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Liverpool’s squad has evolved perfectly since Jurgen Klopp’s first game in charge

The year is 2015, Liverpool have just sacked Brendan Rodgers and replaced them with a wacky German manager Jurgen Klopp famed for ‘heavy metal’ football.

His first game in charge is against a settled Spurs side who have ambitions for Europe and silverware.

Klopp is working out who’s going to be part of his new era and settles for the best XI he can field at White Hart Lane.


Just do your best Divock

PA:Press Association
Just do your best Divock

Unfortunately for Klopp he inherited a Liverpool side that had failed to qualify for the Champions League, was full of defensive madmen, an overload of flair midfielders, an inexperienced striker and a wobbly goalkeeper.

Not a good mix to visit one of the best clubs in the league who boast Harry Kane in razor sharp form, a firebrand Dele Alli and a Belgian chastity belt guarding the goal in the shape of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.

The game turned out to be a rather dull 0-0 draw as both teams had a total 25 shots without managing to get a single one on target for either side.

You can be sure that Simon Mignolet will have been happy not to have had to actually make a save.

Get those lunges in Jurgen

Get those lunges in Jurgen

Out of the 11 players that started that game for Liverpool, only one remains a starter in the Klopp sides we see today.

Any guesses? It’s Mr. Reliable James Milner of course.

Philippe Coutinho finally got his big money move, Lucas and Emre Can have both left the club while Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel have said their goodbyes leaving Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne at the club.

Simon Mignolet is wallowing around as Alisson’s number two as Klopp has overseen a complete overhaul of playing staff.

A rabble of Liverpool players

Action Images - Reuters
A rabble of Liverpool players

As for the bench, the less said about Jerome Sinclair, Joao Teixeira, Jordan Ibe and a 34-year-old Kolo Toure the better.

Nowadays, Liverpool undoubtedly have one of the most exciting squads in the league, dripping with pace and absolutely lethal on the counter attack.

The midfield has been bolstered with Naby Keita while £40m summer signing Fabinho hasn’t even been taken out of the wrapping.

They are top of the league and will be aiming to extend their 100% start to the season at Wembley on Saturday.

But what has happened to Spurs in that time? 


Not a lot to be honest.

The only major changes have seen Kyle Walker being replaced by Kieran Trippier at right-back and Nacer Chadli swapped Spurs for West Brom and eventually Monaco while Dele Alli plays a little bit closer to Harry Kane.

It’s harsh to say the club has stagnated in the time since Klopp’s first game – Spurs went on to finish second that season and have qualified for the Champions League each season thereafter.

And yet they haven’t won anything.

Liverpool have equally failed to bring home any silverware but Klopp’s pro-active squad management has seen them reach both European major finals since then.

And elevated them to one of the few teams capable of challenging City to the title.

The (no)money man

Getty Images - Getty
The (no)money man

Spurs have made minor additions in Lucas Moura last January and Moussa Sissoko but Daniel Levy isn’t opening his wallet for any new players.

The new stadium is going way over budget and schedule and it is a make-or-break season for Spurs.

Miss out on the top four and don’t win anything and the team could be ripped apart in the summer.

For Liverpool on the other hand, everything is looking pretty rosy.


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