Lallana is a fine player, but no foreign club would spend anywhere near that figure for him. Lovren cost less than half that total 12 months previous. Markovic is a prodigal talent, but he only made 26 league appearances for Benfica last season and questions remain over his work ethic and temperament. £20m is a gamble.
Of the three, it's fair to say Lovren will be the best immediate addition. Lallana will be a useful foil when Raheem Sterling and Coutinho need a rest, while Markovic will probably be stashed.
But please don't think these are criticisms of the players themselves, or even of Rodgers's desire to sign them.
Because it's important to make clear, while all three were expensive, they are still GOOD players. The point is to illustrate they weren't GOOD deals.
But Liverpool do know a good deal when they see one, which is encouraging - and it looks like this: £12m for a Spanish international under the age of 23. But you must be prepared to be patient.
Spain have one of the best national teams in the world, the World Cup does not change that fact. They have 30 of the best players in the world.
Alberto Moreno, 22, has three Spain caps. He was one of the best players in La Liga last season, having starred for the championship-winning Spain under-21 team in the 2013 European tournament.
He has European club experience, having helped Sevilla to win the Europa League. And as a result, Sevilla were understandably playing hardball over his transfer.
They were demanding €20m. What followed was a series of reports that seemed to either confirm the transfer or confirm its imminent collapse depending on the day of the week.
It dragged on for months, but seemingly Liverpool finally have their man. Chief executive Ian Ayre should be congratulated for refusing to buckle. As a result, Liverpool look to have a bargain on their hands. Now they need to replicate it.
Total transfer activity
The deal for Moreno means Liverpool have effectively spent £12m net total this summer. They've swapped Luis Suarez for Emre Can, Lallana, Lovren, Markovic, Divock Origi, Rickie Lambert plus £12m on the Spaniard. Champions League demands, and all that.
Overall, the squad is much stronger. But crucially, there should be plenty of money in the transfer kitty left to sign a striker. Liverpool fans would have expected heavy net investment after coming so close to the title. The Suarez sale doesn't change that.
This talk about Samuel Eto'o is nonsense. It would be a disaster for Liverpool, after all, Chelsea tried and failed with just that experiment last season. It stinks of desperation, of grabbing the first available free transfer striker with Champions League pedigree. Better to be patient.
If the Moreno agreement teaches us anything, it's that value is still achievable - in foreign markets and when given time. The Premier League is not the place to buy - just look at the £12m deal for Shane Long at Southampton. Madness. He's never scored more than eight Premier League goals.
Even Calum Chambers - Arsenal paid £16m for an England youth international with a handful of Premier League appearances. Consider the Moreno deal in this context, and Liverpool have done wonderfully well. But it does make the Lallana and Lovren deals look overpriced in comparison.
Because looking overseas opens up opportunities. There's greater risk involved in importing but that's priced in. Buy a striker in the Premier League, even an average one, and you pay a premium. Buy Graziano Pelle from the Eredivisie, and you get a goal-a-game striker for less than £9m.
That's why Rodgers needs to take the lessons from the Moreno deal and look abroad for his striker. Liverpool have an excellent player on their hands in Moreno, at an unbelievable price.
To compare, Ryan Bertrand - another player Liverpool were linked with - has a buyout clause in his Southampton loan contract at £10m. He's never been integral to Chelsea, a worrying sign if Liverpool want to compete with them. He's been on loan to eight clubs. His ceiling is Southampton. He's not in the same conversation as a Spanish international.
So good work Ian Ayre, but more of the same please. The deals are there, they just take some patience. In this market, Moreno could yet be the bargain of the summer.
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