Ibrahimovic vs Van Dijk, Aubameyang vs Laporte: Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola’s best ever signings compared

8 Nov

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola will lock horns once again when Liverpool host Man City on Sunday.

The two managers enjoyed a classic rivalry in Germany with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

Klopp and Guardiola have overseen the signings of some of football’s biggest names

The rivalry temporarily ended when Klopp left Dortmund at the end of the 2014/15 season.

The German joined Liverpool in October 2015 and Guardiola followed him to the Premier League to take over at Man City the following summer.

Now they are locked in another title battle, with Liverpool currently holding the advantage ahead of Sunday’s Anfield showdown between the two clubs.

A win for the Reds against second-placed City this weekend would extend their lead over their rivals to nine points.

Both squads hold an abundance of talent, which has been enhanced by the managerial mastery of Klopp and Guardiola.

Below, talkSPORT.com looks at a combined Klopp XI and a combined Guardiola XI of players they have signed in the past.

A combined Klopp XI of players he has signed
Total cost: £301.3million

Jurgen Klopp is used to working with top quality players
Getty Images – Getty

Goalkeeper: Alisson
Cost: £66.8million

Klopp needed to sign a new goalkeeper following Loris Karius’ horror show in the 2018 Champions League final which gifted Real Madrid the trophy.

Alisson arrived in a big-money move from Roma and starred in his debut 2018/19 season, winning the Premier League Golden Glove with 21 clean sheets.

Right-back: Lukasz Piszczek
Cost: Free transfer

In his prime, Piszczek was one of the best attacking full-backs in Europe for Borussia Dortmund.

Klopp brought him to the German club on a free transfer from Hertha Berlin in 2010.

Piszczek is still appearing regularly for Dortmund at the age of 34.

Centre-back: Mats Hummels
Cost: £3.3million

Initially signed on loan from Bayern Munich, Klopp eventually signed Hummels for a measly £3.3million fee.

The defender played a crucial role in Dortmund’s back-to-back Bundesliga title wins in 2011 and 2012 and was a Champions League finalist in 2013.

Hummels controversially moved back to Bayern Munich in 2016, before returning to Dortmund three years later.

Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk
Cost: £75million

A few eyebrows were raised when Liverpool spent a then world-record fee on a defender to sign Van Dijk from Southampton in January 2018.

However, it proved to be superb business by Klopp.

Van Dijk has been phenomenal for Liverpool
Getty Images – Getty

Van Dijk has helped transform Liverpool into title contenders since shoring up their defence, and was integral to their Champions League triumph last season.

Left-back: Andy Robertson
Cost: £8million

Another bargain from Klopp saw Liverpool bring in Roberton from Hull in 2017.

After initially failing to dislodge Alberto Moreno from the starting XI, Robertson made the position his own from December onward.

He is a firm fans’ favourite at Anfield.

Ring wing: Mohamed Salah
Cost: £34million

Question marks were raised when Liverpool decided to spend big to bring Salah back to the Premier League in 2017.

After failing to impress at Chelsea, albeit with a lack of first-team opportunities, the Egypt forward was deemed a flop in England.

However, he proved everyone wrong.

Salah has become one of the most feared footballers in the world with 79 goals in 120 appearances in a Liverpool shirt.

Central midfield: Fabinho
Cost: £40million

After a slow start to his Anfield career following his summer move from Monaco last season, Fabinho is one of the first names on the Liverpool team sheet.

Considered one of the best holding midfielders in the Premier League, Fabinho will continue to be crucial to the Reds’ success.

Fabinho has starred under Jurgen Klopp
Getty Images – Getty

Central midfield: Georginio Wijnaldum
Cost: £25million

Despite his debut season in the Premier League ending in relegation with Newcastle in 2016, Wijnaldum scored an impressive 11 goals.

That earned him a move to Liverpool and he has been a regular starter under Klopp ever since.

Wijnaldum came off the bench to score two goals in Liverpool’s memorable Champions League semi-final win over Barcelona last season.

Left wing: Sadio Mane
Cost: £34million

Mane is arguably Liverpool’s most important attacking player at the moment, ahead of Roberto Firmino and Salah.

His last-minute winning goal at Aston Villa last weekend maintained their six-point lead over City at the top of the Premier League table.

Sadio Mane is adored by Liverpool fans

Since swapping Southampton for Liverpool, Mane has scored 69 goals in 138 appearances.

