Category Archives: Biography

Ki-Jana Hoever

Personal Detail

Ki-Jana Hoever completed his move to Liverpool from Ajax in September 2018.

The Netherlands U17 international, who is equally comfortable playing at centre-half or right-back, started his Academy career under the tutelage of Barry Lewtas with the club’s U18s.

Also a regular for the Reds’ U19s in the UEFA Youth League, Hoever made the step up to U23 level in November 2018, impressing on his debut for Neil Critchley’s team in their 1-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park.

And, with a number of senior defenders struggling with injury, Jürgen Klopp duly called the Amsterdam-born teenager up to train with the first team at Melwood.

Hoever was subsequently named in the squad for Liverpool’s FA Cup third-round tie with Wolverhampton Wanderers in January 2019 – and an early injury to Dejan Lovren resulted in Klopp summoning the youngster from the bench.

Partnering Fabinho at the heart of the Reds’ backline, Hoever produced an assured performance while becoming the third-youngest debutant – and youngest ever in the FA Cup – in the club’s history at the age of just 16 years and 354 days.

Speaking after his side were defeated 2-1 at Molineux, Klopp said of Hoever’s display: “He did well. He came on and did well. That’s how it sometimes starts – when you are really needed then it is only about if you are good enough and not how old you are.”

The defender featured regularly during the club’s 2019 summer tour of America and took another step in his career by signing his first professional contract with Liverpool that July.

Joel Matip

Personal Detail

Joel Matip is a dependable centre-half that joined Liverpool in July 2016 following the expiry of his Schalke contract.

Jürgen Klopp closely observed the No.32 while in charge of Borussia Dortmund and earmarked him as a potential recruit shortly before taking over the reigns at Anfield.

A defender more than comfortable with the ball at his feet and not afraid to venture forwards, Matip was a hit among supporters during his first season at club. He would open his goalscoring account for the Reds on October 29, 2016, powerfully heading in at Crystal Palace.

Matip was a prominent figure for Klopp’s side in the following campaign, but an untimely thigh issue in April saw him miss out on the 2018 Champions League final.

His 2018-19 season was also threatened to be disrupted by a broken collarbone sustained in December. However, Matip returned to the fold a month later and went on to become one of Liverpool’s most consist performaners en route to winning the European Cup and having the Premier League’s best defensive record.

Incredible performances alongside Virgil van Dijk against Barcelona in both legs of the semi-final were followed up by a typically assured outing in the Madrid final.

Divock Origi

Personal Detail

Divock Origi’s permanent place in Liverpudlian folklore is secure after a 2018-19 season that culminated in the Belgian sealing the club’s sixth European Cup.

The forward’s late goal in the Champions League final – an expertly-taken, left-footed finish – put the Reds into an unassailable 2-0 lead over Tottenham Hotspur and ensured the heartache of Kiev 12 months earlier was consigned to history.

Origi, of course, was also a driving force behind Liverpool’s improbable semi-final victory over FC Barcelona, with his goals bookending an unforgettable 4-0 second-leg success that will go down as possibly the greatest European night in Anfield’s rich history.

Just three days prior to that incredible triumph, Origi came off the bench to glance home an 86th-minute winner at Newcastle United that kept the Reds’ hopes of winning the Premier League title alive.

But his series of talismanic performances during a campaign that ended with Jürgen Klopp’s side registering a club-record 97 top-flight points and Champions League success began in December, when his 96th-minute Kop-end goal beat Everton and sparked delirious scenes of celebration at Anfield.

That represented Origi’s third strike in five appearances against the Blues since he joined the Reds from Lille in July 2014.

Two of his five seasons as a Liverpool player have been spent on loan – at Lille and Wolfsburg respectively – but the three campaigns during which he has remained at Anfield have been littered with important contributions.

In 2015-16, Origi played a key role in the Reds’ run to the Europa League final – a game he missed due to injury – while he also scored 11 times in 43 appearances in 2016-17.

The 2018-19 season, though, represents the crowning glory of Origi’s Liverpool career to date – and on July 10, 2019, he signed a new long-term contract with the club.

Andy Robertson

Personal Detail

Andy Robertson’s rise from amateur football to a Champions League-winning captain of his country has been nothing short of meteoric.

