Saturday 24 March 2018

Is Brendan Rodgers a €280m Kop flop?

Liverpool manager says he will spend more - after spending a huge amount already

Brendan Rodgers has said that his Liverpool team is a few players short of a title-challenging team. This is the very same Brendan Rodgers who has spent a staggering €280m during his three years at Anfield and who famously professed last season: "Look at Tottenham. If you spend more than £100 million, you expect to be challenging for the league."

The Liverpool boss will open up the cheque book again this summer as he seeks to find the players who can rejuvenate his slumping side following last year's title challenge.

But are Liverpool fans starting to lose patience with Rodgers and his somewhat dubious dealings in the transfer market?

Yes, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho were shrewd signings  but €280m is, in his own words, money that should yield a title challenge.

Here, we rate Rodgers' signings since he took over at the Kop.

Fabio Borini of Liverpool celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates

Fabio Borini, £10.4m from Romab

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.


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.


Oussama Assaidi has left Liverpool

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.


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.

Teenager Samed Yesil is on the fringes of Liverpool's first team

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.


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.


Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring in the FA Cup quarter-final replay football match between Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool at Ewood Park.

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.


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.


Iago Aspas struggled to make an impact on the field for Liverpool

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.


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.


Liverpool defender Kolo Toure's current deal expires this summer and while there have been talks over extending his stay, nothing has yet materialised. Photo: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

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.


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.


Mamadou Sakho has become a key part of Brendan Rodgers' side in recent months

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.


Tiago Ilori £7m - The freshness of Liverpool’s title challenge has obscured the fact that most of the £50m they spent last summer brought no immediate dividend. With a nod to Kolo Toure’s comedy stylings, the least successful signing was probably the defender Tiago Ilori: the closest he got to a debut was a stint on the bench for an FA Cup tie against Oldham, and a fortnight later he was loaned to Spanish side Granada.

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.


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.


HULL, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Mario Balotelli of Liverpool shakes hands with Rickie Lambert as he is substituted during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Liverpool at KC Stadium on April 28, 2015 in Hull, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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.


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.


Wayne Routledge of Swansea City is challenged by Emre Can of Liverpool

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.


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.


West Brom's Brown Ideye and Dejan Lovren of Liverpool compete for the ball during their match at The Hawthorns yesterday

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.


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.


New Liverpool signing Javier Manquillo poses as he is unveiled at the club's Melwood training ground. Photo: Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

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?


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


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