By Emma Sanders
It’s a year on from Jurgen Klopp’s appointment at Liverpool and the German boss made a number of additions this summer to improve the squad he took over.
Any manager taking charge of Liverpool will inherit some pretty decent players. Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino are just a few of the talented players Klopp was lucky enough to work with in his opening training session.
However, since taking over from Brendan Rodgers in October 2015, Klopp has let go of 12 players, including Joe Allen, Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure and has brought in seven as replacements.
Only Marko Grujic was signed in the January window, becoming Klopp’s first transfer when he penned a deal worth £5.1 million from Red Star Belgrade. He didn’t join until the summer though, as he went back on loan.
The majority of his squad changes were made this summer and the German oversaw a few big money transfers including Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Many were surprised at the manager’s insistence on not buying a holding midfielder or a new left-back but he did bring in plenty of defensive options.
Mane, signed for Liverpool for £30 million from Southampton but many doubted the player’s impact on the Merseyside club.
The former Saints forward was prolific last season as Ronald Koeman helped lead the side to a sixth place Premier League finish, with Mane scoring 11 goals.
He was central to everything positive for Southampton and it was a huge loss to the side when he completed the switch to Liverpool. His talent was unquestionable but could he bring £30m worth to a Liverpool side already bursting with attacking quality?
Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana were all particularly impressive for Klopp in his opening seven months and with Danny Ings also returning from a serious ACL injury, Mane was expected to have to challenge for a place.
Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho also threatened to keep Mane out of the side but after an impressive string of pre-season performances, it was Mane who got the nod to start Liverpool’s opening fixture against Arsenal.
He made a blistering start to his competitive Anfield career too, scoring a sublime individual goal at the Emirates. The scintillating effort would go on to be voted August’s Goal of the Month and the Senegalese rounded-off an impressive start by being awarded the club’s Player of the Month and the PFA Player of the Month awards.
In just six league appearances for the Reds, Mane’s netted three goals, grabbed an assist and is yet to be in a losing side.
Alongside Lallana and Firmino, who have also been in excellent form, Mane’s gone some way to keeping Sturridge and Coutinho out of the starting XI on occasions and that’s testament to his influence since joining.
His arrival has been applauded by fans and after the impressive 4-1 routing against Leicester City, some Liverpool fans hailed Mane as ‘the best signing since Luis Suarez.’
It’s fair to say he’s been Klopp’s best buy and he could be a candidate for the most impressive signing of the season if his form continues.
In other Liverpool news, Harry Redknapp has given his verdict on the team’s title chances.