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Salah good, Karius bad - Klopp's hits & misses from first 10 Liverpool signings

  /  autty

Jurgen Klopp has done an incredible job at Liverpool. Handed the reins in 2015, the German has led the Reds to their sixth European Cup and is on the verge of ending a 30-year wait for a league title.

Klopp has assembled a magnificent squad, proving astute in the transfer market as well as on the training pitch.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss has been ably assisted by Michael Edwards and the recruitment department at Anfield, all of whom have contributed to creating the best set of players Liverpool have had in the Premier League era.

But were the signings made early in Klopp's tenure as successful as later deals for the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho? We've taken a look.

Marko Grujic

With Steven Caulker a short-term loanee, Grujic was the only permanent signing Klopp made in his first transfer window at the club. Bought for £5.1m, the young midfielder claimed that he would have signed for Liverpool even above Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Things haven't gone to plan for the Serbia international since then, though, with Grujic having made only 14 appearances to date. He's currently on loan at Hertha Berlin for a second successive season.

Verdict: Miss

Joel Matip

Matip arrived at Anfield in summer 2016 on a free transfer following the expiration of his Schalke contract. The centre-back made an excellent start to life on Merseyside and played well throughout his debut campaign, but his performance levels dipped in 2017/18.

That downturn in form proved to be a blip, however, and Matip was one of Liverpool's standout players in the second half of last season. He's now behind Joe Gomez in the pecking order but remains an important part of Klopp's squad.

Verdict: Hit

Loris Karius

Karius was handed the No.1 jersey upon arrival at Liverpool, but he didn't establish himself as Klopp's go-to goalkeeper until the second half of 2017/18.

The German made two major errors in that season's Champions League final, ultimately costing Liverpool against Real Madrid.

He hasn't played for the Reds since and his future is in limbo after recently cancelling a two-year loan deal with Besiktas.

Verdict: Miss

Sadio Mane

Mane had excelled at Southampton following a switch from Red Bull Salzburg, but many pundits wondered whether he would be able to make the step up to Liverpool.

The answer to that question has been emphatic, with Mane now widely considered among the world's best forwards.

The Senegal international has found the net 61 times in 177 outings for the Reds, but he brings so much more to the table than just goals.

Verdict: Hit

Ragnar Klavan

At £4.2m Klavan was a low-risk acquisition, and Klopp clearly didn't anticipate him playing week in, week out in the Premier League and Champions League.

Nevertheless, the Estonian's two-year stay at Liverpool was underwhelming. Klavan made 31 Premier League starts at centre-back, yet he was never completely convincing and few tears were shed when he joined Cagliari in 2018.

Verdict: Miss

Alex Manninger

Premier League fans were shocked to realise that Manninger, a member of Arsenal's double-winning squad of 1997/98, was still playing when he joined Liverpool in summer 2016.

The veteran Austrian was never likely to feature in a competitive match for Liverpool - and so it proved. He retired at the end of the 2016/17 season.

Verdict: N/A

Georginio Wijnaldum

Bought from Newcastle after their relegation to the Championship, Wijnaldum proved he was Premier League class at Liverpool.

The Dutchman has gone from strength to strength since his arrival in 2016, and is now among Liverpool's most important players.

His best night in a red shirt came just over a year ago, when Wijnaldum scored twice in the 4-0 victory over Barcelona.

Verdict: Hit

Mohamed Salah

Although Salah had restored his reputation in Italy with Fiorentina and Roma, some Premier League fans questioned whether he would make an impact at Liverpool following an unsuccessful spell with Chelsea earlier in his career.

Salah didn't take long to prove the doubters wrong. He scored 32 goals in the Premier League alone in 2017/18, delivering arguably the greatest debut campaign in the competition's history.

The Egyptian has barely missed a beat since then, becoming one of the world's leading forwards and breaking the 20-goal barrier in each of his three seasons at Anfield.

Verdict: Hit

Dominic Solanke

Liverpool's signing of Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea paid dividends in 2013, and they were hoping for a repeat when they captured Solanke from their Premier League rivals four years later.

The striker was a disappointment, however, scoring just one goal in 21 top-flight outings prior to his move to Bournemouth in January 2019.

Verdict: Miss

Andrew Robertson

Despite the success of Wijnaldum, eyebrows were raised when Liverpool signed Robertson from relegated Hull in 2017. But the Scot has been sensational since then and is now arguably Europe's foremost left-back.

Robertson's energy and creativity on the flank have been essential elements of Liverpool's success in recent years.

At £8m he's perhaps one of the club's best pound-for-pound signings of the Premier League era.

Verdict: Hit