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7 players whose careers dipped after joining Liverpool

Liverpool have signed a number of duds over the years
Liverpool have signed a number of duds over the years
Varun Totadri

Premier League champions of 2019-20, 2017-18 Champions League finalists, and 2018-19 Champions League winners. It has been an unbelievable 3 seasons for Liverpool Football Club.

Liverpool fans feel like they have been in dreamland ever since Jurgen Klopp took over the reins in 2015. Liverpool have been on a steady rise since Klopp's appointment, and are now the best team in England and one of the best teams in Europe.

Jurgen Klopp did not bring immediate success to Liverpool, leading the club to an eighth-place finish in the 2015-16 season. But Klopp guided Liverpool to a fourth-place finish and Champions League qualification in his first full season in charge of the club in the 2016-17 season.

Liverpool fans, and fans of the other 'top 6' Premier League teams, knew that something was brewing at Anfield. Since the start of the 2017-18 season, their worst nightmares came true.

Liverpool are undoubtedly the most improved team of the decade, and now possess a team that strikes fear in the hearts of all their opponents.

Majority of Liverpool's success should be attributed to the managerial expertise and tactics of Jurgen Klopp. But a special mention should be given the Liverpool board, who have radically changed their transfer policy, and brought in players who have now become world-beaters at Liverpool.

Sine 2017, Liverpool have signed the likes of Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk, Alisson, Andrew Robertson, and most recently Thiago Alcantara, who have all developed into arguably the best players in the world in their respective positions.

However, there are a number of players who have joined the Merseyside club, only to disappoint. These players could not live up to expectations, and departed the club after a string of bad performances.

Liverpool, like many other big clubs in the world, have had their share of big-money signings who failed to make the grade, and were moved on from the club.

Let's take a look at 7 players whose careers dipped after joining Liverpool

#7 Mario Balotelli

Balotelli spent most of his time at Liverpool on the bench
Balotelli spent most of his time at Liverpool on the bench

Mario Balotelli was never a striker who boasted big numbers at any club he played for before Liverpool, but the Italian forward was a maverick. Balotelli has always had all the talent and potential in the world to become one of the best strikers in the modern game, but his lack of discipline and poor attitude has resulted in him playing for 8 different clubs in just a 13-year career.

Balotelli joined Liverpool from AC Milan in 2014 for £16 million, after enjoying a stellar spell at Milan, where he scored 26 goals in 43 games. Liverpool knew what they were getting when they signed Balotelli, but did not expect him to have such a massive fall from grace.

During his two years at Liverpool, Balotelli scored a solitary goal in 16 appearances for Liverpool, before being loaned out the next season to AC Milan. Balotelli was then sold to Nice on a free transfer in 2016. Since his time at Liverpool, Balotelli has played for 4 different clubs in 4 years.

#6 Christian Benteke

Liverpool had high hopes for Benteke who failed to fit into Klopp's plans for the club
Liverpool had high hopes for Benteke who failed to fit into Klopp's plans for the club

When Liverpool bought Christian Benteke from Aston Villa in 2015, the Belgian striker was one of the best and most physically imposing strikers in the Premier League. Benteke joined Liverpool after spending three years at Aston Villa, during which he scored 49 goals in 101 appearances for the club.

Liverpool signed Benteke for £32.5 million from Villa, a price tag the striker failed to live up to in his sole season at the club.

Benteke managed to score 9 league goals in 29 appearances for Liverpool, but spent the majority of his time at the club on the bench, after failing to fit into Jurgen Klopp's style of play.

Benteke was then sold to Crystal Palace for £27 million, but has struggled to rediscover his goal-scoring touch. He has scored just 21 goals in 108 league appearances for Palace in his four seasons at the club.

#5 Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane was immediately sold back to Tottenham
Robbie Keane was immediately sold back to Tottenham

Robbie Keane arrived at Liverpool after spending six seasons at Tottenham Hotspur, where he scored 80 goals in 197 league appearances for the club. Keane was one of Tottenham's best players, and enjoyed his best season for Spurs in 2007-08, where he scored 23 goals in all competitions.

