Philippe Coutinho, Emre Can, and the seven transfers that highlight Liverpool’s four-year improvement
It will be four years to the day when Liverpool takes on Hertha Berlin in Innsbruck on Thursday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side won 3-0 in the Olympiastadion, but despite the resounding victory, a simple look at the Liverpool line-up from back then reveals just how much the manager has changed the team in the years afterwards to give it such a dynamic killer edge.
Mohamed Salah arrived from Roma in a £36.5 million deal five weeks ago, and this was his first summer with the club. After coming on for the second half, the Egyptian scored on the hour mark.
Salah’s wonderfully timed run and beautiful finish after latching onto a pass over the top from Philippe Coutinho to lob the keeper was a hint of things to come. It’s a shame the two didn’t play together for longer before Coutinho’s move to Barcelona, but it’s a bigger loss for Coutinho than Salah and Liverpool.
Klopp would go on to develop a fearsome side whose incessant pressing and swashbuckling counter-attacks would leave opponents screaming for mercy in the seasons following this typical pre-season friendly win. Attack after attack would result in swift goals and games that would be over in the blink of an eye.
From a clipped in pass from Adam Lallana’s left boot, it was Dominic Solanke who put Liverpool ahead. During the 2017-18 season, the striker would make 21 Premier League appearances.
He is now playing in the second division with Bournemouth, where he scored 15 goals in the Championship last season after scoring just three goals in his first two seasons on the south coast.
In the three seasons after Solanke’s departure, Liverpool have piled on the goals, and now have an even more potent frontline thanks to the addition of Diogo Jota to the Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino triumvirate.
Lallana, on the other hand, had his 33rd birthday in May and joined Brighton last summer. Following his departure, the Reds reinforced their midfield by signing Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara for £25 million.
Emre Can made an appearance, as did Gini Wijnaldum, who scored the game’s only goal. Can left Anfield for Paris Saint-Germain this summer, while the latter stayed. “The summary has come to an end.”