Striker: Robert Lewandowski
Cost: Free transfer

Lewandowski was more or less an unknown entity when he joined Borussia Dortmund from Polish minnows Lech Poznan in 2010.

Similarly to Piszczek and Hummels, the 31-year-old was vital in Dortmund’s Bundesliga title triumphs.

Striker: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Cost: £11.3million

Aubameyang played under Klopp for two seasons after joining from Saint-Etienne in 2013.

Used as a winger at the start of his Dortmund career, he moved into the number nine role when Lewandowski signed for Bayern in 2014.

Scoring 98 Bundesliga goals and finding the net 36 times in Europe earned Aubameyang a £56million move to Arsenal last year.

Is any team beating this side of players signed by Guardiola?

A combined Guardiola XI of players he has signed
Total cost: £324.1million

Pep Guardiola has spent big money on players in the past
AFP or licensors

Goalkeeper: Ederson
Cost: £35million

After Claudio Bravo’s disastrous 2016/17 season in England, Guardiola searched for another No.1 and signed Ederson.

Since arriving at the Etihad, Ederson has been a reliable presence in-between the sticks and helped City win back-to-back Premier League titles.

Right-back: Dani Alves
Cost: £23.5million

Alves is one of the most decorated players in football, winning top-flight titles in France, Italy and Spain, including three Champions League trophies.

He was one of Guardiola’s first signings at Barcelona in 2008 and went on to make 247 LaLiga appearances for the Spanish giants.

Centre-back: Javier Mascherano
Cost: £18.5million

Mascherano played as a midfielder at the start of his Barcelona career in 2010, but dropped back into defence as the years went on.

He was an integral part of Guardiola’s LaLiga and Champions League success in 2011.

Centre-back: Aymeric Laporte
Cost: £57million

Laporte was a long-term target of Guardiola, who finally landed his man in January 2018.

After struggling for game-time in his first six months, Laporte became an ever-present in City’s defence, which conceded just 23 goals last season.

Aymeric Laporte is City’s first-choice defender when fit

He is currently sidelined with a knee injury and has been a big miss for Guardiola’s side.

Left-back: Benjamin Mendy
Cost: £52million

Guardiola has not needed to sign many left-backs in his managerial career. He was blessed with Eric Abidal at Barcelona and David Alaba at Bayern Munich.

But City desperately needed one in 2017 after the departures of Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov.

Mendy’s City career has been plagued by serious knee injuries, but when he has been fit, he’s shown his class.

Right wing: Douglas Costa
Cost: £21million

Costa was high in demand in 2015 and chose to join Guardiola at Bayern Munich.

A combined total of six goals and 12 assists in the Bundesliga and Champions League in his only season under Guardiola was a decent return for the Brazilian.

Central midfield: Xabi Alonso
Cost: £5million

Bayern Munich was Alonso’s final club before he retired from football in 2017.

He was a bargain at just £5million after leaving Real Madrid in 2014 and offered quality and experience to Guardiola’s title-winning team in Germany.

Xabi Alonso being monitored by former employers Liverpool and Real Madrid
Xabi Alonso is one of Spain’s most decorated players

Central midfield: Thiago Alcantara
Cost: £21million

Thiago was being chased by Manchester United before joining Bayern Munich in 2013.

He was Guardiola’s first signing for the Bavarians and is still playing for the club now.

Thiago has been a regular starter in Bayern’s previous six Bundesliga title wins.

Left wing: David Villa
Cost: £34million

Villa thrived in his two seasons under Guardiola at Barcelona.

His most memorable moment came in Barca’s 2011 Champions League triumph over Manchester United when he curled in a stunning third goal.

Striker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Cost: £56.5million

Ibrahimovic often found himself watching from the sidelines as Guardiola deployed Lionel Messi in a false nine role.

The legendary striker only lasted one season at the Nou Camp, joining AC Milan on loan in 2010, before making his move permanent the following year.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not fare well in Spain

Despite his disappointing spell in Spain, Ibrahimovic has starred for both Milan giants, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United in a trophy-laden career.

Striker: Robert Lewandowski
Cost: Free transfer

Lewandowski let his contract run down at Borussia Dortmund and joined Bayern Munich in 2014.

Since then, he has scored an impressive 142 Bundesliga goals in 169 appearances, winning five top-flight titles in the process.

Pep Guardiola has signed some great players in his managerial career

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