Roberto Firmino has struggled since leaving Liverpool

7 Liverpool icons who struggled after leaving Anfield: Firmino, Henderson…

While plenty of former Liverpool players have gone on to enjoy stellar careers elsewhere, others haven’t quite enjoyed the same fate.

The likes of Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling managed to reach new heights after leaving Liverpool, but plenty of other stars have found out that the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere.

We’ve managed to find seven examples of Liverpool icons who have struggled to live up to the hype after leaving Anfield.

Jordan Henderson

Just a few months after his controversial move to Al-Ettifaq, Henderson was already packing his bags. The former Liverpool captain struggled to acclimatise to life in Saudi Arabia and made just 19 appearances before leaving.

“It was a big decision with how long I had been out in Saudi, but they fully respected the decision,” Henderson told reporters. “I was just thankful it was handled in the right way. Everyone shook hands and we move on.”

With his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad under question, Henderson will be hoping to rediscover some form with Ajax in the second half of the season.

Roberto Firmino

Henderson isn’t the only former Liverpool star who has struggled in Saudi Arabia. Despite scoring a hat-trick on his Al-Ahli debut, all is not well for Firmino.

The Brazilian has failed to score in his last 16 league matches and has reportedly been eyeing up the exit door. Although Fabrizio Romano recently confirmed that Firmino will be sticking around in Saudi Arabia for the time being.

Philippe Coutinho

Coutinho’s blockbuster move to Barcelona ended up benefiting Liverpool in the long run as they were able to use the extra funds to land Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk. The same can’t be said for Coutinho’s career though.

While the Brazilian has got his hands on seven trophies during his post-Liverpool career, his impact in winning those accolades was only marginal.

Barcelona weren’t able to get the best out of Coutinho and his career has dwindled since that point. Despite a few flashes of quality here and there, he’s looked like a shadow of the star he once was at Liverpool.

Nowadays he’s unwanted by Aston Villa and is out on loan in Qatar.

Philippe Coutinho in action for Brazil

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Sadio Mane

Mane has managed to get back on track with Al-Nassr of late, but there’s no denying that he struggled to live up to the hype during his stint with Bayern Munich.

The German champions spent around £35million on the Senegalese winger, but he only managed to score seven league goals before calling it quits after just one year in the Bundesliga.

“I thought he would be a brilliant signing because Munich produced world class players in the past but never really signed one,” Didi Hamann told GOAL. “Now in Mane they signed one, but it probably goes down as one of the biggest mistakes in Bayern’s and German football’s history.”

Michael Owen

Owen left Liverpool behind for the glitz of Real Madrid in 2004 and that ultimately coincided with the decline in his career.

His solitary season at Real Madrid wasn’t anywhere near as bad as some people would have you believe. He managed to score 16 goals across all competitions which was a tally only bettered by Ronaldo in the Real Madrid camp.

Although injuries soon took their toll on the former Ballon d’Or winner and upon his return to England in 2005, he was never the same player again.

Fernando Torres

While Torres did produce a handful of iconic moments in his post-Liverpool career, he was never the same player after leaving Anfield in 2011.

You could argue that Torres’ decline had already started in his final year with the Reds, although his early struggles with Chelsea especially magnified this.

“I couldn’t believe it, and what I mean by that is I knew we’d kidded Chelsea,” Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports when discussing the sale of Torres.

“I’d played with Torres for the last 12 months [and] he was a shadow of his former self. £50 million was major money at that stage, and I think we were all in a state of shock.

“We were gutted Torres was going, but I think we all knew he was never going to be the same player.”

Divock Origi

The Anfield cult hero hasn’t found much form since leaving the club in 2022. Origi only managed to score two goals during his debut season with AC Milan and was subsequently labelled as the “worst signing of the season” by Italian journalist Alvise Cagnazzo.

“There is no doubt who the worst signing of the season has been in Serie A: Divock Origi,” Cagnazzo said. “The Belgian left Liverpool hoping to finally nail down a starting spot at a top club, but his time at AC Milan has so far been a disaster.”

Origi recently returned to the Premier League by joining Nottingham Forest on loan, although he is yet to score for his new club.

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