Liverpool vs Watford: What happened to Hodgson's nine signings at Anfield?

Roy Hodgson returns to Anfield this weekend as Watford manager and Liverpool fans won’t be rushing to welcome him back.

Hodgson became Liverpool’s manager in July 2010 but, despite signing a three-year contract, was sacked in January less than six months later.

Whilst in charge, Hodgson won just seven of his 20 Premier League games with the Reds languishing in 12th at the time of his departure – four points clear of the relegation zone.

While there were a host of problems at the club at the time, Hodgson really didn’t help himself with his dealings in the transfer window.

In fact, he made nine signings during his first summer – and none of them lasted at the club long.

So, to ‘celebrate’ Hodgson’s return to Merseyside, we’ve decided to look back at the nine signings he made while Liverpool manager.

Look away now, Liverpool fans.

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Jorgen Nielsen - Liverpool

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Raul Meireles | £11.5m

The best of a bad bunch, we think.

Liverpool signed Meireles from Porto and the Portuguese international proved to be a fairly decent signing, in truth.

He scored five goals in 33 Premier League appearances and, despite Liverpool finishing sixth, he won the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year at the end of the season.

However, just a couple of matches into the following season, he asked to be transfer listed and joined Chelsea for £12m. He spent a further campaign at Stamford Bridge before moving to Fenerbahce, where he played for four seasons before retiring after the 2015/16 campaign.

Liverpool v West Ham United - Premier League

Fabio Aurelio | Free

Well, this was a weird one.

Aurelio had left the club just a few months previously but was re-signed by Hodgson on a free transfer. However, the Brazilian struggled with injuries during his final two years at Liverpool and left for Gremio – before eventually retiring due to his constant injuries.

Liverpool v West Ham United

Suso | Undisclosed

Hodgson deserves a bit of credit for this one.

He signed Suso as a 17-year-old, picking him up from Cadiz in Spain.

While the Spaniard didn’t play under Hodgson, he made 20 appearances in the 2012/13 season in Brendan Rodgers’ first season in charge.

Despite many Liverpool fans wanting to keep him, he was eventually sold to AC Milan in the summer of 2014. He moved permanently to Sevilla in July 2020 for €24 million but has suffered with injuries this season.

Liverpool v Toronto FC

Danny Wilson | £2m

Wilson was at Liverpool for three seasons and played just two Premier League matches – enjoying loan spells at Blackpool, Bristol City and Hearts in the meantime.

He then signed permanently for the latter, before moving on to Rangers where he lasted three seasons. In January, he moved to the MLS to join Colorado Rapids – the club he still plays for.

West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool - Premier League

Brad Jones | £2.3m

Jones spent four seasons at the club, and even become the club’s number one during the 2012/13 campaign after Pepe Reina continued to make some mistakes.

However, Jones didn’t last long between the sticks and was eventually let go in the summer of 2015.

He’s since had spells at Bradford, NEC and Feyenoord before moving to Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia. At the age of 40, he’s now back in his native country with A-League team Perth Glory.

Bournemouth v Liverpool - Capital One Cup Quarter-Final

Christian Poulsen | £4.5m

Poulsen will be regarded as one of Liverpool’s worst ever signings.

Remarkably, the Dane played two seasons at Juventus before heading to Anfield but looked out of his depth in England.

He left one year later for French club, Evian.

He signed for Ajax shortly afterwards before finishing his career in his native country with Copenhagen following the 2014/15 season.

Ninety-two caps for Denmark suggest that maybe he did have some ability – but just didn’t show it at Liverpool.

He’s now assistant manager with the Denmark national side.

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

Paul Konchesky | £3.5m

Oh dear.

Konchesky played just 15 times in the Premier League for Liverpool before they offloaded him to Nottingham Forest on loan, and then sold him one year later.

His mum certainly didn’t help matters.

The left-back finished his career last season at Billericay Town in the National League South. He’s now He is currently assistant manager for West Ham United Women.

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

Joe Cole | Free

To be fair, when Liverpool signed Cole on a free transfer, a lot of people thought it was a good piece of business.

He was sent off against Arsenal on his debut and then missed a penalty in his next home match in the Europa League.

It didn’t get much better for Cole, scoring three goals in 32 appearances whilst picking up £90,000-per-week in wages. He spent the following season on loan at Lille before returning to Anfield.

But, a couple of matches into the 2012/13 season he was allowed to join West Ham on a free, while Liverpool helped pay some of his wages.

After his time at West Ham, he played for Aston Villa, Coventry City before retiring in the United States with Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Liverpool v Blackpool - Premier League

Milan Jovanovic | Free

Another signing that lasted just one season.

The winger scored twice in 18 matches in all competitions before being allowed to join Anderlecht before he retired at the end of the 2012/13 season.

In fairness, it’s believed that it was Rafa Benitez that had agreed to sign him and, despite the Spanish boss leaving and being replaced by Hodgson, Jovanovic still agreed to sign.

Still, we’ll never forget his attempted header…

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