With football being suspended, I find myself twiddling my thumbs, so over the past few days Ive been thinking of who have been the most important signings of the past decade. A number of factors have to be taken into account, number one is obviously the impact they've had on our side, ie how successful we have been since they arrived. Also the amount spent on said player, and market value growth. So here's my top ten signings of the decade;
note - all transfer information provided by transfermarkt.co.uk with eventual add ons included.
First on the list in tenth position is James Milner. A free signing from Manchester City brought in under Brendan Rodgers, who arrived at Anfield to beef up our midfield options and replace some experience to the side which we lost when Gerrard left for LA. I don't think many people expected him to have the impact on the side he has. Who would have thought when he left Manchester, that he would be making two champions league finals with his new side in the later stages of his career. What a servant he has been to the club since his arrival, always reliable and never say die attitude. Now our vice captain, our primary penalty taker who never misses from the spot, and a versatile back up for a number of positions. When we need someone to count on, we can count on Millie.
Jordan Henderson. It's mad that our captain is in 9th position here but it just goes to show the strength of the squad we currently have, and some of the signings we have made in the last decade. Hendo was brought in from Sunderland for 16 million pounds as a 20 year old, and was initially played on the right by Kenny. A sign of just how good he is, every manager that has been at the club since Hendo arrived has started him. There was the rough patch under Rodgers for a bit, but he turned it around and eventually was named club captain by Rodgers. Even now Gerrard has come out and said that he believes the reason we fell short during the 13/14 season, was due to an absent Hendo in the midfield. That just goes to show how influential he is to every team he plays in. Jordan epitomises what Klopp looks for from his midfield, and has been a shining light in our current campaign. Since losing that champions league final against Madrid, I don't think anyone else in the team has been more driven to be successful, except maybe Mane. Now Jordan Henderson is a European cup winning captain, and soon to be the first Liverpool captain in 30 years to lift a domestic league title.
In 8th is Bobby Firmino. Our number 9, pass him the ball and he'll score every time. Si Señor, first of all bobby has provided one of my favourite football songs of all time, what a tune. Brought in from Hoffenheim under Rodgers for an eventual fee of 36 million pounds, the Brazilian was kind of a utility attacking option. I think Brendan and his scouting team had obviously identified the talent that Bobby had, but never knew exactly how they were going to utilise that ability. That all changed when Klopp came in, and decided quite early on that Bobby would be used as our CF. Since then Firmino has improved with every season he has played up there and is now regarded as one of the best centre forwards in the world. For me, Bobby is the fulcrum point of our attack, he's the linch pin that makes it all work. When he's at his best, usually Liverpool are. But he doesn't just provide attacking credentials, he's also our first line of defence, he sets the standard for the rest of the team, when they see their CF chasing down defenders and harassing every pass they make, it motivates them to do the same.
7th on my list is Luis Suarez. There's no denying how brilliant a footballer he was for us. Signed from Ajax in the January transfer window for 23 million pounds, Luis was brought in to partner Torres up front. Unfortunately Torres left for Chelsea and his replacement was Andy Carroll, who just missed out on this list..... Straight away you could see the ability that Suarez had, ripping defences apart. One that sticks to mind is against United at Anfield, where he skinned the whole defence and put the ball on a silver platter to Kuyt to tap in. One thing missing from his game was goals, and when that eventually came, he became the best striker in the world. We obviously had our problems with Suarez during his time at Liverpool, which will always cloud his time spent at Anfield. However he produced one of the best seasons from a striker in premier league history, which almost carried us to a league title. It didn't pan out and he eventually left for a fee of 73 million pounds. A huge fee at the time and on the back of another biting incident in the summer, good business by the reds.
Andy Robbo. The first Klopp signing to feature on the list and one of the best. Signed for 8 million pounds from a relegated side, not many people would have predicted his meteoric rise, but Liverpool did. Andy initially had to bide his time on the bench, watching the shambolical Moreno start in place of him. But it was Klopp's plan all along and when he got his first proper break in the side he never looked back. You could argue he is the best left back in the world at the moment, him and Trent have certainly revolutionised how the positions are viewed, certainly in Britain, and that makes Robbo so influential to the way that Liverpool play. And again we signed him for 8 million pounds. What a player.
