Liverpool Director of Football Damien Camolli seemingly paid the price for the poor performances of ‘his’ transfer signings after he left Liverpool by mutual consent this afternoon.
The Frenchman joined the club in November 2010 and charged with overseeing recruitment but has became the target of criticism this season as the likes of Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam all continue to struggle while the Reds falter in the Premier League.
Former Anfield legend Mark Lawrenson revealed that Comolli’s role was to ‘earmark’ potential signings for Dalglish to pursue – so who are the players he picked out that have inadvertently led to his downfall?
Andy Carroll, £35 million, January 2011
The figurehead of Comolli’s transfer failing, Carroll in many ways represents the current failings at Anfield. Reports suggest that not only was Comolli instrumental in bringing Carroll to Liverpool but that he tried to offload him in a part-exchange deal for Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez a year later.
Carroll’s performances have been patchy at best but he appears to have picked up slightly in recent weeks, culminating in his wining goal in Liverpool’s 3-2 win over Blackburn this week.
Hit or Miss: The jury is still well and truly out on Carroll, his strop and performance against Newcastle was his lowest ebb, but has shown he can be a threat. Certainly not a £35 million player though. Comolli has a lot to do with the transfer fee and should be judged accordingly.
Stewart Downing, £20 million, July 2011
Another much-maligned signing of the Comolli era, Downing’s wastefeulness has become something of a featute during Liverpool’s recent league slump.
However he certainly saved his finest performance in a red shirt for when it mattered, in the Carling Cup final, and he appears to be on an upwards trajectory.
Hit or Miss: £20 million seems a little inflated for Downing but has proved at times he is capable of putting in good performances. Whether he is the type of player to help Liverpool back to the big time is another matter altogether.
Craig Bellamy, Free, August 2011
Probably the biggest success at Anfield this season is a man, signed on a free transfer, who was let go by Liverpool four years earlier – Craig Bellamy.
Now 32-years-old but somehow able to hold onto most of his blistering speed, the Welshman has been an instant hit in his second spell at Anfield.
Hit or Miss: Definite hit, but how much Comolli had to do with brining Bellamy to the club remains to be seen.
Jordan Henderson, £20 million, June 2011
Yet another big-money deal that appears to have been a foolish move, Henderson has struggled to demonstrate he is worth any where near £20 million this season.
Often marooned out of position on the right hand side of midfield, Henderson hasn’t had the easiest of starts to life at Anfield, but failure to improve quickly and he could find himself drifting away from the first team.
Hit or Miss: an unmitigated failure so far, Henderson must impose himself next season or face the chop at an embarrassing loss for his club.
Luis Suarez, £22.7 Million, January 2011
Immediately adored at Anfield, Suarez’s hustle and bustle has earned himself plenty of fans on Merseyside.
The former Ajax man could do better in front of goal while issues off the pitch may have knocked both his and his fans’ confidence somewhat, but there is no doubt he is the leader of the new wave of Liverpool signings.
Hit or Miss: No doubt about it, a bonafide hit. His signature reeks of Comolli’s influence, so credit where credit is due.
Jose Enrique, £6 million, August 2011
When Enrique signed on the dotted line most believed the acquisition of the Spaniard to be a shrewd signing and so it has proved.
The former Newcastle full-back’s for has waned alarmingly in recent weeks with tiredness perhaps playing a part, however generally speaking he has been fairly solid in his first season with Liverpool.
Hit or Miss: Not a raging success, but a success nonetheless. Liverpool may want to see a bit more from him next season however.
Charlie Adam, £7 million, June 2011
Another who started the season well only to drop off the pace somewhat, Adam has been usurped somewhat by Steven Gerrard’s return from injury.
The Scottish international has struggled with his fair share of injury this season but with the return of Lucas and the influence of Gerrard in midfield, his chances could start to become a little limited.
Hit or Miss: Neither hit nor miss really, Adam still has to prove he is up to the task of delivering for a big club like Liverpool, but has shown at times he has can pass the ball with the best in the Premier League.