Rating Liverpool’s 25 most expensive players ever out of 10

  • Rob Swan

Liverpool may not have won a Premier League title (yet) but the Merseyside outfit are still among the clubs who have spent the most money on players since 1992.

Only Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United have splashed out more over the past 27 years.

But under the management of Jurgen Klopp, the Reds have assembled a formidable team who stand a real chance of ending the club’s long wait for a league title.

We thought we’d take a look at Liverpool’s 25 most expensive signings and give each of them a rating out of 10 based on how well they have performed for the Reds.

All the fees have been provided courtesy of Transfermarkt.

25. Joe Allen | £17.10m

Brendan Rodgers brought Joe Allen with him to Liverpool from Swansea City in 2012 after the Welsh midfielder flourished in his first season as a Premier League player.

Although Allen would always give his all for the Reds, he wasn’t quite at the levels expected of a first-choice Liverpool midfielder and was subsequently offloaded to Stoke City at the end of Jurgen Klopp’s first season at Anfield.

Now 29, Allen is still playing for the Potters in the Championship.

Rating: 4/10

24. Mamadou Sakho | £17.10m

Signed from Paris Saint-Germain in September 2013, the acquisition of French centre-back Mamadou Sakho appeared to be a real coup for Liverpool at the time.

The 6ft 2in defender produced some decent performances during his three seasons at Anfield but it soon became apparent that he wasn’t quite top-level.

Sakho was loaned to Crystal Palace during the 2016/17 campaign before joining the Eagles permanently at the end of that season.

Rating: 5/10

23. Djibril Cisse | £18m

Things might have been different for Djibril Cisse at Anfield had he not suffered an awful leg break while playing against Blackburn Rovers, just 19 games into his Liverpool career.

The French striker, who scored nine goals in 41 appearances for his country, was able to return to action relatively swiftly but struggled to score goals consistently in the Premier League.

Cisse bagged 19 goals in all competitions during his final season with the Merseyside outfit before being loaned to Marseille, the club he would eventually sign for permanently.

Rating: 4.5/10

22. Alberto Aquilani | £18m

Alberto Aquilani arrived at Liverpool in 2009 with a big reputation following his seven-year spell as a first-team regular at AS Roma.

But the midfielder, who also played regularly for the Italian national team at the time, was a bitter disappointment at Anfield.

Aquilani only lasted a season at Liverpool – playing 26 games and scoring two goals – before being loaned to Juventus and then AC Milan.

He joined Fiorentina on a permanent move in 2012 and retired in June 2019, a year after leaving his final club, Las Palmas.

Rating: 2/10

21. Mario Balotelli | £18m

Rodgers admitted in 2016, months after he’d been sacked by Liverpool, that he didn’t want Mario Balotelli at the club.

It was the decision of Fenway Sports Group to bring the controversial Italian striker to Anfield and to say the move failed to pay off would be an understatement.

Balotelli scored a pitiful one goal in 16 league appearances for the Reds, and just four in 28 games in all competitions.

He spent the 2015/16 season on loan at AC Milan and was sold by Klopp to Nice in the summer of 2016.

Rating: 1/10

20. Glen Johnson | £18.4m

Glen Johnson earned a big-money move to Liverpool in 2009 after excelling at Portsmouth.

The powerful full-back made 200 appearances for the Reds over six seasons, chipping in with nine goals, before moving to Stoke City.

The former England international announced his retirement from football in January 2019 at the age of 34.

Rating: 7/10

19. Javier Mascherano | £20.2m

What a player. It’s just a shame for Liverpool fans that Javier Mascherano only played with them for three years.

The Argentina international, who joined the Reds following a frustrating spell at West Ham, was everything you’d want in a midfielder: passionate, hard-working, willing to put his body on the line, and excellent technically.

It was no surprise when Pep Guardiola brought him to Barcelona in 2010. He would spend the next eight years at Camp Nou before moving to Hebei China Fortune.

Rating: 7.5/10

18. Stewart Downing | £20.5m

Stewart Downing was another player who struggled to produce his best form at Liverpool.

The England international, who had impressed for Aston Villa during the 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons, failed to score or assist a single Premier League goal in 36 appearances during his debut season.

