Where are Liverpool's 2016 Europa League runners-up now?
The third most expensive footballer EVER now playing in Qatar, Sky’s new star pundit… and the Wigan boss sacked after just 52 days! Where are Liverpool’s 2016 Europa League runners-up now?
- Liverpool are preparing for their first appearance back in the Europa League
- Jurgen Klopp has overseen wholesale changes since his side lost the 2016 final
- Click here to watch the IAKO Battle of Old Trafford YouTube Special from the Mail Sport Studios
Liverpool return to European action on Thursday evening as they make their first Europa League bow since featuring in the final seven-years ago.
The Reds are on the road against Austrian side LASK, and there have been wholesale changes since their last outing in Europe’s second-tier competition.
Conquering Europe and England since their defeat in the Europa League final against Sevilla during Jurgen Klopp’s first season at the club have followed, as the German remolded the identity of his team.
Not one player that featured in the final all those years ago remains part of the first-team that has travelled to Vienna as the Reds look to rediscover from a disappointing previous season.
Mail Sport takes a look at where Liverpool’s last Europa League team are now.
Liverpool’s last appearance in the Europa League came in an unsuccessful trip to the final against Sevilla in 2016
The Belgian was trusted by Jurgen Klopp for every minute of Liverpool’s campaign but showed the Reds manager a new goalkeeper would be required if they wanted to challenge England and Europe’s elite.
He conceded three goals in the final and returned to Belgium three-years later after falling down the Anfield pecking order with both Loris Karius and current No.1 Alisson Becker ousting him and a move to Club Brugge following.
Mignolet has managed to rebuild his career since returning to Belgium with three Pro League titles and a player of the year award last year showing his worth.
Simon Mignolet struggled in the latter years of his Liverpool career but is a star in Belgium with Club Brugge
Once heralded as Liverpool’s right-back for years to come, Clyne suffered a serious fall from grace following the Europa League final in-line with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s emergence.
The former England international was never able to reclaim his place once Alexander-Arnold came into the fray and a failed loan move to Bournemouth three years later soon followed.
Difficult injury problems denied him a contract extension at Liverpool with him returning to Crystal Palace as a free agent in 2018 where he currently remains as part of Roy Hodgson’s side.
Nathaniel Clyne (left) fell down the pecking order at Liverpool after the Europa League final but has been steady during his time at Crystal Palace
The well-liked centre-back finished his Liverpool career with a Champions League, Premier League and UEFA Supercup title, with the Europa League final defeat against Sevilla coming in just his second season.
However, his presence in the starting role eventually dwindled with as Klopp looked to reinforce his defence with the acquisitions of Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and current Reds captain Virgil van Dijk.
The Croatian opted to swap the north-west for a move to Russia in 2020 where three top-flight titles followed at Zenit before he eventually returned to Lyon a decade after leaving. Besides football, a movie appearance in a Croatian film thrust him onto the Eastern European Hollywood stage.
Dejan Lovren (left) is now playing at Lyon but has also enjoyed time off the pitch in a Croatian movie
Renowned amongst football supporters who to this day still chant about the Ivorian and his brother, Yaya, Kolo Toure was at the tail-end of his career by the time the Europa League final came around.
He made eight appearances during Liverpool’s European campaign, however, Klopp had seen enough to know the former Arsenal star would play no part in his future plans as Toure joined Celtic for one season before retiring.
The 42-year-old was given a chance to kick-start his management career at Wigan but lasted just 52 days and nine matches in charge before being sacked.
Kolo Toure endured an unsuccessful first outing in management after lasting just 52 days as Wigan boss
A torrid evening against his former side that he had left just two-years previous saw Moreno struggle in a defence that conceded three goals on their way to defeat.
The Spaniard quickly faded after that with Klopp left unable to trust the full-back in subsequent seasons while Andrew Robertson starred as Liverpool’s new defensive flanker.
He returned to Spain with Villarreal in 2019, beating Man United in the final of the same competition two-years later and remains there to this day.
