Thursday 27 October 2016

Liverpool's greatest flop XI of the Premier League era

Published 14/05/2015 | 13:00

From the next “Zinedine Zidane” to big-money failures and journeyman duds, the Liverpool transfer story since the beginning of the Premier League is littered with hysterical comedy value.

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Roy Evans inherited the squad of Graeme Souness in 1994 and since his departure, Gerard Houllier, Rafael Benitez, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers have all made expensive errors in the transfer market, some more than others.

Houllier was responsible for one of the Kop’s most infamous flops when he introduced “the next Zinedine Zidane” in Bruno Cheyrou in 2002 while the likes of Emile Heskey, Ryan Babel, El Hadji Diouf, Erik Meijer, Titi Camara, Bernard Diomede and Anthony Le Tallec all touched the famous ‘This is Anfield’ sign under his watch.

Benitez didn’t  fare much better than his predecessor with the likes of Andrea Dossena, Jermaine Pennant, Ryan Babel and our own Robbie Keane arriving at Anfield with big reputations but leaving with severely deflated transfer values and egos.

Hodgson was only in charge of Liverpool for a short time and only made seven signings – every one , bar Raul Meireles, an unmitigated disaster – Joe Cole, Danny Wilson, Fabio Aurelio, Christian Poulsen, Brad Jones, and Paul Konchesky

King Kenny Dalglish will take comfort in the fact that he signed Luis Suarez and Jordan Henderson but he will still suffer the night sweats when he hears names like Alexander Doni, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates.

Now, Brendan Rodgers wants to splash more of Liverpool’s cash – after splashing €280m already in his three years in charge.

Before he delves into the transfer market again, he may want to read this list first: Oussama Assaidi, Fabio Borini, Nuri Sahin, Samed Yesil, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Kolo Toure, Aly Cissokho, Tiago Ilori, Mamadou Sakho, Victor Moses, Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren, Javier Manquillo, Alberto Moreno, Mario Balotelli.

To be fair to Rodgers, he did sign Joe Allen, Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutino and Simon Mignolet but four out of 24 is a pathetic return for a club of Liverpool’s stature.

It’s fair to say there have been many Liverpool duds who have walked through the famous Shankly Gates since the start of the Premier League. And we have picked our ultimate 11.

Pegguy Arphexad (Houllier), Josemi (Benitez), Djimi Traore (Houllier) Kolo Toure (Rodgers), Andrea Dossena (Benitez), Ryan Babel  (Benitez)  Bernard Diomede (Houllier), Bruno Cheyrou (Houllier), Salif Diao (Houllier), Mario Balotelli (Rodgers), Sean Dundee (Roy Evans)

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