The German manager’s use of hardworking players have remained the same in all of the clubs he has managed till now.
Jurgen Klopp is widely regarded as one of the best managers around in world football currently. His incredible ability to construct champion teams from scratch and constantly improve the players at his disposal has earned him a copious amount of plaudits from observers. He has also carved out a reputation for playing a high-octane, relentless, and extremely enjoyable attacking brand of football.
The German tends to persist with the same group of players in order to solidify the combinations in the team and build team chemistry, which in turn is crucial for the coordinated pressing and formation of instinctive attacking moves. This is visible in the almost telepathic understanding displayed by the front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah at Liverpool. Hence, we decided to take a look at the players most utilized by Jurgen Klopp in his career.
10. Lukasz Piszczek – 191 matches
After Hertha’s relegation in 2010, Jurgen Klopp moved quickly and decisively to sign Lukasz Piszczek for free, who went on to become one of the German’s most shrewd acquisitions. The Polish full-back possessed many admirable qualities when he moved to Borussia Dortmund but his overall gameplay was finetuned under Klopp’s stewardship.
In his very first season at the club, the right-back set up seven goals for his teammates and helped kept 14 cleansheets as a rampant Dortmund side romped to the title. Furthermore, he was a livewire on the wing with his incredible tally of nine goals and 38 assists in 191 games reflecting the dual nature of his game.
9. Dimo Wache – 213 matches
Dimo Wache made 213 outings for FSV Mainz 05 during the tenure of Jurgen Klopp. The keeper played in five competitions across eight seasons when the German was at the club. His steady performances saw him become a regular fixture in Klopp’s team. During this period, Jurgen Klopp helped Mainz gain promotion to the Bundesliga for the very first time in their history. They achieved all this despite operating on one of the smallest budgets in the league and Dimo Wache was a central part of their success with his dependable displays in goal.
8. Jakub Blaszczykowski – 225 matches
Next up on the list is Jakub Blaszczykowski who represented Dortmund on 225 occasions when Jurgen Klopp was in charge. After joining Die Schwarzgelben in February 2007, he wasn’t able to make an instant impact as he suffered a torn leg muscle injury in the following campaign that kept him on the sidelines for months.
On recovering from his early injury setback, he managed to establish his place in the first team and was instrumental in Dortmund’s twin title wins. The Polish winger scored 31 goals and provided 47 assists as his key contributions and old-school wing play made him a popular figure among the fans.
7. James Milner – 232 matches
The Englishman is ninth of the list with 201 appearances for Liverpool under the management of Jurgen Klopp. James Milner’s versatility, experience, and inexhaustible stamina make him the perfect utility player for any manager. At the age of 34, Milner is no longer the first name on the teamsheet. Having said that, he remains an integral part of Klopp’s squad as he leads by example and always puts in a solid shift whenever he is asked to take the field.
He also played a key part in their run to the Champions League final in 2018 and their eventual triumph last year in Europe’s most prestigious competition. Moreover, he bagged 25 goals and 38 assists, which further highlights his all-round abilities and incredible range.
6. Marcel Schmelzer – 232 matches
Jurgen Klopp has had a massive role to play in Marcel Schmelzer’s career as he handed the left-back his debut back in 2008 and trusted him to make the vital step up to top-level football. In his debut season, he made 12 appearances for the senior team. At that time, there were still areas of his game that required refining but with Klopp’s astute man-management and coaching, he turned into one of the most reliable performers for Borussia Dortmund.
In the 2010-11 title triumph, he played every minute of the season for his side, which is a testament to his endurance and professionalism. The German also bagged 19 assists and scored four goals across 232 appearances highlighting his effectiveness in the attacking third of the pitch.
5. Kevin Grobkreutz – 235 matches
Signed from Rot Weiss Ahlen, Kevin Grobkreutz is another one of those players who was a natural fit for Jurgen Klopp’s style of football. His outstanding work-rate and willingness to track were all the qualities that were highly-regarded in his manager’s books. Moreover, the German supported Dortmund growing up and hence he covered every blade of grass whenever he took the field for his hometown club.
Due to the abovementioned factors, he became an integral part of the team that lifted back-to-back titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12. In the first title-winning campaign, Kevin registered eight goals and seven assists, which is a fairly respectable tally for a player who was recognized more for his non-stop running and industriousness. Playing 235 times under the German’s tutelage, the 31-year-old found the net on 27 occasions and set up 36 goals for his teammates.
4. Mats Hummels – 242 matches
Mats Hummels made 242 appearances under Jurgen Klopp and is another one of his success stories. The defender has won various accolades throughout his glittering career. However, much of his success can be rightly credited to the guidance and mentorship he attained under the current Liverpool boss in his formative years at the highest level.
The defender’s immaculate reading of the game and commendable passing abilities from the back made him a key figure in the side. His ability to open up defences with accurate long passes from deeper positions was a highly effective weapon in his armory and saw him register 12 assists. He also maintained a knack of finding the back of the net from set-pieces as he scored 22 goals across seven seasons under Klopp.
3. Roberto Firmino – 270 matches
Since joining Liverpool from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Roberto Firmino has gone from strength to strength under Klopp’s leadership. The Brazilian has emerged as one of Klopp’s most trusted men at Liverpool. Deployed in a pseudo-striker role, Firmino’s tenacity, gorgeous link-up play, and tactical intelligence have seen his stock rise in the past couple of years.
He is also part of a fearsome trio alongside Mane and Salah, a triumvirate that has terrorized defences all over Europe. The Liverpool #9 has notched 77 goals and 59 assists across 228 appearances plying his trade for his current boss.
2. Roman Weidenfeller – 279 matches
Roman Weidenfeller represented Dortmund on 279 occasions spanning seven campaigns. At the club level, the goalkeeper was a mainstay between the posts and won two Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokal cups, and played a vital part in their memorable run to the final of the UEFA Champions League in 2013. His presence behind the backline emanated a sense of calmness and much-needed assurance. The 39-year-old boasted exemplary shot-stopping prowess and went about his business quietly without creating much fuss.
1. Neven Subotic – 281 matches
Topping the list is Neven Subotic, a player who played under Jurgen Klopp at two different clubs – FSV Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund. In 2008, the Serbian followed his boss to the Westfalenstadion, where he went on to play an important part in Dortmund’s success in the early years of the last decade. Subotic made 281 appearances across eight competitions and nine seasons under the German tactician.
He played some of his best football with Klopp at the helm and formed a formidable partnership with Mats Hummels in central defense. He also offered a viable threat in the opposition’s box as his record of 22 goals would attest. The defender’s reliable and rugged defensive displays enabled him to become one of Klopp’s most loyal disciples at his former club.
**The numbers are as of January 20, 2021.