Alberto Moreno (left) failed to make the grade at Liverpool but has enjoyed a steady career at Villarreal since then
The Englishman was Klopp’s trusty lieutenant at Liverpool before leaving to join Brighton this summer in a move that the Reds boss rued at the time and told his other stars to use Milner’s ‘character and mindset’.
His leadership qualities were hailed by Klopp in subsequent seasons as Milner played a vital part on and off the field in following Premier League and Champions League triumphs.
Now at Brighton, the 37-year-old is the English top-flight’s third-most capped players at 624 Premier League appearances and counting.
James Milner (pictured) was heralded as one of Liverpool’s leaders by Klopp before calling time on his Reds career for Brighton in the summer
The combative midfielder has thrived since leaving Liverpool and will probably be regarded as the one who got away after deciding to leave Anfield for more first-team opportunities at Juventus two-years after the Europa League final.
He helped the Italian giants win two Serie A titles during his time in Turin but was shipped out on loan to Borussia Dortmund during the second title-winning season and remains there to this day.
Can appears to have found his football home at the Bundesliga side having made 127 appearances for Dortmund and still a key cog in the German national team.
Emre Can (right) has starred since leaving Liverpool and is still performing in the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund
Perhaps most-remembered by Liverpool supporters for his last-minute winner in a thrilling nine-goal thriller against Norwich the same season, Lallana’s Liverpool career was largely stop-start.
He was one of Klopp’s trusted confidants in the next four-years as the Reds conquered Europe and ended their wait for a first Premier League title, but played a limited role in both successes as injuries prevented him from reaching the potential he arrived with from Southampton in 2014.
Lallana called quits on Anfield three-years ago but is still going strong at Brighton and would have taken extra pleasure in helping thrash Liverpool’s rivals Man United at Old Trafford recently.
Adam Lallana started in midfield during the Europa League final but is now starring at Brighton
The Liverpool legend was in his first season at the club the last time the Reds found themselves competing in the Europa League and showed early signs of promise that would help him go on to carve out a stellar career in Merseyside.
The Brazilian formed the focal point of a devastating three-pronged attack consisting of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah as well in the following years as Liverpool became one of world football’s most dominant forces.
A tearful goodbye saw him leave during the summer as the riches on offer in the Saudi Pro League were too good to turn down for the 31-year-old but he will always be hailed as a Liverpool icon.
Roberto Firmino became a Liverpool legend during his time at the club but left in the summer for the riches on offer in Saudi Arabia
He had the world at his feet after Liverpool’s run to the Europa League final but decided to reject Klopp’s advice to stay at the club and make himself a legend in favour of a £146m move to Barcelona just two-years later.
Coutinho’s career has since soured with the playmaker unable to rediscover his Anfield form in Spain, while a loan move at Bayern Munich also ended unceremoniously.
A return to England under Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa sought to get his career back on-track, but as Unai Emery replaced the Liverpool legend as Villa boss, Coutinho began to lag behind.
Villa were unable to negotiate his permanent exit and Coutinho now finds himself on-loan at Qatar side Al-Duhail SC after moving in the summer.
Philippe Coutinho became the third-most expensive player in the world when he left Liverpool for Barcelona in a £146m move but is now plying his trade in Qatar
Remembered for his dancing goal celebrations and outrageous goal-scoring form that nearly resulted in Sturridge and strike partner Luis Suarez nearly dragging Liverpool to the Premier League title in 2014, the former England star is now retired.
Injuries ravaged his Liverpool career before he joined West Brom on loan two-years after the Europa League final and eventually exiting Anfield on a permanent transfer for Turkey.
A final career move to Australia soon followed before Sturridge decided to swap the pitch for punditry with Sky Sports confirming him as one of their presenters for the new Premier League season.
Daniel Sturridge (right) was ravaged by injuries during his Liverpool career but is now starring as a pundit on Sky Sports
Source: Read Full Article