Where are they now? Klopp’s Liverpool XI, who beat Villarreal in 2016

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Liverpool’s upcoming Champions League semi-final with Villarreal will not be the first time the two clubs meet in the final stages of European competition.

The two met in the semi-finals of the Europa League 2015-16, where Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool came out on top in an overall victory of 3-1.

A 3-0 win at Anfield secured the Reds’ passage to the final – where they would lose to Unai Emery’s Sevilla – and we have taken a look at where the players who took part in that match are now, almost six years old after.

GK: Simon Mignolet

The Belgian goalkeeper was largely No. 1 in Liverpool when Klopp arrived.

Mignolet, although at times prone to errors, were generally a pair of stable hands and helped his team past Villarreal without conceding a goal in the decisive second match.

The arrival of Loris Karius saw Mignolet take a back seat before the signing of Alisson in 2018 left him completely surplus to the requirements.

The 34-year-old traveled to Club Brugge and still plays for the Belgian outfit in the 2021-22 season.

RB: Nathaniel Clyne

A player who appeared to have a bright future at Liverpool under Klopp, Clyne’s performance levels gradually declined after repeated injuries. He was surpassed by academy product Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Clyne originally traveled to Bournemouth on loan in 2019 before joining Crystal Palace early in the 2020-21 season.

The English national team player has played 11 Premier League games for the Eagles during this period.

Credit card: Dejan Lovren

Lovren was a regular in the defense for Liverpool in Klopp’s early years, but the arrival of people like Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip eventually saw him slip into the periphery.

In the summer of 2020, the Croatian traveled to Zenit and won the Russian Premier League title in his first season with the club.

Credit card: Kolo Toure

The man whose name inspired an iconic song, Toure was something of a cult hero in Liverpool.

He was in the final stages of his career during his time at Anfield, but still good enough to hold zero against Villarreal.

The Ivorian followed Brendan Rodgers to Celtic in 2016 before retiring and going on to coach. He is now the first team coach at Leicester and continues his collaboration with Rodgers.

READ: Ranking of every Liverpool CB signed since Jamie Carragher retired in 2013

LB: Alberto Moreno

Moreno’s attacking ability from the left back was always an asset for Liverpool during his time at the club, but defensive question marks meant he was soon replaced by the bubbly Andy Robertson.

The Spaniard traveled ironically to Villarreal in 2019, even though he is currently out with an injury and will not play against his former club in the Champions League semi-finals.

CM: Emre Can

Can seemed like a likely candidate to thrive under Klopp, given his energy in midfield and the ability to push for 90 minutes.

He certainly played his part for a period, though he eventually fell into disfavor and traveled to Juventus in 2018, where he won two Serie A titles over two years with the Italian giants before moving on to Borussia Dortmund, where he is now a firm man.

CM: James Milner

Tireless and seemingly timeless, Milner is still going strong for Liverpool as a 36-year-old. One of the few players left from the 2016 side, he is still a useful team player even now.

The versatility of the versatile midfielder is impressive and he clearly has plenty of admirers at Anfield.

Although Liverpool have gradually strengthened their squad over the recent transfer windows, do not be surprised if Milner still has a role to play in the remaining weeks of this season.

James Milner Liverpool1

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RW: Adam Lallana

Another player who performed admirably at Liverpool, even as he fell into the chopping block, Lallana scored his team’s third goal in the win over Villarreal.

The former Southampton man remained at Merseyside until 2020, when he traveled to Brighton in search of more regular playing time.

CAM: Roberto Firmino (Christian Benteke, ’89)

Of course, Firmino is still a big player for Liverpool, although he has taken more in the back seat after the contracts of Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota.

But Firmino remains in Klopp’s rotation of attackers, and if anything benefits from the extra competition. At one point, it seemed like he was playing too often, relying on the fact that he was always the focal point of the attack.

The Brazilian has scored 11 goals so far in 2021-22, five of which have come in the Champions League.

Benteke left Liverpool in the summer of 2016 after just one season, joining Crystal Palace, where he is now in his sixth season.

LW: Philippe Coutinho (Joe Allen, ’82)

Liverpool’s most expensive sale ever, Coutinho traveled to Barcelona in 2018 for a possible fee of £ 142m.

At the time, it seemed like a huge loss for Klopp’s team, but the money was spent wisely and the Reds went from strength to strength.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Coutinho, who struggled to gain influence in Barcelona.

He did better during a loan spell at Bayern Munich in the 2019-20 season, but his share has since fallen further and he is now on loan to Aston Villa, managed by Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.

Allen was in his final season with Liverpool and traveled to Stoke in the summer. The Welshman stayed with Potters despite their relegation from the Premier League and is now the club’s captain.

Coutinho Gerrard

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ST: Daniel Sturridge (Lucas Leiva, ’90 +2)

The last remaining part of the SAS strike partnership after Luis Suarez’s exit, Sturridge never really reached the standards again for his exceptional 2013-14 season.

He scored in the Villarreal semi-final, but he was increasingly phased out of start-XI by Klopp and was loaned out to West Brom in January 2018.

After a brief return to Anfield, Sturridge joined Turkish side Trabzonspor in 2019 and now enjoys the sun while playing for Perth Glory in Australia.

Lucas, after a reliable and impressive decade at Anfield, left Liverpool for Lazio in 2017 and has made over 150 appearances for the Italian team.


More Liverpool

The 3 players Liverpool signed a contract with Mo Salah and how they did

A tribute to Liverpool-era Fernando Torres, a striker who knew it all

Can you name all the Liverpool players who have scored against Man Utd in the PL since 2000?

Ranking of Divock Origis six goals for Liverpool against Everton





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