Where Are They Now? Klopp’s 1st Derby

Tom Johnson
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Five years ago saw Jurgen Klopp’s Merseyside Derby debut, Saturday sees his 13th clash with the Toffees as the German hopes to pick up his eighth win over Everton.

When the Premier League fixtures are publicly announced, the first game of truly meaningful interest to most Liverpool supporters is Derby Day.

Two clubs steeped in history from the same city is a rare occurrence, which undoubtedly adds to the ferocity of such a prominent rivalry.

Facing up against the Reds’ neighbours from across Stanley Park, is something manager Jurgen Klopp now has a wealth of experience in. The German boasts an impressive record against The Toffees, unbeaten in 11 previous encounters, with a total of 6 victories in that period.

Ever since his first match-up, however, a 4-0 victory at Anfield in 2016, there has inevitably been a significant change to the personnel of the Liverpool roster.

Who started in Klopp’s Anfield Debut?

Simon Mignolet

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A rollercoaster six years saw Mignolet make an impressive 204 appearances at the club. While there were plenty of lows during an eventful spell, it ultimately ended in glory for the Belgian, who bowed out with a Champions League medal.

The 32-year-old opted for a return to his home nation in 2019, where he now plies his trade at Club Brugge.

Nathaniel Clyne

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The Englishman enjoyed a four-year stint on Merseyside, in which for the first two, Clyne was a mainstay in the Liverpool backline.

Until Trent Alexander-Arnold burst onto the scene, he was always a reliable asset in the right-back role.

Still only 29, Clyne is currently enjoying a somewhat revival of his career in the Premier League, at Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace.

Dejan Lovren

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Always in the headlines for one reason or another, the Croatian did enjoy some good moments in a Liverpool shirt. 185 appearances in a six-year-spell, ultimately ended with four winners’ medals under Klopp for Lovren.

The Summer of 2020 was however the right time for all parties to move on, in which the 31-year-old made the move to St Petersburg, representing Zenit.

Mamadou Sakho

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When arriving in 2013 from PSG, the Frenchman built a reputation as one of France’s hottest defensive prospects.

However, such accolades failed to ever ignite at Anfield, with Sakho spending just three years on Merseyside.

In 2016, the now 31-year-old moved to Crystal Palace, where he still plays today. Although, it is fair to suggest his performances have also been below-par in South London.

Alberto Moreno

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Following a move from Sevilla in 2014, Liverpool fans were excited by the prospect of a new recruit in the left-back role.

Moreno was praised for his speed and attacking qualities, however consistently poor defensive displays led to Andy Robertson ultimately taking the left-back mantle in 2017.

The Spaniard returned home in 2019, following a move to La Liga outfit Villarreal.

James Milner

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Almost six years and 228 appearances later, the 35-year-old remains an important member of Jurgen Klopp’s squad.

The Englishman’s versatility and leadership qualities, make him still an invaluable asset to the Premier League champions.

Certainly one of the best free transfers in the club’s history.

Lucas Leiva

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After joining the Reds in 2007 as a roar 20-year-old, the Brazilian went on to rack up an impressive 346 appearances in the famous red.

Injuries unfortunately intervened on a consistent basis, meaning Lucas never lived up to his true potential.

However, the 34-year-old has since enjoyed a highly successful spell in Serie A with Lazio, after arriving from Merseyside in 2017.

Adam Lallana

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A six-year spell on Merseyside contained ups and downs for the Englishman, with injuries often the downfall of his Liverpool career.

Although during the early stages of the Jurgen Klopp era, Lallana was undeniably an integral part of Klopp’s all-action style.

After collecting a Premier League winners medal in summer 2020, the 32-year-old returned to the south coast, making the move to Brighton.

Roberto Firmino

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The Brazilian ultimately is the last man standing from the starting eleven back in 2016, to that which should start the upcoming derby.

Although in recent years he has split opinion, he remains an integral part of Klopp’s machine as well as most used by the German and unquestionably possesses world-class quality.

Phil Coutinho

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After joining for just £8m back in January 2013, the Brazilian enjoyed a six-year spell which surpassed all expectations.

With 97 goal contributions over 201 appearances, Coutinho was at times a joy to watch under Klopp.

Since his departure from Merseyside, he has failed to reach similar heights. Currently still at the Nou Camp, the 28-year-old remains out of favour.

Divock Origi

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A fact which may be of surprise to many, by summer 2021 the Belgian will have served seven years at Anfield.

Although there have been some magnificent highs, the majority of supporters will feel it is now time for Origi and Liverpool to part ways.

Performance levels have dropped significantly, and while at a prime age of 26 come summer, the forward needs a move to revitalise a stuttering career at present.

LFCTR Verdict

Certainly a team with substantially less quality than that taking the field this time around, however a 4-0 victory was achieved over this weekend’s opponents and arch-rivals.

History repeating itself could be the turning point, in Liverpool’s faltering Premier League campaign.

Read more by Tom Johnson

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