Ranking Liverpool’s past 10 summer transfer windows from worst to best
While Liverpool have been rightly praised for their recruitment work over the last few years, they’ve also made a few mistakes in the transfer market.
The Reds completed some questionable deals under Kenny Dalglish, Roy Hodgson and Brendan Rodgers before Jurgen Klopp turned things around.
We’ve ranked Liverpool’s past 10 summer transfers windows from worst to best.
After selling Luis Suarez to Barcelona in 2014, Liverpool made a number of costly mistakes in the transfer market.
Mario Balotelli and Lazar Markovic cost a combined total of £36million but managed just three Premier League goals between them.
Javier Manquillo and Alberto Moreno failed to fix Liverpool’s defensive problems but Emre Can and Divock Origi proved good value for money.
The Reds also signed Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert from Southampton although the latter was sold after just one season.
Brendan Rodgers worked with Joe Allen and Fabio Borini at Swansea before bringing the pair to Anfield in the summer of 2012.
Allen was often a divisive figure among Liverpool supporters and Borini managed just three goals in 38 appearances for the club.
The fact that Nuri Sahin, Oussama Assaidi and Samed Yesil made a combined total of 19 Premier League appearances for Liverpool tells you all you need to know.
Mamadou Sakho arrived from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2013 and enjoyed a promising debut season before falling down the pecking order.
Simon Mignolet served as Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper for three seasons while Kolo Toure became a cult hero during his time at Anfield.
But Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto, Tiago Ilori, Victor Moses and Aly Cissokho all failed to establish themselves as first-team regulars.
It’s been seven years since Liverpool signed Aly Cissokho
Here he is assisting one of the most ridiculous goals you will ever see pic.twitter.com/dEZXIZtxSR
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) August 20, 2020
Riding a wave of euphoria of their first league title in 30 years, Liverpool allowed Dejan Lovren to leave in a £10million transfer to Zenit Saint Petersburg and bolstered their squad by signing Konstantinos Tsimikas, Diogo Jota and Thiago Alcantara for approximately £70million in total.
On paper it all looked very sensible, but it didn’t quite work out that way – hindsight is 20:20, after all, but getting another centre-back to replace Lovren would been useful given the injury crisis they went on to suffer.
Tsimikas has since shown he can be useful as a deputy to Andy Robertson, but he barely had a touch in his debut season, while the jury remains out on whether Thiago is the right fit – he spent the first half of his debut season sidelined and subsequently struggled to make an impact, drawing unfavourable comparisons to Juan Sebastian Veron at Manchester United way back when.
Only Jota has been an unqualified success.
The ‘like a new signing’ summer, in which the return of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez meant more than any new arrival, while Jurgen Klopp’s options for the backline were further bolstered by the signing £36million man Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig.
But Konate was about it, with nobody coming in to replace Klopp stalwart Georginio Wijnaldum after his departure to PSG.
Still, it’s more or less the same squad that won the Champions League and Premier League and registered 196 points over two seasons – plus Konate and Diogo Jota, with Thiago Alcantara in place of Wijnaldum. Over £20million for fringe players Xherdan Shaqiri, Harry Wilson and Taiwo Awoniyi represents decent business, too.
You imagine the club’s strategy might have been to sell one of their star players to freshen up their front three, but the pandemic ended the idea of £100million+ bids for Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane.
Steady and unspectacular – but Liverpool have been through a lot worse than that before. Time will tell whether they needed further investment.
Liverpool actually made a profit from transfers in the summer of 2019 after selling Danny Ings to Southampton for £20million.
Adrian was brought in on a free transfer to replace Simon Mignolet while Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliot were signings for the future.
Despite their limited investment, Liverpool still secured their 18th Premier League title in 2019-20 so we doubt there were too many complaints.
After selling Raheem Sterling to Manchester City for £49million in 2015, Brendan Rodgers reinvested that money on new signings, with mixed success.
Christian Benteke failed to live up to expectations at Anfield while Nathaniel Clyne and Danny Ings were plagued by injury problems.
But the astute signings of Joe Gomez, James Milner and Roberto Firmino did help set the foundations for the next manager…
Jurgen Klopp made six signings in the summer of 2016 and started to mould the Liverpool squad in his image ahead of his first full season in charge of the club.
Since signing from Southampton and Newcastle respectively, Mane and Wijnaldum became an integral part of Klopp’s side.
The manager also brought in four players from the Bundesliga in the form of Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan, Loris Karius and Alexander Manninger.
After losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League final, Liverpool made some big money signings in 2018.
Klopp addressed their problem position with the addition of Alisson from Roma, who has transformed their rearguard into one of the best in Europe.
Fabinho has proved a huge success at the base of midfield, although Naby Keita failed to live up to the billing and Shaqiri struggled to be anything more than a bit-part player.
The summer of 2017 proved to be a real turning point for the Reds under Klopp.
Liverpool spent £34million to sign Salah from Roma and the winger has more than lived up to his price tag, scoring 94 goals in 153 appearances in all competitions at the time of writing.
Robertson arrived from relegated Hull City in an £8million deal and has since developed into one of the best left-backs in the world.
The Reds also signed Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain from Arsenal on deadline day. He’s had his moments, but injuries have denied him a place alongside Salah and Robertson as a modern Liverpool great.