Jurgen Klopp has picked out the two players who helped Liverpool improve the most this season.
The Reds pushed Manchester City all the way in an incredible title race; Klopp’s men eventually losing out to the Treble-winners by just a solitary point.
Liverpool lost just one Premier League game all season – critically to City – but do have the small matter of a Champions League final against Tottenham to look forward to. Defender Andy Robertson hopes it will help them vanquish their anguish at missing out of the league title.
Liverpool are widely accepted as a much more formidable side that were beaten in the Champions League final last season and, and asked how his side had made such strides, Klopp said he felt that two of his more recent signings, Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, have been key.
“I think that the players knew after five days what my ideas were. It was clear that the players knew me and knew Dortmund,” he told UEFA.
“This is why it was clear how we wanted to play, but we didn’t want to push everything that way right from the start, we wanted to utilise the qualities of the players and give them more confidence so they would have that belief that they are the right players for Liverpool.
“But of course you need time until you can see that on the pitch. I don’t know how much time it took, but it certainly took some time. In the first year we reached the Europa League final and the League Cup final, we lost them both, but it was a very strenuous season.
“We qualified for the Champions League for the second season, in our third year we reached the final of the Champions League, and in the fourth season here we are again in the Champions League final.
“The development of the players who were there helped us a lot; of course, the new signings helped us a lot as well. Alisson and Virgil, for example, have had the biggest impact because they have played in almost all the games.”
Klopp also hailed the part played this season by two of his others captures last summer in Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri – and suggested they can only get more influential for the Reds.
“Players such as Fabinho and Shaqiri are very important parts of the team, too. But then again, they are not at the top of their game, but they’ve made important steps in their development. The journey is not over, not for anyone.
“This is why we feel like we are only at the start, and that there is still a lot to come.”
Get the latest personalised Reds products on our new TEAMtalk Liverpool shop!