He was given a second season, where he scored three in 29 league games, but it was no shock when the Reds offloaded the winger to West Ham for just £5 million in August 2013.

Now 35, Downing is currently playing for Blackburn Rovers in the Championship.

Rating: 3/10

17. Robbie Keane | £21.6m

Robbie Keane was a quality forward at his peak, so it made total sense for Liverpool to sign the Republic of Ireland international in the summer of 2008.

But for whatever reason Keane struggled at Anfield, scoring a disappointing seven goals in 28 appearances.

After just one season as a Liverpool player, Keane was back at Tottenham.

The 39-year-old retired in 2018 following a brief spell with ATK in the Indian Super League.

Rating: 3.5/10

16. Lazar Markovic | £22.5m

Lazar Markovic looked like a future superstar during his one season with Benfica, hence why Liverpool splashed out over £20 million to sign the Serbian winger in 2014.

The youngster showed glimpses of his class but these glimpses were few and far between.

Markovic was loaned out to various clubs including Fenerbahce, Sporting CP, Hull City and Anderlecht before finally being offloaded to Fulham in January 2019.

The 25-year-old is now back where it all began, at Partizan, and seems to be in the process of rediscovering his form and confidence.

Rating: 1/10

15. Dejan Lovren | £22.7m

Dejan Lovren has had some difficult moments since joining Liverpool from Southampton in 2014 but, to his credit, the Croatian defender continued to work on his game and never gave up.

Lovren has been a decent squad player for the Reds in recent seasons and is also a popular member of the dressing room.

Rating: 7/10

14. Luis Suarez | £23.8m

In terms of talent, Luis Suarez was an absolute 10/10 signing for Liverpool. The Uruguayan was genuinely world-class and scored an impressive 82 goals in 133 games for the Reds.

But we can only give him a 9/10 because of the number of controversial incidents he was involved in during his time at Anfield.

He was handed an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and received a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic. Who knows what Liverpool might have achieved had he not missed those games.

The 32-year-old has cleaned up his act since joining Barcelona, where he’s scored 185 goals in 258 games, winning a host of major honours in the process.

Rating: 9/10

13. Georginio Wijnaldum | £24.7m

Even if he did nothing else during his Liverpool career, the Anfield faithful will always fondly remember Georginio Wijnaldum thanks to his quick-fire brace against Barcelona on one of the most magical nights in the club’s history.

However, the Dutch midfielder has contributed more for the Reds since his arrival from Newcastle United in 2016. He’s been an excellent squad player for Klopp’s side and should remain a Liverpool player for at least a few more years.

Rating: 8/10

12. Adam Lallana | £27.9m

A technically-gifted playmaker who shone bright during his eight years as a first-team player at Southampton, Adam Lallana has been a solid – if unspectacular – player for Liverpool.

The England international, who turns 32 later this season, is no longer a first-team regular but is still a useful squad player.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him leave Anfield within the next 12-24 months but he will always be remembered for giving his all by Liverpool fans.

Rating: 6/10

11. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | £34.2m

Despite missing almost the entire 2018/19 season through injury, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has still done enough for Liverpool to warrant a 7/10 rating.

The English midfielder, who completed his move from Arsenal in 2017, hit the ground running at Anfield and is now back in the team following his lengthy lay-off and performing well.

His best years are still ahead of him and he should be a real asset for the Reds over the next few seasons.

Rating: 7/10

10. Fernando Torres | £34.2m

Few players have had a better debut season with Liverpool than Fernando Torres, who scored 33 goals in 46 games after arriving from Atletico Madrid.

The Spanish striker went on to score a further 48 goals for the Reds before stunning the club by demanding a move to Chelsea, where he ended up flopping spectacularly.

Had he stayed at Anfield, he probably would have been a 10/10 signing. But because of the way he left the club, it’s impossible to give him anything higher than a nine.

Rating: 9/10

9. Andy Carroll | £36.9m

Andy Carroll was brought to Liverpool from Newcastle on the final day of the 2011 winter transfer window after it became clear that Torres was off to Chelsea for £50 million.

