Roy Hodgson's nine signings as Liverpool manager - what happened to them?

  • Kobe Tong
Liverpool v West Ham United - Premier League

Liverpool fans would rather forget Roy Hodgson's six-month reign at Anfield.

In truth, signing a coach that had just taken Fulham to the Europa League final looked a pretty smart move by the Reds, but it quickly became apparent that he couldn't hold a candle to Rafa Benitez.

By the time Hodgson was given his marching orders in January 2011, Liverpool found themselves languishing in mid-table and with nine Premier League defeats to just seven victories.

It's a situation that feels almost unrecognisable when you consider Jurgen Klopp has led the same club to Champions League glory and an inevitable Premier League title just 10 years later.

However, any successful story has to appreciate the humble beginnings they came from and Liverpool fans can actually gain great strength by remembering how terrible things were in 2010.

Roy Hodgson's Liverpool signings

And out of all the things that Hodgson got wrong on Merseyside, perhaps his greatest area of weakness was in the transfer market and his signings continue to bewilder fans to this day.

In total, the future England manager made nine acquisitions during his Anfield tenure and to call two of them a success would be about as generous as we could possibly be.

So, let's reminisce on those transfer clangers by working through all nine signings, how their careers at Liverpool played out and what happened to them once they left - check it out down below:

Liverpool v Arsenal - Premier League

Raul Meireles | £11.5 million

A surprisingly decent start. Meireles was plucked from FC Porto as Liverpool's most expensive purchase that summer and finished the campaign as the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year.

But it wasn't to last. The Portuguese international handed in a transfer request at the start of the following season, moving to rivals Chelsea and duly winning the Champions League.

Meireles then jumped ship to Turkish giants Fenerbahçe, playing in Istanbul for four seasons and eventually hanging up his boots in 2016.

Liverpool v Steaua Bucharest - UEFA Europa League

Fabio Aurelio | Free

Aurelio's Liverpool career looked to be over when he rejected a pay-per-play contract under Benitez, but a change of management meant that he was re-signed having barely left for three months.

However, a constant string of injuries meant that Aurelio endured a frustrating final two seasons with the Reds and he eventually retired in 2013 after spending a solitary year in Brazil with Gremio.

Liverpool v Valencia - Pre Season Friendly

Suso | Undisclosed

Not bad business from Hodgson, trust be told. Suso was plucked from obscurity as a 17-year-old at Cadiz and quickly became one of the most talented up and comers in Liverpool's youth set-up.

And although he never really made the grade on Merseyside, appearing just 21 times for the first-team, he secured a move to AC Milan in 2014 and scored 24 goals across six years at the San Siro.

Suso is currently plying his trade on loan at Sevilla for whom he has played eight times and scored once.


Danny Wilson | £2 million

There's not a whole lot to say about Wilson's Liverpool career, which comprised of two Premier League appearances and three loan exits, so this has to go down as another Hodgson clanger.

The defender eventually moved up north to the Scottish Premiership with Hearts and then Rangers, before chasing pastures new across the pond by signing for Colorado Rapids in the MLS.

West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool - Premier League

Brad Jones | £2.3 million

Jones will endure as something of a cult hero at Anfield and there's no denying he's a top bloke, but just 11 league appearances in six seasons tells you everything about his goalkeeping ability.

Liverpool never looked comfortable with Jones between the sticks and he was moved on to League One Bradford City before Jurgen Klopp's arrival in 2015.

Jones then spent time in the Netherlands across spells with NEC and Feyenoord, before trying his hand in Saudi Arabia as Al-Nassr FC's number one shot-stopper.

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

Christian Poulsen | £4.5 million

There's no denying that Poulsen was a decent player during his heyday at Schalke and Juventus, but the Dane has rightfully been remembered as one of the worst signings in Liverpool's history.

The Reds got suckered in by Poulsen's reasonable performances at that year's World Cup, only to be disappointed when he fell miles short of that standard across 12 league games in England.

Liverpool eventually dumped him in France with Evian after just one full season and he bowed out of the professional game in 2015 following spells with Ajax and Copenhagen.

Liverpool's Danish midfielder Christian

Paul Konchesky | £3.5 million

Arguably the worst signing of the bunch, Konchesky's mere 15 league matches for Liverpool are best remembered for a woeful shot against Everton and he was ejected to Championship Nottingham Forest after just six months.

Dropping down a tier did little to help his chances at Anfield and he most recently spent time in Non-League with East Thurrock United after tumbling down the Football League pyramid.

Birmingham City v Liverpool - Premier League

Joe Cole | Free

It's hard to blame Hodgson too much here because Cole looked like a serious coup as one of the most talented players for both Chelsea and England over the last five years.

But a red card on his debut, missing a penalty in his next home game in the Europa League and being shipped out to Lille on loan tells you everything you need to know about his time at Anfield.

A handful of appearances in 2012/13 couldn't save him from being moved on to West Ham and he eventually retired in 2018 after time with Aston Villa, Coventry City and Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Liverpool v Aston Villa - Premier League

Milan Jovanovic | Free

Just one season, 18 games and two goals represents a pretty terrible record for Jovanovic in England, even if the Serbian was coming off a World Cup with a winner against Germany.

The winger was quickly ditched to Anderlecht, where he eventually retired, although Hodgson might escape some criticism for the fact it's rumoured that Benitez had agreed to sign him already.

Liverpool v Trabzonspor - UEFA Europa League Play-off

Terrible signings all around

No wonder Hodgson was marched out the exit just a few weeks after Christmas.

Perhaps the only saving grace for Liverpool is that Hodgson didn't fork out massive fees for these flops and in fairness, Kenny Dalglish also dropped some transfer clangers the following summer.

But even 10 years to compute the situation doesn't wash away any of the bewilderment that comes with remembering Poulsen and Jovanovic's arrivals for having merely half-decent World Cups. 

Denmark's midfielder Christian Poulsen s

Meireles and Suso are the only players for which Hodgson can gain any credit, but the former only played at Anfield for a season and the latter played his best football after leaving.

As a result, we can only apologise to Hodgson and say that even the thickest nostalgia goggles couldn't blur what was undoubtedly one of the lowest nadirs in Liverpool's illustrious history.

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