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  • David Tyrer

5 ex-Liverpool players Jurgen Klopp would love

It's a quiet week, with Liverpool not being one of the English sides in European competition this week. Unless you count the entire LFC family celebrating in unison as Sergio Ramos and his Real Madrid side's Champions League dominance ended last night.

So for a bit of fun during these lulls, we're going to start introducing a few features and lists to help stimulate discussion.

Today, we're going to take a look at 5 ex-players from the 2000's of the Premier League era that Jurgen would've loved in his side, and probably would've loved playing for him just as much too.

5. Maxi Rodriguez - May seem like a strange one, but anyone who remembers Maxi will recall a very, very good footballer with a typically tenacious South American demeanour.

The little midfielder had already played over 300 games in his career, for Old Boy's, Espanyol and Atletico Madrid before arriving at Anfield.

Rodriguez took over the captaincy of Atleti in 2007 after Fernando Torres moved to Anfield and he would follow him 3 years later on a free transfer and while he was only at Anfield for 2 1/2 years, he did enough to earn his own song and scored a couple of memorable hat-tricks.

As with many ageing but still quality players, Rodriguez was surplus to requirements when Brendan Rodgers took over and moved back to his boyhood side after 73 games and 17 goals.

Maxi's energy and tenacity would be a great compliment to our current set of midfielders. He also scored over 100 goals throughout his career, which is something we miss right now.

Games: 73

Goals: 17

Assists: 7

Honours: League cup

4. Dirk Kuyt - The Duracell Bunny in human form, Dirk arrived at Anfield in the summer of 2006 for barely £10 million and had a reputation for being a fairly prolific goalscorer.

The problem for Kuyt was that many fans had looked only at his goals tally during his time in Holland and not what else he could bring to the team.

For this reason the Dutch international enjoyed a very much 'love/hate' relationship during his early years before many fans began to appreciate what he brought to the team.

His work rate, general attitude and his never-say-die on pitch persona made him every inch a Klopp player. Had he been 10 years younger, he'd have thrived under Jurgen and been a great foil for our flair-packed front 3.

Games: 285

Goals: 71

Assists: 40

Honours: League cup, Community shield

3. Steven Gerrard - Most Reds would no doubt expect Gerrard to be much higher on this list. In many ways, he's also the perfect Klopp player. The one thing that means he's slightly further down this list is he occasionally lacked tactical discipline.

Many look at Klopp's so-called 'Gegen-pressing' as if it's just a cacophony of noisy, brainless pressing but, in reality, it's a highly orchestrated symphony that, when done best, looks simply beautiful to watch. But it requires incredible tactical discipline from his players.

Gerrard was the epiphany of the 'all-action' midfielder; he had the lot: goals, assists, tackles, long and short-range passing and we're sure Klopp would find room for one of the club's greatest in any of his teams.

Games: 710

Goals: 186

Assists: 115

Honours: Champions League, 2 FA Cups, 3 League cups, 1 UEFA Cup, 2 UEFA Super Cups, 2 Community Shields

2. Pepe Reina - When you watch the likes of Alisson, Ederson, Kepa - to name a few - you're simply watching what Pepe Reina was doing over a decade ago.

The saddest part is, he wasn't fully appreciated in his time.

He was the ultimate 'footballing goalkeeper'. He had a wonderful range of passing, was never flustered in possession (he played a few times outfield in friendlies) but his throw-outs were phenomenal. Just look back at some of his long-range throws to start counter-attacks.

But he was a rare thing as a goalkeeper too: a physically imposing, but short, aggressive goalie that dominated his box and kept his defence organised via constant communication. It's no wonder he won the Golden Glove so many times under Rafa Benitez.

It also stands as the blackest of marks against Rodgers that he got rid of Reina and replaced him with Mignolet.

Alisson is a top-quality, potentially best-in-the-world keeper but he has some way to go to match Reina. We also reckon Jurgen would love to have Pepe as his number 1.

Games: 395

Clean sheets: 177

Honours: FA Cups, League cup, UEFA Super Cup, Community Shield

1. Luis Suarez - Having thought long and hard about it, we just can't see a player more suited to fronting a Jurgen Klopp team.

One of the great strengths of legendary Liverpool strikers though the years, such as Torres, Rush, Fowler, Aldridge, is that they all 'defended from the front'. They worked hard, and their hard work paid off in prolific goals tallies.

But few embody Klopp's style more than Suarez. He combines the work-rate of Kuyt, with the balance of Torres and the quality of Dalglish (with Rushie's poacher's instinct for good measure!). He is a team player, with an astonishingly selfless work ethic and a goal tally that is second only to the likes of Messi and Ronaldo.

Many of us still begrudge the way he went about his move to Barcelona (he may yet still come back and redeem himself!) but if you had to choose one forward to be the tip of our front-3 other than Bobby in the modern game, it'd have to be Suarez. Klopp would love him.

Games: 133

Goals: 82

Assists: 47

Honours: League cup

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