Tracing Klopp’s starting team in first game

German coach Jurgen Klopp has led Liverpool in over 300 matches since taking charge in 2015 and if he were to step down today, which is highly unlikely, he will go down history as one of the most successful Liverpool managers. He has a Premier League and Champions League medal in his cabinet and the transformation the team has had under him is tremendous.

He arrived on a big profile and backed to start a project to get Liverpool to their rightful place. It has been rocky at times but generally the team has done well. His first game in charge was a 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur and in the post-match, he said they’ll definitely get better. They have.

As we trace his starting team in his first game in charge, it is key to mention that only veteran James Milner and Divock Origi are still around among the 11 that started back then, in a game Milner was the skipper.

Whereas both remain bit-part players, they remain crucial to the Reds. Milner is currently out injured but Origi has represented well and in the last two matches he has scored Liverpool’s winning goals.

The Belgian was on hand with a late winner against Wolves then completed the comeback against AC Milan in a 2-1 win in the Champions League days later. Liverpool have enjoyed high ratings as previewed on best footy tips on SportyTrader and it is because of big game players like Origi, who should have attained legendary status already. 

Apart from the two, Roberto Firmino, Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez are the other players still at the club but in Klopp’s first game in charge, they were all injured and ruled out.

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Simon Mignolet, the Belgian keeper, is now on his third season with Club Brugge, having left Liverpool after the 2018/19 season. Martin Skrtel, now 36, is back in Slovakia with Spartak Trnava and Frenchman Mamadou Sakho, 31, had a stint at Crystal Palace and is currently in France with Montpellier. Nathaniel Clyne joined Bournemouth after leaving Liverpool but is currently at Crystal Palace. Alberto Moreno completed the back four in Klopp’s first team, he is now at Villarreal, doing his third season after leaving Liverpool.

In midfield, Klopp named Brazilian Lucas Leiva to shield the defence; he didn’t stay long after, and currently plies his trade in Italy with Lazio. Alongside Leiva was Adam Lallana. Back then a key player for the team, Lallana is currently at Brighton, playing his second season at the club. Another Brazilian, Philippe Coutinho also started that game but would leave two seasons later, and is currently at Barcelona, having served a season on loan at Bayern Munich.

German midfielder Emre Can was the other player starting that game. His search for more game time would see him leave three seasons later for pastures green. He was snapped up by Juventus, where he played for two seasons before dumping the Italian giants for Borussia Dortmund. He is currently playing his third season for Dortmund.

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