With seven managers having tried their hand at managing Liverpool since the Premier League began in 1992, it’s about time we looked back at some of the dismal signings that these managers have made.
The Reds have been the butt of many jokes in recent years, so one more laugh won’t hurt will it?
Aquilani arrived from Roma in 2009 on a 5-year deal for a fee of £17m. Benitez brought him in as a replacement to Xabi Alonso who had joined Real Madrid. The Italian international was not a regular at his boyhood club and he made just over 100 league appearances during his seven years with the club.
Alberto struggled to get going at Anfield and the Liverpool board struggled to get rid of him. After loan spells at Juventus and AC Milan, Liverpool were finally able to flog him off to Fiorentina. His entire career to date has been spent in his home country of Italy with exception of the three years at Anfield – albeit only one season actually spent in England.
Money spent – £17,000,000 Money received – £0 Total loss – £17,000,000
League Appearances – 18 – League Goals – 1 –
Cup Appearances – 8 – Cup Goals – 1 –
Almost 200 appearances for Real Madrid sounds impressive, but over an 8-year period it’s not quite regular selection. Morientes made the move away from The Bernabeu in 2005 as he joined The Reds. His first season in the Premier League saw him make just 13 league appearances and scoring just 3 goals. That form didn’t improve into this second season at Anfield and that was to be his final season with the club. He was sent back to Spain to play for Valencia where he re-found his scoring touch in his first season.
Money spent – £7,300,000 Money received – £3,000,000 Total loss – £4,300,000
League Appearances – 41 – League Goals – 8 –
Cup Appearances – 29 – Cup Goals – 4 –
The England international was signed for Liverpool by Kenny Dalglish, who was ready to throw as much money around as possible during his short spell with the club. Downing had a successful period with Aston Villa before being brought to Anfield for a very large fee. Downing may have just been surpassing his peak years as a winger yet Liverpool were willing to pay double what Aston Villa did 2 years earlier.
The price tag was far greater than Downing’s ability and it dominated him. As you would expect Downing was used a lot as Liverpool weren’t willing to put that amount of cash on the bench. However he never really got going and in his first season the winger didn’t contribute a single goal or assist. The price tag triggered Downing to become somewhat of an internet sensation and he couldn’t shake that abuse off.
Money spent – £20,000,000 Money received – £5,000,000 Total loss – £15,000,000
League Appearances – 65 – League Goals – 3 –
Cup Appearances – 26 – Cup Goals – 4 –
After playing for 10 different professional clubs it’s no secret that Robbie Keane gets around, but the striker never really got around the Anfield pitch enough to justify his price tag. Following a very successful 6 year spell with Tottenham, Keane signed on to dotted line to bring him up north to Merseyside.
It was a four-year deal that barely even made it to half of one year. Keane returned to Tottenham for another large fee in the very next transfer window after struggling to get started with Liverpool. Although Liverpool managed to recoup a lot of the transfer fee, they still lost a considerable amount in the space of just 6 months. One of the stranger transfers in Liverpool’s history.
Money spent – £19,000,000 Money received – £12,000,000 (potential to rise up to £16m) Total loss – £3,000,000 – £7,000,000.
League Appearances – 19 – League Goals – 5 –
Cup Appearances – 9 – Cup Goals – 2 –
One of the most famous disaster transfers. Carroll had scored 17 goals for Newcastle in the Championship as the Magpies gained promotion, only to be followed up with another 11 goals in the Premier League. The then 22-year-old 6’4″ striker seemed to be one of the brightest young talents in the country. That was enough for Dalglish to fork out another fortune.
Like Downing the price tag seemed inappropriately high, and Carroll couldn’t live up to it. He was a full England international by the time he made the move to Anfield so that didn’t help his price. He was given just one full season with Liverpool and after Rodgers arrived he was loaned out to West Ham, where he eventually moved on a permanent deal for a cut price. Another big money loss from Kenny Dalglish.
Money spent – £30,000,000 Money received – £15,000,000 Total loss – £15,000,000
League Appearances – 44 – League Goals – 6 –
Cup Appearances – 14 – Cup Goals – 5 –