Liverpool reacted (or, perhaps, panicked) by splashing out £35 million on Carroll, who had established his status as one of English football’s most talented young strikers up at St James’ Park.

But Carroll struggled at Liverpool, scoring just 11 goals in 58 games and sadly becoming something of a laughing stock in the process.

The 30-year-old’s career has been hindered by a series of injuries in recent seasons but he’s now back at Newcastle following seven seasons at West Ham.

Rating: 2/10

8. Roberto Firmino | £36.9m

Credit where it’s due, Rodgers was the man responsible for bringing Roberto Firmino to Liverpool from Hoffenheim – not Klopp.

But unlike Rodgers, Klopp has managed to get the best out of a forward that he admired hugely while working for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.

Firmino has exceeded all expectations at Anfield. A pivotal component to the way Liverpool play under Klopp, Firmino has been worth his weight in gold for the Reds in recent years.

Rating: 9.5/10

7. Sadio Mane | £37m

Sadio Mane is getting better and better with each passing season.

The Senegalese winger scored 13 in his first season at Liverpool, 20 in his second and 26 in his third.

Now in his fourth season, Mane has netted nine goals in 14 games at the time of writing and is widely regarded as one of Europe’s best forwards.

He was even voted in first place for FIFA’s The Best award by none other than Lionel Messi back in September, which shows how far he’s come since leaving Southampton in 2016.

Rating: 9/10

6. Mohamed Salah | £37.8m

Because of his disappointing spell at Chelsea, some eyebrows were raised when Liverpool brought Mohamed Salah back to England from AS Roma in 2017.

But the Egyptian forward has been unbelievably good for the Reds, scoring 79 goals in 118 appearances.

Salah scored a magnificent 44 goals in his debut season at Anfield, breaking the record for number of goals in a Premier League season (32) in the process.

With Salah in Liverpool’s forward line, the Reds always look capable of scoring plenty of goals every match.

Rating: 10/10

5. Fabinho | £40.5m

It’s no coincidence that Liverpool won the Champions League and recorded their best-ever Premier League points tally in the first season that Fabinho and Alisson Becker arrived at Anfield.

Fabinho was the holding midfielder that the Reds had been crying out for.

The Brazilian has made 56 appearances for Liverpool since completing his move from AS Monaco in 2018 and has barely put a foot wrong.

Rating: 8.5/10

4. Christian Benteke | £41.8m

What on earth has happened to the Christian Benteke who looked so good for Aston Villa?

He was like a different player when he rocked up at Anfield, although the Belgian striker still managed to score 10 goals in 42 games.

In all honesty, it’s a miracle that Benteke is still employed by a Premier League club.

Since the end of the 2016-17 season, the 28-year-old has scored four goals in 54 league appearances for Crystal Palace. A dire return.

Rating: 2/10

3. Naby Keita | £54m

Liverpool fans were forced to wait a year before Naby Keita finally played his first game for the Reds after agreeing to join from RB Leipzig.

Klopp was convinced Liverpool had signed an exceptional midfielder but, in truth, we’ve yet to see the best of the Guinea international in England.

Keita is only 24, so there’s no need to panic just yet. But it’s fair to say that Liverpool fans have expected more from him.

Rating: 5.5/10

2. Alisson Becker | £56.2m

Following Loris Karius’s nightmare in the 2018 Champions League final, it became abundantly clear that Liverpool needed a top-class goalkeeper in order to be the best.

They reacted by splashing out over £50 million on Alisson, who has been excellent for the Reds.

There’s been the odd mistake here and there – hence the 8.5 rating rather than a nine or higher – but give it a few more seasons and he could easily be a 10/10 signing.

Rating: 8.5/10

1. Virgil van Dijk | £76.1m

If you want to see what a difference one quality player can make to a football team, just look at the impact Virgil van Dijk has made at Liverpool following his arrival from Southampton in January 2018.

Liverpool’s defence was a shambles prior to Van Dijk’s arrival. Now it’s one of the best in the world.

The Dutchman is easily the world’s best centre-back right now and even beat Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the 2018/19 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award.

If Van Dijk also wins the Ballon d’Or next month, it will have been richly deserved.

Rating: 10/10

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