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Mario Balotelli amongst four signings that toiled under Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool

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Since Brendan Rodgers' departure on Sunday, Liverpool's transfer dealings have taken centre stage for criticism.

Along with the infamous Transfer Committee, the business conducted by the club has been attributed by many as the key factor which pushed Rodgers toward the exit door. Many also question what level of influence Rodgers even had at board level.

A lot of articles claim that beyond the success of both Daniel Sturridge and Phillipe Coutinho - signed in the same January window - the Reds' transfer dealings have tended to flop.

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However, to contradict this trend, some of Liverpool's business actually made a lot of sense at the time, and it's only since this players have failed that people criticise fees paid.

Most of the biggest flops, in context, can be viewed far more favourably. Here are four prime example of this:

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Dejan Lovren (£20 million)

Lovren joined Liverpool off the back of some impressive form at Southampton and was largely expected to be a hit even despite his substantial transfer fee.

During his debut season in the Premier League for the Saints, he was responsible for just one goal in 31 appearances. Considering he came from Ligue 1 - an undeniably weaker league - this spoke volumes about his ability.

Fast forward a couple of seasons and he is quite literally a laughing stock. The floundering errors made during defeat to West Ham demonstrated how bereft of confidence he is. A player does not loose his abilities so profoundly - a recurring theme in this article.

Lovren was thrust into a defensive system which lacked any real leadership or strength and was expected to perform in a role he is clearly not comfortable with.

Martin Skrtel avoids the same pelters as occasionally he turns in a good performance, but the reality is he is also calamitous. Factor in Mignolet and Liverpool's defence is feeble and terrified of making errors.

Mario Balotelli (£16 million)

In true Rafael Benitez style, let's look at the facts. Prior to joining Liverpool, Balotelli had scored 66 league goals in 158 appearances for three of Europe's biggest clubs - almost the coveted 'one in two' record. 

He had bags of Champions league experience, which Liverpool needed heading into their first competition for a number of years, and was a regular for his national team, performing well at the World Cup.

£16million, especially in todays market, was a nicely weighted gamble. Inevitably, we have to discuss Balotelli's infamous temperament, but the fact remains that with the right manger he does perform.

Rodgers would never be up to this challenge. He had, and has, fallen out with many players - some publicly; some behind the scenes - and Balotelli was never going to be given the patience obviously required.

The former Manchester City striker has so much to offer and could be a great player if his strengths are utilised. Rodgers did not adapt. He was far too stubborn.

Lazar Markovic (£20 million)

Again, a player does not just loose their ability. Markovic was signed for a huge fee for a 20-year-old, but based on his performances from Benfica it was easy to see why so much had been spent on him.

He boasted great flair, pace, technical ability and wasn't shy of running at people. Naturally, his direct style seemed a perfect fit for Liverpool and Rodgers' philosophy.

Markovic was hugely under utilised, though, and is largely remembered more for his red card than what he brought to games.

Now on loan - a common Rodgers tactic for players he loses patience with - he is seemingly performing well. The moral is clear. A prospect never materialises if the time and patience is not afforded their way. Fingers crossed he regains some needed confidence.

Mamadou Sakho (£18 million)

Another casualty of Rodgers' poor man management and coaching. Sakho was once France's most exciting defensive prospect and captain of Paris St. Germain in his early twenties - quite an achievement.

Unfortunately, Sakho is injury prone but his talents are still waiting to be utilised. Just as Lovren has gradually been worn down and sapped of confidence, Sakho has too. As if it needed reiterating, players do not lose their ability.

Rodgers' defensive strategy and coaching had been so poor over the last three years that top prospects like Sakho have faded into the background.

Forced to the bench recently under the Northern Irishman's 'motivating' man management strategies, he was then bafflingly offered a new long term deal. Sakho compared himself to a caged lion - says it all, really.

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Topics:
Premier League
Liverpool
Football

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