Liverpool have had many players come and go over the years, and many will be remembered for their outstanding contributions to the team whilst others are recalled for being complete flops.
These days, the Reds rarely get it wrong when it comes to their recruitment strategy and scouting since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp in 2015, which has led them to success in multiple competitions, including a first-ever Premier League title in 2020.
However, it hasn’t always been this way, and Liverpool went through a period of horrendous transfer disasters which left them struggling to enjoy dominance in any competition between 2010 and 2015.
One player who was signed during this era was Christian Poulsen, a Danish defensive midfielder who completed a £4.5m move to Anfield in 2010 whilst Roy Hodgson was manager at the club, and it’s safe to say that he didn’t make a big impact in the team.
Poulsen was coming to the latter stages of his career when he joined Hodgson’s squad at 30 years of age and had seen his most successful days tallying up 162 appearances for Schalke 04 and 60 games for Juventus before moving to Merseyside.
At Liverpool, the 92-cap Denmark international made just 21 appearances, averaging 70 minutes per game. Despite signing a three-year contract to replace Javier Mascherano, he made a swift exit just one year later, joining French side Evian on a free transfer after Hodgson preferred Jay Spearing in the midfield engine room.
As with many players who leave the bright lights and famous European nights at Anfield, Poulsen did not manage to reignite his career following his exit in 2011, going from Evian to Ajax and finally to Copenhagen before hanging up his boots in 2016.
However, the former Liverpool nightmare could now be the secret weapon to success for Denmark in the World Cup this November, as Poulsen has forged a football career beyond his playing days and channelled his experience into coaching.
The 42-year-old was appointed as his national team’s assistant manager in September 2021 after building up a portfolio of experience as a trainee coach at Ajax between 2018 and 2019, later promoted to the Amsterdam club’s assistant manager for two years between 2019 and 2021.
Poulsen was right-hand man for former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag across 93 games in the Netherlands, so he has built up plenty of managerial and coaching experience which could become invaluable to Denmark over the tournament in Qatar next month.
Although the former midfielder’s career at Liverpool on the pitch was rather unsuccessful, is clear that Poulsen now intends to make a name for himself on the sideline, and it will be interesting to see just how well he gets on in the coming weeks and months ahead with his national team.