player, Liverpool spent the money on Alisson and Van Dijk before going on to lift every major trophy available across a four-year period.

Coutinho is heading to Qatar to ply his trade for Al-Duhail in 2023/24 following an equally unsuccessful spell at Aston Villa.

 

Emre Can

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 14, 2022: Borussia Dortmund's Emre Can during the UEFA Champions League Group G game between Manchester City FC and Borussia Dortmund. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Signed as part of the post-Suarez rebuild in 2014, Emre Can spent four years at Anfield before opting to run down his contract in favour of a switch to Juventus.

The German midfielder failed to make the impact he was hoping for in Serie A and was handed a loan move to Borussia Dortmund after just 18 months in January 2020.

That move was made permanent by the end of the season and Can is still a Dortmund player to this day.

 

Taiwo Awoniyi

firo: 18.12.2020 Football, Soccer 1. Bundesliga, Season 2020/2021 Union Berlin - BVB Borussia Dortmund 2: 1 Union Taiwo Awoniyi, jubilation, goaljubel, gesture, gesture, after the 1: 0, | usage worldwide

One success story in this regard is Taiwo Awoniyi, who joined Union Berlin in the summer of 2021 following a series of loan moves and having never made a Liverpool appearance.

After one year in Germany, Awoniyi joined Nottingham Forest where he netted 10 Premier League goals upon their return to the top-flight in 2022/23.

He also notched three goals in his first three league appearances of this season and will be hoping to strike up a fruitful partnership with fellow ex-Red Origi in this campaign.

 

Xherdan Shaqiri

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JULY 02: Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Quarter-final match between Switzerland and Spain at Saint Petersburg Stadium on July 02, 2021 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Joosep Martinson - UEFA)

Xherdan Shaqiri was never a regular at Anfield but his heroics against Man United in 2018 mean he is fondly remembered by Liverpool fans.

He left the Reds to join Ligue 1 side Lyon two summers ago but he didn’t complete his first season in France.

The Swiss international signed for MLS club Chicago Fire less than six months after his Anfield departure, the place at which he still currently plays his football.