Premier League • England

Jurgen Klopp: Top 10 most expensive Liverpool signings and how they fared

Ryan Baldi
Jurgen Klopp, Alisson Becker, Darwin Nunez and Virgil van Dijk

Alisson, Darwin Nunez and Virgil van Dijk are among Jurgen Klopp's biggest Liverpool signings

With the shocking news that Jurgen Klopp is stepping down as Liverpool manager at the end of the season, reflections on the 56-year-old’s time at the helm on Merseyside have already begun.

Having delivered a first league title in three decades, plus the club’s sixth European Cup, while also driving one of the great Premier League rivalries in challenging Manchester City’s domestic dominance, Klopp’s legendary Liverpool status is assured.

But what about his record in the transfer market?

The former Borussia Dortmund manager has overseen 58 first-team signings for a total outlay of more than £800 million. With 56 players sold in that time, recouping £532 million, a net spend of less than £300 million represents value in the modern era, considering the on-field success the Reds have enjoyed under their iconic German leader.

There have been plenty of success stories and the odd flop, too. Here are Klopp’s 10 most expensive Liverpool signings, with fees inclusive of add-ons, and how each fared.

10. Mohamed Salah – £36.9 million

Not only one of Liverpool’s best but one of the greatest signings in Premier League history. When the Reds brought Salah back to the English top flight in 2018, despite a stellar two and a half years in Serie A, there were question marks over whether the Egyptian could shake off the ‘flop’ label after his uneventful spell with Chelsea.

Such concerns didn’t last long. Salah claimed the Premier League Golden Boot in his first season with Liverpool, setting a record for the most goals scored in a 38-game campaign, with 32.

Since then, he’s added two more Golden Boots to his collection, as well as two PFA Players’ Player of the Year Awards, a league title, a Champions League, an FA Cup and an EFL Cup.

With more than 200 goals – and counting – in his six and a half years on Merseyside, Salah is unquestionably one of the greatest forwards of the Premier League era. A home-run signing if ever there were one.

9. Cody Gakpo – £37 million

It was regarded as something of a coup when Liverpool snapped up Gakpo from PSV last winter amid rival interest from Manchester United, and the Dutchman’s versatility has been an asset for Klopp since his £37 million arrival.

The 24-year-old Dutch international has yet to replicate the heights of his final 18 months in Holland, in which he scored 34 goals in 71 games, but he has been a useful rotation piece for Klopp, able to play wide or centrally as a striker – where he can take advantage of his surprisingly tall 6ft 4ins frame – depending on the match-up.

“A year with obviously really good moments, some lesser-good moments,” Gakpo told the club’s official website, reflecting on his first year as a Liverpool player, “but I’m happy to be here and hopefully beautiful moments to come.”

8. Fabinho – £40 million

His time on Merseyside ended with something of a whimper as his form dipped and he appeared to age rapidly, but it shouldn’t be forgotten just how impactful Fabinho’s arrival from Monaco was.

With the transfer announced just two days after Liverpool had lost to Real Madrid in the 2018 Champions League final, the Reds’ capture of the versatile Brazilian was a statement of intent.

Fabinho added ballast to Klopp’s midfield, applying his athleticism, anticipation and conservatism in possession to expertly shield the backline.

In his debut season, Liverpool went one better in the Champions League, beating Tottenham in the final to claim a sixth title, and added the Premier League title the following year.

7. Diogo Jota – £45 million

The £45 million transfer fee Liverpool paid to acquire Jota from Wolves in 2020 is a significant chunk of change for a player seldom considered a starter when all of Klopp’s other attackers are fit.

But the Portuguese is the embodiment of the notion that a club is best served adding players from a position of strength. Signed in the wake of their most recent title success, Jota has added another string to the Reds’ bow in attack.

He is a lethal finisher who takes pressure off his colleagues with his ability to fit in seamlessly when called upon and, most importantly, score.

6. Luis Diaz – £45 million

Signed as the heir-apparent to Sadio Mane in January 2022, Diaz looked dynamic on the left side of Liverpool’s attack in the early months of his Reds career.

Fast, skilful and possessing an eye for a spectacular goal, the £45 million fee the Reds forked out to Porto for his signature looked a snip.

More recently, though, his form has been affected by injuries and the unimaginable strife of his father’s kidnapping in October 2023.

Aged 27, with his dad’s safe return and no present injury concerns, Diaz is now tasked with rediscovering the kind of form that saw him light up Anfield after his mid-season move.

5. Naby Keita – £52 million

The only unequivocal flop on this list. Keita arrived from RB Leipzig in the summer of 2016 having carved out a reputation in the Bundesliga as one of the best young box-to-box midfielders in the world.

Handed Steven Gerrard’s old No.8 jersey, expectation was high, but the Guinean never came close to justifying Liverpool’s sizeable outlay on him.

Keita was dogged by persistent injuries throughout his time at Anfield, but even in periods of fitness he failed to regularly produce the displays of dynamism and authority he’d demonstrated in Germany.

He left as a free agent last summer, joining Werder Bremen. Few Reds mourned his departure.

4. Dominik Szoboszlai – £60 million

Another midfielder signed from RB Leipzig, Szoboszlai looks set to leave more of a mark at Anfield than Keita ever managed.

Arriving last summer, the Hungarian was a revelation in the Reds’ middle third at the start of the season, providing creativity, energy and a goal threat from distance.

His form cooled as the campaign wore on and a hamstring injury sidelined him early in the new year, but the 23-year-old has the tools to figure as a key part of Liverpool’s midfield make-up for years to come.

3. Alisson – £67 million

A contender – along with Salah and the next man on this list – to be considered the greatest of all Klopp’s signings, Alisson has been a vital part of Liverpool’s success ever since his arrival from Roma in 2018.

The Brazil No.1 has the anticipation and ability with his feet to thrive amid the demands of the modern goalkeeper, but he also possesses the traditional skills associated with the position that mark him out as arguably the best in the world – agility, communication, presence and consistency.

He can even pop up with a crucial goal, as demonstrated by his last-gasp header to seal a dramatic victory over West Brom in 2021.

2. Virgil van Dijk – £75 million

One of Klopp’s great strengths in the transfer market has been his patience. And, in the summer of 2017, it led to the most impactful signing of his Liverpool career.

Often, when a big club is rebuffed in their efforts to sign their top target, they move on, working down their list of options and signing an often-inferior alternative. When Southampton initially refused to sell Virgil van Dijk, Klopp waited.

The following winter, he got his man in a record-breaking £75 million deal. The size of the fee was criticised at the time, but no one would question its value now.

The imposing Dutch centre-back quickly established himself as the world’s best defender en route to leading Liverpool to Premier League and Champions League glory.

1. Darwin Nunez – £85 million

The jury is still out on Klopp’s most expensive purchase. Since moving to Merseyside from Benfica 18 months ago, Nunez has regularly shown flashes of the skills that led Liverpool to splash so heavily on his signing, but he has also frustrated at times with his rough-around-the-edges style.

With his athleticism, speed, directness and chance-sniffing instincts, Nunez is one of the most productive generators of scoring opportunities in the Premier League and has the ability to win games almost alone.

But, an erratic finisher, he ranked third in the league for big chances missed (20) last season and currently tops that chart this term (18). The ultimate agent of chaos, Nunez can be asset or liability, depending on whether he’s wearing his shooting boots.

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