Liverpool, after a stuttering start to the last decade, have been a dominant force to be reckoned with. The club’s fortunes have turned around since Jurgen Klopp took over the reins in 2015. In his first season, the Reds made it to the finals of the League Cup and the UEFA Europa League.
A UEFA Champions League final appearance followed in 2017-18, following which they finally lifted Europe’s most coveted trophy in 2018-19. The 2019-20 season has already seen them lift the FIFA Club World Cup and looks set to end with a Premier League triumph for the Merseyside giants.
There have been some exceptional players to have walked through the doors at Anfield during the last decade. But who have been the most stand-out acquisitions for Liverpool during this period? Read on to find out…
Signed in the January transfer window in 2011 from AFC Ajax, as a replacement for the outgoing Fernando Torres, the Uruguayan had his fair share of his controversies during his time at Liverpool. But, his goal-scoring record during this period speaks for itself.
Suarez spent three and a half years at Anfield, during which he plundered 82 goals and 47 assists in 133 appearances across all competitions. That comes up almost direct involvement in goal in each of his appearance for the Reds – prolific indeed.
Led by his 31 goals, Liverpool came ever so close to winning the Premier League for the first time ever in 2013-14. The Reds sold him to Barcelona in 2014, but the Uruguayan striker will be fondly remembered, especially for his sensational exploits in 2013-14.
The English midfielder, signed from Sunderland in an 18 million deal in 2011, wasn’t always held in high regard at Anfield. In fact, for much of his early tenure, Jordan Henderson was often criticized by the fans. But that has changed drastically in recent years, with the midfielder now a favourite among the Kop!
Henderson might not be someone who dazzles fans with his skills and trickery, but his commitment and his passion for the badge, coupled with the way he marshals his troops on the field, has made him an integral member of Klopp’s team.
Henderson is the longest-serving player on Liverpool’s roster currently with 359 appearances, scoring 28 goals and notching up 50 assists. The 29-year-old will go down as a Champions League winning captain in Liverpool’s history and if the Premier League season resumes, he will also go down as the man who led the Reds to their first ever Premier League title triumph.
One of the many players to have made the move from Southampton to Liverpool in recent years, Sadio Mane signed for Liverpool in the summer of 2016 and has since grown from strength to strength, establishing himself as one of the deadliest attackers in the Premier League and Europe.
The Senegalese speedster has been one of the chief driving forces behind Klopp’s brigade enjoying such success in recent seasons. So far, the 27-year-old has scored 77 goals and set up 34 more for his teammates, getting his hands on a Champions League winners’ medal last season.
The 2018-19 campaign also saw him win the Premier League Golden Boot as well and given his performances this season, Mane is a top contender to win the PFA Player of the Year award.
Another of Klopp’s acquisitions that has helped change the landscape at Anfield, Mohamed Salah has been the biggest spark leading the charge for Liverpool in the past couple of seasons. Signed from AS Roma for a €42 million transfer fee, there was some skepticism early on due to his failed stint at Chelsea.
But Salah dispelled any such concerns in his debut season with the Reds, amassing a whopping 44 goals in all competitions, leading them to the finals of the Champions League. He followed it up with another fine campaign last time out, making it two Premier League Golden Boots in two seasons with the Merseysiders, while also firing his side to the Champions League, scoring a goal in the final against Spurs.
Salah has continued in the same vein of form this term as well. During his time at Liverpool, the Egyptian has broken several records already and could go on to topple many more should he keep performing the way he has been.
Virgil van Dijk
The missing piece of puzzle from Klopp’s brigade that turned them from near-contenders to a champion team, Virgil van Dijk signed for Liverpool in a club record £75 million deal in January 2018 from Southampton.
Up until his arrival, Liverpool had a deadly attack, but were found wanting at the back. But all that changed as soon as he arrived. The Dutchman has helped turn this Liverpool side into one of the most solid defensive units in England and Europe, playing a vital role in the club’s rise to the top.
Van Dijk was named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year for 2018-19, the UEFA Best Player of the Year 2019 and was the runner-up in 2019 Ballon d’Or, behind Lionel Messi. Till date he has made 118 appearances for the Reds, scoring 11 goals along the way.
Honourable Mentions: Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Alisson Becker
Image courtesy: AFP