Coming in 5th is Phillipe Coutinho. A signing made in the January transfer window under Brendan, incomes this young Brazilian lad from Inter Milan with curly hair for around 8 million pounds at the time. I think everyone knew he was talented but was unsure if he could cut the speed and physicality of the premier league. But the young Brazilian took to it like a duck to water. Inconsistent in his early years at the reds, he initially struggled to cement his position in the starting 11, but once Klopp came in that changed and we saw him become one of the best creative midfielders in the world. The little magician left for what he thought would be greener pastures but we got our moneys worth plus more. Making a profit of almost $135 million pounds. Making this one of the most profitable transfers we’ve ever seen in football history. Not only did Liverpool make an insane amount of money, which would finance the eventual signings of two more Brazilians, Alisson and Fabinho, but it paved the way for something special. With Coutinho out the picture, Klopp no longer had a headache of how to fit 4 world class players in 3 positions. It allowed Mane, Bobby and Salah to consistently play together in the attacking 3, and the rest is history.
4th on the list is the Egyptian King Mo Salah. Some may be surprised to see Salah pop up so early, but in my opinion he was the last piece of the attacking jigsaw for the reds. His goal tally has been ridiculous since his arrival from Roma for a fee of 37 million pounds. Again no one would have predicted it, apart from the important people at Liverpool. I remember loads of people laughing at us, "signing a Chelsea flop" for a large fee at the time. But what he brought was that dual threat ability on the wings for the reds, giving us more freedom when attacking. And the form he was in during his first season was just frightening. That goal against Roma in the semi final at Anfield, I started crying when that hit the back of the net. Mo has this ability to make you believe. On so many occasions I've been overwhelmed with the sense of 'were going to do this' because of a Salah goal. Last season against Chelsea at home, and his goal against Southampton away are just two more examples. Salah could easily be number one on this list, they’re all so close in the importance for the team. But for me the next 3 just couldn't miss out.
Coming in 3rd Position, Alisson. The importance of this man in goal can not be underestimated. For me he has been one of the biggest differences you’ll see from any signing coming into this team. We went from challenging for top four to 97 points in a premier league season. We went from champions league runner ups, due to goalkeeping errors, to champions league winners due to goalkeeping brilliance. Yes also because of a great team being built, but without this man in the sticks we wouldn’t have a chance of achieving what we have. This was evident against Athletico Madrid in the second leg. For me if Alisson is in goal we qualify for the next round. It doesn't matter how good your team is, every great side needs a great goalkeeper, and we have one of the best in Alisson Becker.
Sadio Mane, the one who started it all. When you look at Klopp's signings, this feels like the OG. The catalyst for the new dynasty. And who can’t love this lad, phenomenal player, and he wants to win more than anyone. He's humble, loves to play football, loves to win, and works his socks off to do so. Looking back on it, I don’t think anyone knew just how good Mane was when we signed him, evident in the fact we went unrivalled in our pursuit of him. Then he scored that goal against Arsenal on his premier league debut for the reds, and I think everyone was thinking 'what on earth have we just seen'. Since then he’s just got better and better. Now he knows how good he is, and it's brilliant to see. Looking at his fee now, of under 40 million pounds, for one of the best wingers on the planet, its an unbelievable piece of business.
Coming in 1st place Mr Virgil Van Dijk, and could it be anyone else. For me, hand on heart, he has to be one of the best player I’ve ever seen. The man should have won Ballon D'or last season, against two of the greatest footballers of all time, and he’s a fucking centre back. There isn’t anything to his game that he lacks, he’s fast, strong, calm, great tackler, he has great positioning, he's a leader, distributes the ball like a veteran centre mid, he's an aerial threat from set pieces, the list goes on.
That boxing day when it was announced we had signed him, was the best Christmas present of my life, and to play the way he has with that price tag hovering over him, shows what kind of character he is. That price tag is forgotten about now and looking back on it, I think every team on the planet would rip your arm off to sign him for $75m.
Coutinho bought $11.7m sold $145m
Suarez $23m sold $73m
Notable mentions; Gomez 4.4m , Gini 23m , Fabinho 40m , Sturridge 15m.
Who would make your top 3 signings of the decade, spanning from 2010-20. Let us know in the comments and why.