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Liverpool’s 10 worst transfers of all time

Liverpool have climbed to the top of the Premier League in recent years thanks, in part, to an outstanding transfer policy.

The Reds have got little wrong in the transfer market as Jurgen Klopp has re-established the Anfield club as one of the finest teams in European football.

Luis Diaz’s brilliant immediate integration into the team in January 2021 is a brilliant example of Liverpool’s knack of picking out players who can hit the ground running.


Prior to the Colombia winger, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have all shone immediately. Indeed, these players, with the exception of Mane, continue to form the core of Klopp’s squad.

Liverpool haven’t always been so impressive in the transfer market, though. Here are some examples of when the club got it wrong – with few examples in recent seasons.

Alberto Aquilani – £17m from Roma, 2009

Liverpool completed the signing of Alberto Aquilani on the same day that star midfielder Xabi Alonso was allowed to leave for Real Madrid.

The Italian had tough job replacing Alonso’s excellence at Anfield, and he never seemed up to the task. It took him until December to make his first start for the Reds, and although he was neat and tidy enough, he severely lacked confidence and the assertiveness to dominate the middle of the park.

All in all, just a rather meek portion of Aquilani’s career. After two loan moves to Juventus and then Milan, he left to join Fiorentina on a permanent basis for an alleged fee of just €790,000.

Iago Aspas – £9m from Celta Vigo, 2013

This is definitely a case of a move just simply not working out for a player.

Iago Aspas has proved before and after his move to Liverpool that he is indeed a very good player – he is a legend at Celta – but he was unable to adapt to the Premier League during his time with the Reds.

The Reds had a cracking team at that time in 2013 and came close to winning the league, with Aspas usually playing second fiddle to Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge for the forward spots.

The language barrier was believed to be an issue for him, too. He returned to Spain a year after his initial move on loan at Sevilla.

Mario Balotelli – £16m from Milan, 2014

Mario Balotelli had already lost his ‘super’ status by the time Liverpool completed a £16m panic buy from Milan for the former Manchester City striker.

In that summer, the Reds lost Luis Suarez and in his attempts to replace the Uruguayan, manager Brendan Rodgers attempted a Hail Mary signings with the acquisition of the maverick Balotelli.

It was going to work out either very badly or very well.

It was the former, as he scored just four times in 28 appearances.

Christian Benteke – £32.5m from Aston Villa, 2015

Another attempted replacement for Suarez, a year later, was Christian Benteke, who Liverpool signing after triggering his £32.5m release clause at Aston Villa.

Though he can certainly sometimes be a formidable presence inside the box, Benteke lacks the nuance in his game to lead the line for a top club, and he would eventually find this out when new manager Klopp regularly put him on the bench.

He scored 10 goals in his only season with the Reds, which isn’t terrible, but he was never the quality forward the club needed, though he did score a screamer of an overhead kick against Manchester United.

Liverpool, somehow, recouped £27m by selling him to Crystal Palace.

Andy Carroll – £35m from Newcastle, 2011

When Suarez signed for Liverpool in January of 2011 he was apparently under the impression he would be joining the club to partner Fernando Torres in what would have been a strikeforce for the ages.

Instead, he got Andy Carroll, who arrived for a whopping £35m on deadline day in the winter window.

Injuries, naturally, held him back from consistency at Anfield, but when he did play, his scoring record was poor.

He would eventually sign for West Ham 18 months after arriving at Liverpool.

El H

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