Four players who left Jurgen Klopp in big-money moves – only for it to backfire

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Liverpool are still digesting the news that Sadio Mane is looking to leave the club, but the Senegalese star should be warned that breaking away from Jurgen Klopp's side rarely leads to success.

Klopp has only suffered one major loss since joining Liverpool, as Philippe Coutinho left for Barcelona, and they have been one of the more desirable teams over the past few seasons. The Liverpool boss felt what it was like to lose big name players at Dortmund a lot more frequently.

And it's Klopp's old rival Bayern Munich that look set to haunt him again, as their interest has clearly turned Mane's head, and reports of an opening bid from the German side have emerged. But Mane should be aware that players that exit Klopp's project in big money deals can struggle to find success, and here Daily Star Sport take a look at the moves that didn't end well.

Mario Gotze

Mario Gotze was a major part of Klopp's success at Borussia Dortmund, and the midfielder was Germany's golden boy back in 2009. Seen as the next influential German midfielder, Bayern poached Gotze in 2013 after triggering his £35million release clause, shortly before Dortmund in the Champions League semi-final.

It was a major blow for Klopp, who had seen Gotze form a brilliant partnership with Marco Reus, but it was the beginning of the end for Dortmund's golden generation. Klopp admitted his annoyance at the time, which may have began his rivalry with Pep Guardiola.

After Gotze left Dortmund, Klopp admitted: "He [Gotze] is a Pep Guardiola favourite." But it began to look like Gotze had made the right move, as he grabbed two goals on his debut, adding two assists in his first Bundesliga match for Bayern off the bench.

Gotze also scored the iconic World Cup final goal in 2014 that handed Germany the win, but his career took a dive shortly after. Gotze actually ended up back at Dortmund in 2016, and is now playing for Dutch side PSV, at the age of just 30.

It was a bitter pill for Klopp to swallow at the time, but Gotze's dominance didn't last for long, although some of his issues came after he was found to have a mystery illness in 2017. Identified in media reports as myopathy, a metabolic disease which can cause fatigue and weight gain, may suggest why Gotze began to struggle.

Shinji Kagawa

Dortmund took a gamble on exciting Japanese prospect Shinji Kagawa back in 2010, and it turned out to be one of the best finds of the season across Europe. Dortmund spent just £300,000 on the midfielder, who was playing for Cerezo Osaka at the time, a second division side in Japan.

Kagawa quickly became an integral part of Klopp's Bundesliga winning side, and scored 13 league goals during their double winning season, which turned out to be his last. Manchester United came calling and Sir Alex Ferguson made Kagawa the first ever Japanese star to play for the club, in a deal worth £15m.

But the midfielder failed to post the same numbers in a much more physical Premier League, and just like Gotze, he ended up re-joining Dortmund just two years later. Kagawa left the club in 2019 to join Spanish side Zaragoza after a spell on loan at Besiktas, and is now playing his football in Belgium for Sint-Truiden.

Nuri Sahin

Nuri Sahin was the first major loss for Klopp during his Dortmund tenure, as Real Madrid came calling after seeing the Turkey international dominate in the Bundesliga. It was Jose Mourinho that signed him for Madrid, in a deal worth £10m.

But the Sahin that was so reliable in Germany was lost in Madrid, and only made four league appearances in three years. Again, just like Gotze and Kagawa, he later returned to Dortmund in 2014, but was used more sparingly over as four-year stint back at the club.

It seems as though it's a dangerous game to leave Dortmund when you're at the top, and the career's of Gotze, Kagawa and Sahin were never the same after leaving. Sahin has gone straight into management with Turkish side Antalyaspor, after ending his stint as a player-manager in 2021.

Philippe Coutinho

Very few players have decided to leave Liverpool under Klopp, although it looks like the tide is beginning to turn as contracts are starting to become an issue at the club. Georginio Wijnaldum is already regretting his decision to leave on a free transfer to PSG last summer, but Philippe Coutinho is certainly wishing he hadn't left for Barcelona.

Coutinho joined Barcelona for a massive £142m in 2018, but had to watch on as Liverpool went on to win every trophy possible in the years that followed. The Brazilian's dream move was a nightmare, and he found more success when out on loan at Bayern and Aston Villa towards the end of his stay in Spain.

Just four years after costing Barcelona £142m, he has now signed permanently for Villa in a deal worth just £17m, and the Catalan side are still in massive financial trouble. Liverpool were hurt at the time, but they reinvested the money in Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, which hasn't worked out too badly.

  • Liverpool FC
  • Jurgen Klopp
  • Sadio Mane
  • Premier League
  • Bundesliga
  • Borussia Dortmund FC

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