5 players whose careers dipped after joining Liverpool

Mario Balotelli is one of many players whose careers nosedived after joining Liverpool.
Mario Balotelli is one of many players whose careers nosedived after joining Liverpool.
Varun Totadri

In recent years, Liverpool have become one of the most feared teams in the game. Under the tutelage of German tactician Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool have had a stunning upturn in fortunes and have been able to lure some of the best players in the world to Anfield.

The signings of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Alisson and Virgil van Dijk helped Liverpool kickstart a new era and win big trophies. The Reds won the Champions League in 2019, their first in the competition in 14 years, before following that up with their first-ever Premier League triumph the next year.

Five players whose careers nosedived after arriving at Liverpool:

Before their Champions League and Premier League success, Liverpool spent years signing players who were either not good enough or could not handle the expectations and pressure of playing for the Reds.

These players struggled to cope with the demands of the Premier League and saw their careers subsequently nosedive after joining Liverpool. On that note, let's take a look at five such players whose careers dipped after arriving at Liverpool.

#5 Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke arrived at Anfield after three glorious seasons at Aston Villa, where he scored 50 goals in 101 appearances. Liverpool signed Benteke for £32.5 million in the summer of 2015, as the Belgian was seen as the perfect striker for the club owing to his physical attributes and goal-scoring prowess.

Benteke, however, struggled to adapt to Jurgen Klopp's high-press, fast-paced style of football. He managed to score just ten goals in 42 appearances in his solitary season at the Merseyside club before he was sold to Crystal Palace in 2016.

Christian Benteke rediscovered his mojo with the Eagles, scoring 15 goals in 36 games in his first season at the club. He has, however, managed just 12 strikes in 95 appearances in the Premier League since then.

#4 Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli

The signing of Mario Balotelli from AC Milan in 2014 is one that shocked Liverpool fans. Despite being a prodigious talent, Balotelli had a spell with Manchester City, marred by several disciplinary issues and bouts of poor form.

In his sole season with Liverpool, Balotelli managed to score just one Premier League goal in 16 appearances before he was loaned back to AC Milan the next season.

Balotelli was able to partially revive his career at OGC Nice, scoring 43 goals in 76 appearances. However, he has spent the last three seasons at three different clubs and is currently playing for Serie B side Monza.

#3 Lazar Markovic

Lazar Markovic
Lazar Markovic

Liverpool signed Lazar Markovic from Benfica in a deal worth £20 million in 2014. Markovic made 34 appearances in his first season with the Reds but was mainly used as a bit-part player.

He spent the next five years on loan at five different clubs while still being contracted with Liverpool. At the end of his contract in 2019, Markovic was released by the Reds.

Markovic signed a three-year contract with Partizan in 2019. He has managed to revive his career there, scoring 16 goals in 32 league appearances.

#2 Lorius Karius

Loris Karius
Loris Karius

Loris Karius will forever be remembered by Liverpool fans for his two mistakes in the 2017-18 Champions League final against Real Madrid.

The German goalkeeper signed for Liverpool in 2016 and was expected to take over from Simon Mignolet as the club's new no.1.

Karius, however, failed to make use of his opportunities and was prone to making high-profile errors. His mistakes in the Champions League final sealed his fate at Liverpool.

The young German was sent to Turkish club Besiktas on loan for two years before he joined Union Berlin on loan for the season.

Karius is still contracted with Liverpool, but it is difficult to imagine he still has a future at the club.

#1 Alberto Aquilani

Alberto Aquilani
Alberto Aquilani

The once highly-rated Italian midfielder, Alberto Aquilani was tipped to be the next 'Andrea Pirlo' when he joined Liverpool. The Reds thought he would be the ideal replacement for Xabi Alonso, who left Anfield to join Real Madrid.

However, Aquilani suffered a number of injuries after joining Liverpool. He made just 26 appearances in his first season with the club before he was loaned out to Juventus and AC Milan for the next two seasons. Aquilani was eventually sold to Fiorentina in 2012.

Aquilani was able to revive his career at Fiorentina but never managed to reach the heights that were expected of him when he joined Liverpool.

Edited by Bhargav
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