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Where are they now: Jurgen Klopp’s first Liverpool line-up

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29th January, 2024

It’s the news no Liverpool supporter wanted to hear.

After more than eight years at the club, Jurgen Klopp has announced he will step down as manager at the end of the season.

Despite having another two years left on his contract, the German is convinced he can’t continue to meet the demands of the position.

“I’m running out of energy,” Klopp said to club media.

“I’m absolutely fine now, but I know that I cannot do the job again and again and again and again.”

Liverpool currently sit on top of the Premier League table and have already qualified for the Carabao Cup Final in February.

But Klopp wasn’t always blessed with a playing group as talented as the one he has today.

When he took over from Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool had only won four of its first 11 games in the 2015-16 season.


The German’s journey began with a 0-0 draw against Tottenham and no one from that initial line-up remains at the club.

(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

GK: Simon Mignolet

Mignolet had the perfect start to his six-year stint at Liverpool, with a match-winning penalty save in his first game. The Belgian was the first-choice goalkeeper in the club’s 2013-14 Premier League title challenge that fell just short. But it became clear the club needed an improvement to secure silverware.

Under Klopp, Mignolet played a backup role to Loris Karius and then Alisson. The 35-year-old returned to his home country in 2019, where he currently plays for Club Brugge.

RB: Nathaniel Clyne

Clyne arrived at Liverpool only months before Klopp in 2015 and was a reliable defender in the club’s pursuit of Champions League qualification. In 2017, a significant back injury halted his career and opened the door for a young Trent Alexander-Arnold to take his place.


With limited opportunities once he returned, the 32-year-old went on loan to Bournemouth, before making a permanent move to current club Crystal Palace.

CB: Martin Škrtel

Škrtel spent the bulk of his career at Liverpool, playing 320 games after signing in 2008. The Slovakian had defensive deficiencies but scored some memorable goals, including one in the club’s 2012 League Cup Final victory. With the arrival of Joël Matip and the desire for a new challenge, Škrtel left Liverpool for Turkish side Fenerbahçe in 2016. The 39-year-old called time on his playing career in 2022.

CB: Mamadou Sakho

Sakho joined Liverpool in 2013 with high expectations, having progressed through Paris Saint-Germain’s youth system. In his first season, the Frenchman played a prominent role in the club’s Premier League title challenge.

Sakho’s time at Liverpool went downhill after receiving a doping ban in 2016. Whilst he was eventually cleared of any wrongdoings, he then fell out of favour with Klopp for breaking club rules on a training camp in the United States.

He never played another game with Liverpool, going out on loan to Crystal Palace, before joining the club permanently. The 33-year-old is currently clubless, leaving Montpellier following an alleged altercation with the club’s manager last year.


LB: Alberto Moreno

Moreno was Liverpool’s first-choice left-back when he arrived in 2014. After a couple of inconsistent seasons he lost his position to James Milner, who despite being a makeshift replacement, was trusted by Klopp. The Spaniard had an extended run in the team at the end of 2017, but was then overtaken by new signing Andrew Robertson who never looked back.

Moreno was released by Liverpool in 2019, signing for Villarreal shortly afterwards, which is where the 31-year-old remains today.

RDM: Lucas Leiva

Leiva moved to Liverpool in 2007 and faced a tough battle to break into the club’s midfield. Which is no surprise given he was competing with Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano. He slowly became a fan favourite, with his workrate standing out across his 346 appearances.

The Brazilian won the club’s player of the season award for 2010-11 but became a rotational player by the time Klopp came to Merseyside. Leiva left for Lazio in 2017 and later retired in 2023 because of a heart issue.


LDM: Emre Can

Can was a promising young talent when he joined Liverpool in 2014, having climbed Bayern Munich’s youth ranks. Rodgers used the German as a centre-back, but he moved into the midfield once Klopp arrived and was a serviceable player.

Can’s bicycle kick goal against Watford was a clear highlight in his time at the club. The superb finish won the Premier League Goal of the Season for 2016-17. Can let his contract run out at Liverpool in 2018 and moved to Juventus. The 30-year-old now plays for Borussia Dortmund as the club captain.

RW: James Milner

Milner moved from Manchester City to Liverpool on a free transfer in 2015. He had an instant impact, being named vice-captain within a month. His professionalism and versatility proved to be very valuable assets, with Klopp playing him in almost every position on the field.

(Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)

Milner was a key member of Liverpool’s 2018-19 Champions League and 2019-20 Premier League-winning teams. At the end of his contract in 2023 he completed a move to Brighton. The 38-year-old is now 21 games away from breaking Gareth Barry’s all-time record for Premier League appearances (653).


CAM: Adam Lallana

Lallana signed for Liverpool in 2014 and was an important player during Klopp’s first few seasons at the club. His ability to win back possession in the forward half became a trait sought after by the German manager. Lallana was named England’s Player of the Year for 2016 but his career was then hampered by injuries.

He played minor roles in Liverpool’s Champions League and Premier League triumphs. The 35-year-old currently plays for Brighton after moving clubs in 2020.

LW: Philippe Coutinho

Coutinho joined Liverpool in 2013 and it didn’t take him long to become a crucial first-team member. The Brazilian scored many eye-catching goals and was named Liverpool’s Player of the Season for 2014-15 and 2015-16. He was arguably the most talented player Klopp had at his disposal when he took over as manager.

But early in 2018 he completed a move to Barcelona for a big fee. Coutinho struggled to have the same impact in Spain and was loaned out to Bayern Munich and Aston Villa. He then made a permanent move to Aston Villa in 2022. The 31-year-old is now on loan at Qatari club Al-Duhail.

Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho has never reached his Liverpool heights since he left. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


CF: Divock Origi

Origi signed for Liverpool in 2014 and was immediately loaned back to French club Lille. His first season playing for Liverpool coincided with Klopp’s first in charge. Struggling to make a big impression, the Belgian went back out on loan to Wolfsburg for the 2017-18 season.

When he returned he found himself stuck as Roberto Firmino’s understudy. That didn’t stop him from becoming a club legend with a long list of crucial goals.

Two came in one of Liverpool’s most famous victories over Barcelona in the Champions League. That was followed by the sealer in the 2018-19 Final against Tottenham. Origi joined AC Milan after his contract ended in 2022 and is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest.

During the 17 transfer periods in charge, Klopp completely overhauled Liverpool’s squad and success followed, with seven trophies to date.

World-class players in Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Alisson lead by example year in, year out.

Academy products now play a more prominent role, with the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones cemented in the first team.


There’s also an important mix of new signings to rejuvenate the squad.

Klopp’s final Liverpool line-up will look unrecognisable compared to that first game back in 2015.

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It will emphasise the mountain of work he’s done to develop the club and puts his successor in a much stronger position than when he started.