Liverpool signed Keane in the summer of 2009 from Tottenham for £19 million, as they searched for a striker partner for Fernando Torres. Keane spent only 6 months at Liverpool, where he managed only 5 goals in 19 Premier League appearances for the club.

Keane was sold back to Tottenham Hotspur in January for £12 million pounds, after failing to impress at Liverpool, a club he supported throughout his childhood.

#4 Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll came to Liverpool with high hopes but ended up as one of the club's worst ever signings
Andy Carroll came to Liverpool with high hopes but ended up as one of the club's worst ever signings

The first four names on this list are all strikers. This goes to show how desperate Liverpool were to sign an adequate replacement for Fernando Torres, who left for Chelsea in January 2011.

On the final day of the 2011 winter transfer window, Carroll signed for Liverpool for a fee of £35 million, at the time the highest amount paid for a British footballer. Liverpool used the £50 million they made from the sale of Torres, to sign Andy Carroll from Newcastle, and Luis Suarez from Ajax.

Liverpool had high hopes for Andy Carroll, who had come off an impressive first half of the 2010-11 season with Newcastle, where he scored 11 goals. But it was Luis Suarez who went on to become an Anfield great.

Carroll spent a season-and-a-half at Liverpool, where he managed just 6 goals in 44 appearances for the club. Carroll's time at Liverpool was marred by injuries and indiscipline. He was loaned out to West Ham in 2012, before being sold to the London club for £15 million.

Carroll is now back at Newcastle United, where he has played 26 Premier League games for the club, and has still not scored a goal.

#3 Lazar Markovic

Lazar Markovic failed to make live up to the expectations at Liverpool
Lazar Markovic failed to make live up to the expectations at Liverpool

Lazar Markovic joined Liverpool from Benfica in 2014 for £20 million. Liverpool fans had high hopes for the speedy winger, who enjoyed a successful 2013-14 season at Benfica.

Markovic spent five seasons at Liverpool, during which he played only 19 times, and spent four seasons on loan at different clubs. Markovic left Liverpool in 2019 to join Partizan on a free transfer.

It is safe to say that Markovic was one of Liverpool's worst ever signings, given the amount they spent on a player, who only ever had one full season in a top football club before Liverpool signed him.

#2 Alberto Aquilani

Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League
Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League

Many fans forget that Alberto Aquilani was once a Liverpool player. Aquilani had enjoyed an impressive seven years at Roma, and was signed by Liverpool as a replacement for Xabi Alonso, who left for Real Madrid.

Aquilani had also registered 38 caps for Italy, making him one of Liverpool's most exciting signings at the time. Alberto Aquilani was signed in 2009 from AS Roma for €17 million.

Aquilani was, however, injured when he joined Liverpool, and was starved of game time during his sole season at the club. Aquilani was signed by Rafael Benitez, but once the Spaniard was sacked by Liverpool, newly appointed manager Roy Hodgson did not see a place for Aquilani in his plans.

Aquilani then spent the next two seasons on loan at Juventus and AC Milan, before leaving Liverpool permanently in 2012 to join Fiorentina. Aquilani was tipped to be one of the best midfielders in the world, but saw his career stall and fall at Liverpool.

#1 Loris Karius

Karius let the football and Champions League trophy slip out of his hands in 2017-18 final
Karius let the football and Champions League trophy slip out of his hands in 2017-18 final

Loris Karius is a name that Liverpool fans will never forget, for all the wrong reasons.

Liverpool had begun their ascent to the top of world football under Jurgen Klopp in the 2017-18 season. Liverpool finished the Premier League season in third, but looked like future Premier League Champions, and were mere moments away from winning the Champions League that season.

Loris Karius joined Liverpool from Mainz in 2016 for a mere £5 million, and was seen as a bargain signing. Jurgen Klopp tipped him to be the Liverpool goalkeeper for years to come.

Karius, however, failed to impress, and his two major errors in the 2017-18 Champions League final arguably cost Liverpool their first CL crown since 2005.

Liverpool did go on to win the Champions League the following season, but were quick to axe Karius, who was loaned to Besiktas in the summer of 2018. Karius has failed to regain the confidence or qualities that made Liverpool purchase him four years ago, and has seen a massive fall from grace.

Edited by Deepit Magee

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