Liverpool's trip to Tottenham is a clear sign of how far the Reds have come under Jürgen Klopp

Liverpool's trip to Tottenham is a clear sign of how far the Reds have come under Jürgen Klopp

It's Tottenham away and there's a real buzz about Liverpool's return to Premier League action.

Jürgen Klopp had only two days left after the international break to work with his full squad, but an energetic fan base is expected.

The clash with Spurs at Wembley on Saturday commemorates the first game of Klop's Anfield reign at White Hart Lane nearly three years ago.

At that time, counterpressing was the new buzzword as Liverpool forced itself to its knees – shivering and snatching the best 116km of the season for a goalless draw in the capital.

Jürgen Klopp talks with his team during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane on October 17, 2015.
Jürgen Klopp talks with his team during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane on October 17, 2015.

Klopp's effect was instantaneous as the Reds did not buckle under pressure, but the quality was thin on the ground.

The transformation since then is remarkable.

From a disappointing midfielder team that scored only eight goals in nine league games to resurgent Champions League finalists who suffered 135 plunderings in all competitions in 2017/18, the club's 126-year history has included only one once .

Klopp led Liverpool to three major cup finals and two consecutive Premier League finals.

But the best indicator of the progress he monitored is the contrast in staff that is now available to him compared to October 2015.

At White Hart Lane, Liverpool played a back-four by Nathaniel Clyne, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho and Alberto Moreno in front of Simon Mignolet.

James Milner, Lucas Leiva and Emre Can formed a midfield trio with Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho, who supported Divock Origi, who made his debut in the Premier League.

The only member of this team to start in Wembley on Saturday is Milner, who has enjoyed a new life in his preferred starring role.

Mignolet, Clyne and Moreno now serve as alternates for Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.

Skrtel (Fenerbahce), Sakho (Crystal Palace), Lucas (Lazio), Can (Juventus) and Coutinho (Barcelona) have all moved on, while Lallana is currently out injured and Origi is far back in the pecking order.

Jürgen Klopp and Mamadou Sakho show their appreciation to fans at the end of the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane on October 17, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell / Liverpool FC over Getty Images)
Jürgen Klopp and Mamadou Sakho show their appreciation to fans at the end of the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane on October 17, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell / Liverpool FC over Getty Images)

The strength in the depth now being compared is the difference between light and day.

Liverpool's bench in White Hart Lane for this stalemate consisted of Adam Bogdan, Connor Randall, Kolo Tour, Joao Carlos Teixeira, Jerome Sinclair, Joe Allen and Jordon Ibe. They are all either permanent or on loan.

Klopp's submarines for the Leicester win two weeks ago were Mignolet, Naby Keita, Daniel Sturridge, Moreno, Lallana, Xherdan Shaqiri and Joel Matip – seven full internationals. There was not even room for Origi, Dominic Solanke, Clyne and £ 40 million summer signing Fabinho, as well as gifted teens like Curtis Jones and Rafa Camacho.

The situation when Klopp arrived three years ago was exacerbated by injuries first denied him by Sturridge, Danny Ings, Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson and Dejan Lovren.

But with the Reds boss who is currently without Lovren, Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the point is still.

Now there is more momentum, class and serenity in all departments. Money has undoubtedly helped rework the team with owners Fenway Sports Group, who support Klopps ruling in the transfer market.

The German coach has earned this trust with the success of new additions such as Gini Wijnaldum, Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Virgil van Dijk. The first signs of the new number 1 Alisson Becker and midfielder Naby Keita were also promising.

Klopp has spent around £ 400 million since its first collision with Spurs, but its net spend is only about a quarter of that sum.

As important as the influx of new entrants was the manager's ability to unleash the potential of his inherited talent, including Roberto Firmino, Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Gomez.

"We Believe", read the banner as Klopp greeted the away game at the final whistle in White Hart Lane.

Liverpool fans hold banners to support new coach Jürgen Klopp during the Barclays Premier League match at White Hart Lane in London. PRESS RELEASE photo
Liverpool fans hold banners to support new coach Jürgen Klopp during the Barclays Premier League match at White Hart Lane in London. PRESS RELEASE photo

Three years later, with Liverpool in the lead after the best start to the season since 1990 in the Premier League, confidence in him is greater than ever. He has met those sky-high expectations.

The team sheet we are comparing now shows how far the Reds have come.

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