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Jurgen Klopp's First Ever Starting XI At Liverpool Shows Just How Much He's Transformed The Club

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Jurgen Klopp's First Ever Starting XI At Liverpool Shows Just How Much He's Transformed The Club

In just over a month's time, Liverpool could achieve what no other club in English football has managed and win an unprecedented quadruple. 

Jurgen Klopp's side have already won the Carabao Cup this season and remain firmly in contention in the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup.

Since taking over from Brendan Rodgers in 2015, Klopp has transformed Liverpool from an underachieving side struggling to compete domestically into arguably the best team in world football.

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It is a remarkable turnaround for the Reds, with Klopp undoubtedly the catalyst for their upturn in fortunes.

It took the German four years to win his first piece of silverware at Anfield, when Liverpool beat Tottenham in the final of the Champions League in 2019.

But that is hardly surprising, given the scale of the rebuild needed following his arrival on Merseyside.

In his first ever match as Liverpool manager, a 0-0 draw away at Tottenham in October 2015, Klopp started the following XI; Simon Mignolet, Alberto Moreno, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana, Lucas Leiva, Emre Can, Philippe Coutinho, James Milner and Divock Origi.

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Klopp's starting XI in his first match as Liverpool manager (Image: BT Sport)
Klopp's starting XI in his first match as Liverpool manager (Image: BT Sport)

Just two of the starting line-up from that day remain at Liverpool; vice-captain Milner and Origi, who scored in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Everton.

Goalkeeper Mignolet lost his place in the team at the start of the following season but would remain as back-up at Anfield until 2019, when he joined Club Brugge in his native Belgium.

Moreno would play a bit-part role at Anfield before leaving in 2019 for Spanish side Villarreal, who will face Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals.

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Klopp allowed Skrtel to leave for Fenerbahce in 2016, while Sakho would join Crystal Palace in 2017 after a loan spell at Selhurst Park.

Liverpool drew 0-0 with Tottenham at White Hart Lane (Image: PA)
Liverpool drew 0-0 with Tottenham at White Hart Lane (Image: PA)

Clyne would remain at Liverpool until 2019 before leaving at the end of his contract, with the former England international later joining Palace.

Lallana would play an important role for Klopp in his early seasons at Anfield and would go on to win both the Champions League and Premier League before leaving in the summer of 2020 after his contract came to an end.

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Fan favourite Lucas Leiva left in 2017 after 10 years at Liverpool, the Brazilian joining Italian club Lazio.

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Can would leave Anfield in acrimonious circumstances in 2018, rejecting a contract offer to join Juventus on a free transfer.

Meanwhile, Coutinho was sold to Barcelona for £142m in 2018, a transfer which helped fund the crucial signings of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson.

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When you compare the team that faced Tottenham in 2016 to Liverpool’s current side, it’s clear just how impressive a job Klopp has done since arriving on Merseyside - especially considering he's achieved it all with a net spend of just £115.7m.

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Featured Image Credit: PA Images & BT Sport

Topics: Liverpool, Football, Premier League, Jurgen Klopp

Rory O'Callaghan
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