Now firmly established as one of the world’s premier full-backs, Robertson was, incredibly, still playing for Queen’s Park in his native Glasgow as recently as 2013.

Over the course of two seasons with Liverpool – following a transfer from Hull City in the summer of 2017 – Robertson has played in consecutive Champions League finals having progressed from squad player to key component in Jürgen Klopp’s team.

An indefatigable presence on the Reds’ left flank, Robertson’s 2018-19 season included a remarkable tally of 13 assists, being appointed captain of Scotland, a new long-term contract with Liverpool and places in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year and Champions League squad of the season – plus, of course, a European Cup winner’s medal.

The left-back missed only two Premier League matches throughout the campaign as the Reds amassed a club-record total of 97 points, and featured in all but one of the club’s 13 games as they claimed Champions League glory in Madrid.

Robertson’s journey to the pinnacle of European football saw him join Dundee United from Queen’s Park, before his first taste of Premier League football came with Hull in 2014-15.

Rhian Brewster

Personal Detail

Rhian Brewster arrived at Liverpool from Chelsea as a 15-year-old and the striker’s eye for goal was abundantly clear as he quickly progressed through the club’s Academy ranks.

After making a blistering start at U18 level, Brewster soon celebrated his U23s debut by finding the net during a 3-0 win over Ipswich Town in the Premier League Cup on January 22, 2017.

In October 2017, Brewster played a major part in helping England U17s to World Cup glory in India. Brewster finished the tournament as top scorer, with seven of his eight goals coming in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.

Returning to Liverpool, he was named in a first-team matchday squad for the first time at the age of 17 for a home Premier League clash with Crystal Palace back in April 2017.

Brewster’s 2017-18 season was ended in January after suffering ligament damage to his right ankle following a heavy fall during Liverpool U23s’ encounter with Manchester City in January 2018.

On July 17, 2018, Liverpool announced Brewster had signed a new long-term contract with the club.

At the end of his long road to recovery, Brewster was on the bench for Liverpool’s last two matches of their successful 2018-19 Champions League campaign – the dramatic semi-final second-leg comeback against Barcelona and 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the final.

Xherdan Shaqiri

Personal Detail

Switzerland forward Xherdan Shaqiri bolstered Liverpool’s attacking options after arriving from Stoke City in the summer of 2018.

He made quite the first impression when, during his first appearance in a Liverpool shirt, he scored a spectacular bicycle kick against Manchester United in a pre-season friendly in Michigan.

After three brief substitute appearances in competitive matches, Shaqiri made his full Reds debut at home to Southampton in the Premier League on September 22, 2019.

The No.23 had a helping hand in two of the goals in the 3-0 victory before being withdrawn at half-time for tactical reasons.

He would score his first goal for the club a month later against Cardiff City at Anfield as part of a 4-1 win.

A more-than-capable starter and extremely useful option off the bench, Shaqiri’s finest moment in a Liverpool shirt to date arrived when Man United visited Anfield for a Premier League encounter in December 2018.

With the scoreline locked at 1-1, Shaqiri was introduced in the 70th minute. It took him just three minutes to make an impact, firing beyond David de Gea, before scoring again nine minutes from time.

Having started the dramatic second-leg semi-final comeback against Barcelona, the former Bayern Munich man would end his first season with Liverpool in possession of a Champions League winner’s medal after victory over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid.

Adam Lallana

Personal Detail

Liverpool swooped to sign Southampton captain Adam Lallana shortly after the talented playmaker had returned from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The No.20’s preparations for the 2014-15 campaign were hampered by an injury that ruled him out until September, although upon his return Lallana was soon displaying his outstanding close control and vision, not least with a sublime first goal past West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. He would make 41 appearances in his first season at the club.

A change in manager saw the midfielder’s performances rise. He became a firm favourite of Jürgen Klopp in the 2015-16 campaign.

The England international adapted seamlessly to Klopp’s high-pressing style and scored a last-gasp winner in a thrilling 5-4 victory at Norwich City in January 2016.

He then netted Liverpool’s third goal in a Europa League semi-final with Villarreal to secure a spot in the Basel final.

Lallana’s trajectory continued to rise the following season and that was evidenced when he was rewarded with a new contract in February 2017.

