Liverpool's top 5 bargain signings under Jurgen Klopp

Dan Vassie
10 months ago

During Jurgen Klopp's tenure, Liverpool's acumen in the transfer market has been widely applauded.

When you think back to the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker, the club has shown that it can splash the cash on ready-made, world-class talent when necessary — but it has to be the right player, at the right time.

The majority of Liverpool's business, led for most of Klopp's tenure by former sporting directors Michael Edwards and Julian Ward, lives in a lower price range. It has been about signing 'smart' — finding the right players at the best price, while refusing to be bullied into paying above the odds.

Once signed, it has then been up to Klopp to polish the rough diamonds; turning good signings into great players.

There have been some flops and frustration, of course, but generally the Reds' transfer record in recent years is the stuff of envy by many other clubs.

Here are the top five bargain transfers (defined at under £35m) of the Klopp era.

5. Alexis Mac Allister

Year: 2023

Transfer fee: £35m

You could technically argue that the Argentine doesn't belong on this list because he is yet to play a single minute for the club — but that says everything you need to know about the quality of Mac Allister.

To secure a 24-year-old World Cup winner (who was influential in winning the trophy, by the way) with proven Premier League experience for a mere £35m is incredible business by Liverpool in this day and age.

That's without even considering the fact that many of Europe's top sides were sniffing around the midfielder, before Liverpool reacted fastest to a contractual release clause.

Scoring 12 and assisting three in all contributions for Brighton, the Argentine is coming off the back of a stellar 2022/23 season and it's hard to see Mac Allister's fee looking like anything other than a massive bargain in years to come.

4. Georginio Wijnaldum

Year: 2016

Transfer fee: £25m

Undoubtedly one of Jurgen Klopp's best value for money signings, Wijnaldum simply has to be on this list — plus the Dutchman hates being left out, as the world found out in 2019 during the Reds' Champions League semi final against Barcelona.

After originally being benched in the nothing-to-lose fixture, the midfielder replaced the injured Andy Robertson at half-time, before scoring two quick-fire goals, and you know the rest...

That one match alone would have completely justified the £25m transfer fee, but Wijnaldum helped deliver a lot more than just the one trophy to Liverpool fans.

Having transferred from a relegated Newcastle side, many were pessimistic about his switch to the Reds. Although 237 games, 37 goal contributions, four major trophies and endless hours of immaculate ball retention in midfield later, he left the club as a Liverpool legend.

READ MORE: Liverpool's best ever summer transfer windows — ranked

3. Joel Matip

Year: 2016

Transfer fee: Free

If you compare the number of trophies a player has won with the cost of the signing, there aren't many in Liverpool history who compare to Joel Matip.

The 31-year-old is one of three players on this list to have won every single club trophy possible at the club, and he did so without costing a single penny on his transfer fee.

Signing from Schalke in 2016, the former-Bundesliga man has played 187 games for the Reds so far and, in perhaps his most important fixture, assisted a goal that secured Liverpool their historic sixth European Cup in 2019.

The fan-favourite hasn't always started under Jurgen Klopp — often rotating with Ibrahim Konate and Joe Gomez as Virgil van Dijk's centre-back partner — and he's had more than his fair share of injuries, but nevertheless, Matip has been invaluable in the club's pursuit of honours.

And who could forget those majestic slalom runs...

2. Sadio Mane

Year: 2016

Transfer fee: £30m

The order of the club's best ever bargains could perhaps be debated, but one certainty is that Sadio Mane's name simply has to be on it.

Forming one third of Liverpool's most devastating front three, Sadio Mane made a £30m switch from Southampton in 2016, and was Jurgen Klopp's first high-profile signing with big expectations.

Safe to say he delivered on those expectations. The Senegal-born winger scored 120 times and assisted 38 in 269 appearances for the club, winning six major trophies on the way — a truly exceptional return on investment.

The transfer coup looks even more impressive when considering that six years later, the then 30-year-old was sold for £27.5m to Bayern Munich.

To essentially break even on a player who brought so much success to the club is shrewd business, and actually, many have argued that Liverpool could have recouped even more for the Reds legend.

1. Andrew Robertson

© Proshots - Andy Robertson

Year: 2018

Transfer fee: £8m

There are a plethora of reasons why Andy Robertson deserves to be dubbed the 'bargain of the Klopp era', but the most obvious is that Liverpool signed the best left back in the world for just £8m. It really is that simple.

His lung-busting runs on field and charisma off it have made Robertson a true fan favourite at Anfield, but even the most ardent anti-Liverpool supporter would have a hard time convincing people that the Scotsman was not the best in the business, specifically between the years 2019 and 2022.

Initially brought in from Hull (after they had just been relegated) as competition for the chaotic Alberto Moreno, Robertson has gone on to win every club honour available and establish himself as one of the Reds' true leaders.

The 29-year-old has provided an outrageous 63 assists since becoming a Red — in 2022, he overtook Leighton Baines to become the Premier League's highest assisting defender of all time — and has as much guts, determination and desire to succeed as any Liverpool icon, past or present, ever has.

Not bad for less than a quarter of the price of Andy Carroll.

Honourable mentions: Kostas Tsimikas, Thiago Alcantara, Harvey Elliott

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