Football

Brendan Rodgers' three best and worst transfer dealings during his time at Liverpool

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Liverpool's transfer dealings in recent seasons has been one of severe criticism, alongside many other factors on Merseyside.

Since Brendan Rodgers' departure on Sunday, the issue has become an even hotter topic, with many considering transfer failings a key contributing factor to his demise.

The infamous Transfer Committee has come to the forefront of all debate with many questioning what level of influence Rodgers actually had at board level.

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It would be easy to reel off a number of high-profile, big-money signings which collapsed during Rodgers' tenure. However, each transfer dealing needs to be put into context of the time it was made and the situation the club was in.

Dejan Lovren, for example, is often singled out for criticism regarding transfer policy. Undoubtedly, the Reds paid too steep a sum for him, but at this point they were buying what was a solid defender after what was an impressive season for Southampton.

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Also criticised is the fact that Rodgers spent nearly £300 million in three years. Again, this is slightly unfair.

Rarely factored in are the sales of Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and others for large sums. His net spend comes to around £100 million in total - £25 million per transfer window in other words. Hardly breaking the bank, you might say, unlike Manchester City.

What Rodgers cannot escape is the subsequent failure to utilise players properly or add any value to them - the catalyst behind arguments suggesting that his signings were ill-judged.

THE GOOD

Daniel Sturridge (£12m), Phillipe Coutinho (£8.5m), Emre Can (£9.75m)

It's easy to wax lyrical about the double capture of Coutinho and Sturridge. They were signed for sensible fees, had extreme talent and bags of potential, but more importantly, were looking to prove themselves.

Both players needed regular starts to show their skills - and that they have. The pair were pivotal to Liverpool's second-placed finish in 2014 and have undoubtedly added to their respective values. Whether both will stay at the club remains to be seen.

Emre Can, meanwhile, might appear something of a wild card pick, but delve into the deal and the player himself and he proved to be a great piece of business.

Still just 21, Can fits a rare mould of player. He is a classic box-to-box midfielder given his passing ability, vision, strength, pace and great stamina, but during his first season was used predominantly as either a centre-back or right-back.

He performed admirably, and in turn showcased his versatility, but needs to be given a chance to show what he did for Bayer Leverkusen and what he is currently doing for Germany.

THE BAD

Daniel Agger (£3m), Jose Reina (Free), Rickie Lambert (£4.5m)

As discussed, common names which come to the forefront of bad business are the purchases of Lovren, Lazar Markovic, Mario Balotelli etc. However, two of Rodgers' biggest transfer mistakes were sales.

Key players Pepe Reina and Daniel Agger seemingly fell foul of Rodgers' favour and were swiftly dispatched for ridiculous fees.

Reina departed to spend time on loan at Napoli before joining Bayern Munich - a move made bewildering given that he was not only a top goalkeeper, but an important, charismatic leader on the field and in the dressing room. His replacement - Simon Mignolet - is the complete opposite.

Agger, on the other hand, injuries aside, was a combative and composed defender - he was Liverpool through and through.

The £3 million fee he left for was an insult and really sheds light on Rodgers' lack of respect for a solid, spine player and a key member of Liverpool's defence for many years. Again, his replacements have not faired well.

Compare Reina and Agger to Mignolet and Lovren and it's little wonder how Liverpool's defence has declined so rapidly in three years. Factor in also Rodgers' lack of defensive coaching, players fielded out of position and the retirement of Jamie Carragher, and it's even easier to see why this is the case.

And finally, Rickie Lambert. Again, not such an obvious choice you might think. The fee is relatively low, so no problem, right? Wrong.

Lambert was such a poor piece of business for many reasons. He was past the point of returning any value and there was far too much sentimental value placed on his signing.

This made its catastrophic fail even more disappointing and ruined the twilight years of such a fantastic career.

Lambert possessed none of the qualities a striker in Rodgers' method of play needed. He spent a lot of time on the bench and left for West Brom as if he had never been at the club.

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Topics:
Premier League
Liverpool
Football

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