Injuries disrupted his 2017-18 season, limiting him to just 15 outings in all competitions. He did, however, feature in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev, replacing the injured Mohamed Salah after 30 minutes.

Another frustrating campaign followed for the experienced Lallana. He maintained the manager’s faith, though, and repaid that support with a Man of the Match performance in a 4-2 win over Burnley in March 2019.

Lallana then earned the first medal of his Liverpool career after the Champions League final victory over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Personal Detail

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool from Arsenal on the final day of the 2017 summer transfer window.

With Jürgen Klopp keen to ensure the midfielder was fully in tune with the team’s style of play, Oxlade-Chamberlain would have to wait until November to receive his first Premier League start for the Reds.

But he then quickly found his feet on Merseyside and added to the attacking dimension of Klopp’s side.

Memorable goals in front of the Kop against Manchester City, both in the Premier League and Champions League, soon followed.

But the England international’s hugely-encouraging first season on Merseyside was cruelly cut short due to a knee ligament injury sustained against AS Roma in the Champions League semi-final first leg at Anfield back in April 2018.

Liverpool believed it was likely Oxlade-Chamberlain would miss the whole 2018-19 season as a result, although the true extent of the injury was only publicly disclosed in the off-season, with the player not wanting the news to distract his teammates from the ongoing European run.

However, one year and two days on from suffering the injury in a tackle, Oxlade-Chamberlain made a return to first-team action with a cameo from the bench against Huddersfield Town at Anfield on April 26, 2019.

He was an unused substitute as the Reds won the 2019 Champions League final in Madrid by beating Tottenham Hotspur.

Jordan Henderson

Personal Detail

Jordan Henderson is Liverpool’s fifth European Cup-winning captain.

The midfielder joined the illustrious list of Emlyn Hughes, Phil Thompson, Graeme Souness and Steven Gerrard by leading the Reds to Champions League glory in Madrid in June 2019.

That 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur marked Henderson’s fifth appearance in a major final since his arrival at Anfield from hometown club Sunderland in the summer of 2011.

Henderson’s standing at Liverpool was underlined when he became the club’s vice-captain in September 2014, before he then took the armband on a permanent basis in July 2015 following Gerrard’s departure.

A player whose physical, mental and footballing gifts enable an ability to excel in a variety of midfield roles, Henderson has made more than 300 appearances for Liverpool under three different managers.

Following Jürgen Klopp’s arrival in October 2015, the England international was primarily positioned as the Reds’ ‘No.6’, the team’s deepest-lying midfielder.

However, a late-season switch to a more advanced post saw Henderson flourish in the latter stages of a 2018-19 campaign that ended with Liverpool boasting a club-record total of 97 points in the Premier League and the crown of European champions.

Speaking in April 2019, Klopp said: “Hendo, from my point of view, is a brilliant player. He’s our skipper, he’s a fantastic character. If I had to write a book about Hendo, it would be 500 pages.

“So I’m very positive. The most difficult job in the last 500 years of football was to replace Steven Gerrard. In the mind of the people it was like if it’s not Stevie, then it’s not good enough.

“And he has dealt with that outstandingly well so he can be really proud. Now we have to think of the future and he is a very important part of our team.”

Henderson signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool in September 2018.

“There is no other place in the world I would rather play football. I want to be here for as long as I can be,” he said after putting pen to paper.

“I’m so privileged to have been a part of this club for so long, and hopefully even longer now.”

Adrian San Miguel

Personal Detail

Liverpool signed experienced goalkeeper Adrian on a free transfer in August 2019.

The Spaniard joined the Reds after six years in the Premier League with West Ham United, for whom he made a total of 150 appearances before embarking on a new chapter on Merseyside.

Adrian – who originally made the move to England from Real Betis – arrived as cover and competition for Alisson Becker following the departure of Simon Mignolet.

“It’s a great step in my career right now, after six good seasons at West Ham,” he said when the deal was completed shortly before the 2019-20 campaign got under way.

“I got experience in the Premier League and I’m coming to a big club to fight for everything. It’s a good challenge, a big challenge for me to face, challenging with big players here.”

He took the vacant No.13 shirt previously worn by new teammate Alisson.

On just his 10th day as a Red, the stopper was the hero when he saved the decisive penalty in a shootout with Chelsea to win the UEFA Super Cup.