Flops of the Kop: Top ten pre-Brendan Rodgers transfer blunders

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Brendan Rodgers' reign at Liverpool was adorned with questionable transfers which, unfortunately, will become a large part of his legacy.

Liverpool have actually been pretty bad at buying players for most of their Premier League history. Rafael Benitez, Gerard Houllier, Roy Hodgson and even Kenny Dalglish are guilty of some poor deals. Here are ten of them in no particular order:

El Hadji Diouf (£10 million)

Diouf was named African Player of the Year twice successively and impressed at the 2002 World Cup. Such form, however, completely eluded him on Merseyside.


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The Senegalese recorded just three goals in two season for the Reds - an abysmal return for a player of his arrogance - and combined with his hostile and abusive attitude proved an ultimate failure at Liverpool.

And as if he wasn't unpopular enough with those at Anfield, he recently accused Kop legend Steven Gerrard of being a racist. Nice one, El Hadji.

Christian Poulsen (£4.5 million)

Mention this name and watch Liverpool fans shudder. Signed by Hodgson in 2010, he had previously won Danish Player of the Year twice in a row.

He made 12 league appearances and, in fairness, had the odd solid performance but overall lacked skill and any form of pace whatsoever. Possibly a victim of guilt by association? Probably not.

Paul Konchesky (Swap deal)

Again, what most Liverpool fans would call a ‘face palmer’, another Hodgson delight. Liverpool are known for struggling for quality at left-back and Konchesky did little to erase that trend.

His impressive-ish form for Fulham earned the Englishman a transfer to the famous Reds in 2010, but was largely uninspiring and eventually shipped out on loan in the January transfer window after a fall-out with then-manager Dalglish.

Bruno Cheyrou (£4 million)

Why are all half-decent, French midfielders heralded the ‘next Zidane?’ Probably to make money.

Cheyrou was anything but the next Zidane. So much hype surrounding the forward eventually fizzled into nothingness, a couple of loan spells and departure. Enough said really. Houllier business at its finest.

Antonio Nunez (£1.5 million)

Benitez’s second signing returned a grand total of just one goal and poor form, paying the equivalent of £1.5 million whilst shipping Michael Owen in the opposite direction to Real Madrid for £8 million. 

Nunez's career on Merseyside can be effectively summed up by the fact that he injured himself in his first training session and was consequently ruled out for three months. 

He did, however, become the club's only ever player to score his only goal in a major cup final - the League Cup final loss against Chelsea - and also laid claim to a Champions League medal in 2005. A flop albeit, but Nunez could hardly have complained with what he came away with after a solitary year at Anfield.

Milan Jovanovic (Free)

Not the most high-profile, bad signing but one that must be remembered.

A parting ‘gift’ of Benitez’s, signed in advance of him leaving the club. The Serbian winger was a free transfer from Standard Liege and had a decent World Cup in 2010. He made only ten league appearances for Liverpool, however, and was poor all round.

Eventually he returned to Belgium and carved out a pretty decent end to his career. The Premier League was way above his calibre.

Fernando Morientes (£6.3 million)

Signed with a great deal of excitement, Morientes was seen as a high-quality addition to Benitez’s side having scored 82 goals for Real Madrid.

He also helped Monaco to the Champions League final during a loan spell, in which the French side were beaten by Jose Mourinho’s Porto. Unfortunately, none of this form followed him to England and he looked past his best.

Andy Carroll (£35 million)

Possibly the second-most infamous flop in English football, ironically after the man he came to Liverpool to replace - Fernando Torres.

Hastily signed in the January window along with the huge success of Luis Suarez, Carroll’s Liverpool career never really took off. He was injured constantly, something which continues to blight his career now.

He did put in some good performances but was always something of a square peg in a round hole. His first half of the Premier League season with Newcastle had been so promising.

Robbie Keane (£20 million)

An absolute shambles of a deal. Keane’s Liverpool career can be defined as short and disappointing.

Signed for £20 million in the summer of 2008, he lasted just six months. His performances weren’t awful - he netted a few crucial goals - but he was deemed surplus to requirements.

His sole highlight was a fantastic goal against Arsenal at the Emirates, but even that wasn't enough to warrant his stay. He soon returned to Tottenham at a substantial loss. Great business, Liverpool.

Alberto Aquilani (£17 million)

Replacing the world class Xabi Alonso was an impossible task, let's face it, but upon the Spaniard's departure to Real Madrid, Benitez was confident he had the perfect replacement sorted.

Aquilani moved from Roma in 2009 for a hefty £17 million despite of a serious ankle injury. It took three months for him to recover and make his debut. Unfortunately, he never quite cut it in the Premier League and was loaned to a couple of Serie A clubs before departing.

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