Nine of Liverpool’s best bargain signings since winning the UCL in 2005
Liverpool have developed a knack of finding value in the transfer market in recent years – even when spending big money.
Jurgen Klopp has combined high-profile, big-money, hugely successful signings like Virgil van Dijk and Alisson with several canny arrivals bought in for modest fees with since he took charge at Anfield, but he also benefitted from some bargains signed before his time.
We’ve picked out nine of the best, picked up for less than £10million, all signed since Liverpool won the Champions League under Rafa Benitez in 2005.
Divock Origi (£10m)
When Liverpool signed Origi from Lille in 2014, he was seen as one of the bright young stars of the Belgian national team and was expected to become a prolific goalscorer.
Scoring 28 goals from 97 appearances and being sent out for an unsuccessful spell at Wolfsburg in 2017 would suggest he hasn’t fulfilled his potential and definitely shouldn’t be on this list.
On the other hand, he scored twice as Liverpool turned around a three-goal deficit to beat Barcelona in a Champions League semi before putting away the clincher in the final. Enough said.
Philippe Coutinho (£8.5m)
The Brazilian looked a lost boy at Inter before turning into a superstar on Merseyside. Liverpool benefitted from the best years of Coutinho’s career to date, enjoying regular superb long-range strikes and watch-winning individual displays.
While his five years at the club were memorable, it’s in the transfer market that this bit of business stands out. The Reds sold him to Barcelona for more than 10 times what they originally paid for him, and that colossal £130million fee helped them fund the purchases on which they built their latest Champions League win.
Andrew Robertson (£8m)
“For Andrew, this is another big step on what has been a quite incredible personal journey in a very short space of time,” said Jurgen Klopp when they signed Robertson.
“I know our environment will benefit him and help him push himself even more than he has already. This is a player who does not limit his ambition.”
Safe to say that’s proven to be the case. In the conversation as being the best left-back in the world, the Scot was signed from Hull City for £8million. That’s absolutely bonkers.
Pepe Reina (£6m)
The Spaniard’s form tailed off a little in the latter years of his Liverpool career, and he’s had a weird career path since, going from Napoli to the bench at Bayern and back again, before joining Milan last summer.
But an instant upgrade on Champions League hero Jerzy Dudek, Reina was exceptional for his first few years at Liverpool and an important part of their title challenge in the 2008-09 season.
He kept 28 clean sheets in his first 50 league games for Liverpool, which remains a Premier League record, and won the Golden Glove award for three consecutive seasons.
Lucas Leiva (£6m)
Signed from Gremio, having being named player of the season in Brazil as a dynamic attacking midfielder, he adapted his game dramatically at Liverpool.
He won a match-winning penalty on his debut, a particularly memorable Merseyside derby, but looked a square peg in a round hole in
his first couple of years. He eventually won the fans with hard work and much-improved performances in a defensive midfield role – spending a decade at the club and becoming a true cult hero.
Daniel Agger (£6m)
The Denmark international made over 200 appearances for the Reds, showing the kind of dedication and professionalism that money can’t buy.
Well, it did in this case. But it only cost £6million.
Joe Gomez (£3.5m)
Gomez has arguably been Van Dijk’s best partner at the back when fit, and if he progresses as is hoped he could be a mainstay at the back for a decade or more.
But signed for a small fee from Charlton when he’d just turned 18, he’s already proved to be a fantastic investment irrespective of what happens from here.
James Milner (Free)
The Yorkshireman had already won everything in the domestic game when he was allowed to leave Man City on a free in 2015, but he never lost the hunger. And now he’s added the most prestigious European honour of all.
He’s had to bide his time, often filling in out of position, but he’s been a genuinely wonderful servant for the club – on and off the pitch
Maxi Rodriguez (Free)
The Argentine never scored a goal in Liverpool’s colours quite as good as the one against Mexico in the 2006 World Cup, but frankly, that was always an impossible feat. And he still had quite the highlight reel at the club.
Burning brightly for a short time, Rodriguez has a special place in the hearts of the Liverpool faithful. One of those footballers you could see loved the game by the way he played it, he was a joy to watch in his prime.
And he’s still going at the age of 38, back at his boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys.