Mark Lawrenson has paid a huge compliment to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp by claiming that he has improved every single player he’s coached at Anfield - barring Loris Karius.
“Of all the players that he's bought, I can't remember him buying one that's not made it,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.
“And all the players that he's got, he's made them better. Karius is the only one, but he's made all of the rest better.
“Wherever you're manager, if you make all of the players better - and they are already very, very good - you're doing a heck of a job.
“And the way that they are playing as well. When he got here I said Liverpool would be everyone's favourite second club and I got slaughtered, but I think they are because of the way they play.”
As a coach, improving his players is major part of Klopp’s role. So to be so successful highlights his talents as a manager.
However, Lawrenson’s comments have been called into question by the Daily Mail, who have rated every player Klopp has coached since his arrival in 2015 on whether or not they have actually improved.
And they reckon that Karius isn’t the only player to have shown no improvement.
Simon Mignolet - no improvement
Loris Karius - no improvement
Alisson Becker - improved
Adrian - no improvement
Hard to argue with any of these. Mignolet was handed plenty of opportunities to impress Klopp but didn’t take them, while Alisson has been a worthy No.1.
Joe Gomez - improved
Dejan Lovren - no improvement
Kolo Toure - no improvement
Mamadou Sakho - no improvement
Martin Skrtel - no improvement
Ragnar Klavan - improved
Joel Matip - improved
Virgil van Dijk - improved
Nathaniel Clyne - improved
Alberto Moreno - no improvement
Jon Flanagan - no improvement
Trent Alexander-Arnold - improved
Andy Robertson - improved
Lovren won’t agree with this assessment, but the Croatian is too inconsistent to be classed as an improved player.
Clyne’s status is up for debate considering the miserable ending to his Liverpool career.
James Milner - improved
Philippe Coutinho - improved
Jordan Henderson - improved
Adam Lallana - improved
Lucas Leiva - no improvement
Joe Allen - no improvement
Jordon Ibe - improved
Emre Can - improved
Georginio Wijnaldum - improved
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - improved
Fabinho - improved
Xherdan Shaqiri - no improvement
Naby Keita - no improvement
Wouldn’t Ibe still be a Liverpool player if he had shown improvement under Klopp?
Meanwhile, Liverpool fans will be hoping that Keita moves into the ‘improved’ category soon.
Christian Benteke - no improvement
Roberto Firmino - improved
Daniel Sturridge - no improvement
Divock Origi - improved
Danny Ings - no improvement
Sadio Mane - improved
Mohamed Salah - improved
Takumi Minamino - no improvement
No arguments here. Similarly with Keita, Minamino will be given more time to improve under Klopp following his January arrival from Red Bull Salzburg.
Salah, Mane and Firmino have all been sensational under Klopp, each reaching new heights at Anfield.
GIVEMESPORT's Scott Wilson says...
A lot of these players will credit Klopp for improving their careers.
He has managed to get the best out of a large number of them through his expert man-management and ability to instil confidence.
Lawrenson was being hyperbolic, and a bit biased, when he said the German has improved every single one of his players - aside from Karius - but it's not wrong to say that a lot of them have reached a level they probably never would have expected had it not been for Klopp.News Now - Sport News