Sunday 23 October 2016

Liverpool's signings during the Brendan Rodgers era rated...but how will the new boys fare?

Chris Bascombe

Published 20/04/2015 | 13:54

There have been very few success stories from Brendan Rodgers' signings
There have been very few success stories from Brendan Rodgers' signings

Roberto Firmino has become the latest player to sign for Liverpool as Brendan Rodgers continues to build ahead of the new season. Michael Owen described the signing as a 'biggy' and Kopites will be hoping the former England striker is right. But Rodgers' history in the transfer market is less than impressive.

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In a withering assessment of Liverpool's recruitment policy over the last three years, Chris Bascombe deems just five of the buys successes.

1. Fabio Borini, £10.4m from Roma

Rodgers’ first signing, Borini had worked with the Liverpool manager at Chelsea and Swansea. He was seen as a versatile striker who understood the 4-3-3 system, but he never looked good enough.



2. Joe Allen, £15m from Swansea

The ‘Welsh Xavi’ as he was christened is a tidy, clever player but he has never looked capable of becoming world class. Although he is liked and trusted, he does not score or create enough. Still one of the better deals.



3. Oussama Assaidi, £3m from Heerenveen

Rumours persist Assaidi was signed on the recommendation of a stats-obsessed club official who had the ear of John W. Henry. He certainly wasn’t pursued by Rodgers, who took him because he needed to swell the numbers.



4. Nuri Sahin, LOAN from Real Madrid

It was said Liverpool beat Arsenal to secure Sahin’s services. He was too slow and was promptly allowed to leave after six months of doing nothing. Again, the manager did not seem enthused.



5. Samed Yesil, £1m from Bayer Leverkusen

A youth player who has suffered injury since moving to Anfield, only recently returning after a prolonged absence. Not had an opportunity to show his value yet.


6. Daniel Sturridge, £12m from Chelsea

A hit in his first two years but a waste of time in the last eight months. Doesn’t put his body on the line for the club. Frustration is growing with him, but you can’t doubt his quality when he plays.



7. Philippe Coutinho, £8.5m from Inter Milan

One of the few success stories of the last three years. A wonderful player, although he needs to score and create more. It will help when he has a decent striker to supply.



8. Luis Alberto, £6m from Sevilla

One of those that gives the impression Anfield stats-men sit at Melwood playing ‘Football Manager’. A bizarre deal, the midfielder nowhere near the required level. Currently on loan in La Liga.



9. Iago Aspas, £7m from Celta Vigo

Looked out of his depth from day one and was unsurprisingly loaned back to Spain after one season. Yet another deal that made little sense at the time and looks even more perplexing in retrospect.



10. Simon Mignolet, £9m from Sunderland

He’s gone from miss to a hit during the last six months, but it’s not been entirely convincing. Is he better than the keeper he replaced? No, but at least he is getting better.



11. Kolo Toure, free transfer from Manchester City

Signed to add experience to the defence. His Anfield career has been honest but error-prone. He has not filled the Carragher void, however, and is currently awaiting a new contract.



12. Aly Cissokho, LOAN from Valencia

Dubbed ‘comical Aly’ for his strange demeanour on the pitch, which gave the impression he would fall over every time he passed the ball. Was part of some excellent victories, but was a weak line in defence and not retained.



13. Mamadou Sakho £15m from PSG

Divides opinion. Some believe he will be the next Desailly, others point out his passing foot is more like a putter. Makes a mistake every game and the manager still does not entirely trust him. Pound for pound, not a great deal yet.



14. Tiago Ilori, £7m from Sporting Lisbon

‘One for the future’ they said about centre-back Ilori. They did not specify at which club. Stayed for a year, then went on loan. No idea if he’ll ever be back to fulfil whatever destiny has been mapped on Merseyside.



15. Victor Moses, LOAN from Chelsea

He came from Stamford Bridge and managed to play like he was bothered on at least two or three occasions. Then he disappeared and people forget he was ever at Anfield. Dreadful.



16. Rickie Lambert, £4.5m from Southampton

It was supposed to be a dream move, with Lambert the ‘plan b’ from the bench. Turns out Rodgers gets to ‘plan z’ before considering the striker a viable option. It hasn’t happened for him.



17. Adam Lallana, £25m from Southampton

Some thought Lallana could be the next Peter Beardsley, but others feared he would be more Nigel Clough. In his first season he has been the latter. Injured too often and not there when needed.



18. Emre Can, £9m from Bayer Leverkusen

When Can broke into the first team and looked impressive, two years of lousy recruitment was forgotten. He’s enjoyed a promising first season as a defender, even though he was bought to play midfield.


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19. Lazar Markovic, £20m from Benfica

The soundtrack of Liverpool’s season could be agent Pini Zahavi laughing at the £10m he cashed in for this dud. Chelsea had first option and ignored it. They’re reaped the benefits at Liverpool’s cost.


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20. Dejan Lovren, £20m from Southampton

Yet another ‘new Carragher’ who has more in common with Torben Piechnik. The Kop hold its breath when Lovren makes a tackle. Erratic, unreliable and a lot of money.



21. Alberto Moreno, £12m from Sevilla

Started off well enough but has deteriorated as the season has progressed. Not a clever defender and offering little in attack. Will need a vast improvement next season.



22. Javier Manquillo, LOAN from Atletico Madrid

See Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto for more details. Seriously, why would Atletico let a decent prospect leave on loan? Does anyone on Anfield’s transfer committee ever smell the roses?



23. Mario Balotelli, £16m from AC Milan

They had a party at the San Siro when Mario vacated the premises. It was a roll of the dice that failed. Replacing Luis Suarez with Mario the worst call since Liverpool released Robbie Fowler and gave El-Hadji Diouf his number 9 shirt



24. James Milner, free from Manchester City

The 29-year-old midfielder gave up a supporting role at Eastlands to become one of Rodgers’ chief lieutenants at Liverpool following the departure of Steven Gerrard.

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25. Danny Ings, TBC from Burnley

The 22-year-old striker is considered by many observers as the best prospect of an emerging crop with also includes Harry Kane and Saido Berahino and with Liverpool struggling up front last season, Rodgers will be hoping those observers are right.


26. Joe Gomez, £3.5m from Charlton Athletic

Liverpool completed their third signing of the summer when they captured 18-year-old Chalrton Athletic prodigy Joe Gomez. The teenager made 24 appearances for the Championship side last season and is an England under-19 international. Appears to be 'one for the future' after rumours suggest Merseysiders are already considering sending him out on loan


27. Adam Bogdan, free from Bolton Wanderers

The Hungarian goalkeeper will join the club on a free transfer on July 1 when his contract at Bolton expires and will become the back-up to first-choice Simon Mignolet at Anfield. Cannot expect too much action at Anfield, but may make the League Cup starting XI


28. Roberto Firmino, £28m from Hoffenheim

The Brazil international agreed terms with Liverpool while on duty at the Copa America. Michael Owen described the signing as a 'biggy' and Kopites will be hoping the former England striker is right


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