The Liverpool-German Connection

Calum Anderson

Emre Can, Roberto Firmino, Nuri Sahin, and Naby Keita are just a few of the names that Liverpool have brought from the Bundesliga, Calum Anderson takes a quick look at all the names the Anfield side took from Germany.

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The Bundesliga is finally back, and it’s the first league in Europe to do so. Given the German league’s topicality, LFC Transfer Room writer Calum Anderson (@CalumAnderson__) names some of Liverpool’s best German players. The Reds have also, of course, bought a plethora of talent from Bundesliga sides, including our very own Bobby Firmino.

Liverpool fans will be paying a close eye this weekend, especially given its possible implications on England’s ‘Project Restart’. But also because we Reds adore football (wherever it’s played), and we’ve been starved of it of late. Our current manager Jurgen Klopp – a proud German – has also led us to a sixth European crown and to within a whisker of our nineteenth English crown.

There are a few players to have played in the Bundesliga and also plied their trade in the famous red kit. Think, for example, of Didi Hamman, a player who was instrumental in helping Liverpool win their fifth European Cup in Istanbul. He was famously subbed on at half-time for Steve Finnan. He played with the reds for seven years, the former Bayern Munich midfielder. 

Nuri Sahin was a loan signing from Real Madrid. He had played under Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund during his development. Unfortunately, the midfielder was played out of position and just five months later the loan deal ended. The German born midfielder looked the perfect signing for Brendan Rodger’s Liverpool but he was played out of position. This one feels like a real missed opportunity with the fantastic ability Sahin has on the ball to dictate play but was never given that opportunity in just seven games.

One German that Klopp himself signed were Loris Karius. We all know the story with Karius who has recently returned to the club. But the 26-year-old is still young for a goalkeeper and increasing his ability. He was an integral signing from Mainz and helped Liverpool on their way to Kyiv.

A midfielder who was signed from Bayer Leverkusen under Brendan Rodgers was Emre Can who scored that wonder goal against Watford to help push Liverpool towards securing Champions League football. Can was a vital player for Klopp. He was always relied on and was part of a back three when Liverpool beat Brighton away from home 5-1. Unfortunately, the German midfielder decided to run down their contract and moved to Juventus. Can was a brilliant midfielder under Klopp and looked like he was growing into a powerful box to box type of midfielder.

Commanding centre-back Joel Matip was brought in on a free transfer by Klopp from Dortmund’s rivals Schalke 04. Matip played a huge role in Liverpool winning their sixth Champions League title especially his dominant display at Anfield on that night where the reds dumped out Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate.

Another solid centre-back brought from Bundesliga was fans favourite Ragnar Klavan. He was brought over from Augsburg who currently sit 14th in the league. A player at the time who had incredible blocking stats in the Bundesliga, seemed a very solid defender and will be remembered for his 94th minute goal against Burnley on New Years Day to help Liverpool win 2-1.

Another important player in Klopp’s tenure is former Hoffenheim forward Roberto Firmino. Brought in as a left-winger and the then number 11 was yet to find his feet. But now the number 9 under Klopp has found his perfect position as a ‘false nine’. He was seen as an overpriced signing at the time and didn’t fit Rodger’s plans. But as soon as Klopp came in the Brazilian striker has redefined the meaning of striker. His defensive ability is infectious across the team and he is a huge part of the Liverpool style of play.

Liverpool’s third most expensive player Naby Keita was brought in from RB Leipzig, when he was one of the brightest sparks in the league as the then 23-year-old was a hot prospect with lots of top clubs gunning for his signature. He came to the league with a bit of a reputation after getting four red cards in his final season in Germany. But last season he began to kick start his career with goals against Porto and Southampton before suffering another injury set back.

There has been a lot in common with the Bundesliga and Liverpool over the past few years and there have been links to some of their greatest players. Liverpool time and time again were linked with World Cup winner Mario Gotze. In recent times the reds have seemed to be edging closer to signing RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner. Also Kai Havertz is another name banded around the Premier League clubs as the exciting midfielder looks like he would add quality to most sides.

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