Ranking 5 most disappointing Liverpool signings of the last decade

Balotelli scored just once in the Premier League for Liverpool
Balotelli scored just once in the Premier League for Liverpool
Aditya Duse

Since Jurgen Klopp arrived in 2015, Liverpool have been really shrewd in the transfer market and their recruitment has been something to admire about. The likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Andrew Robertson have all arrived at the club for modest fees in a transfer market that is getting inflated day by day.

Although they have signed the likes of Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk for hefty sums, these players have proved to be worth their weight in gold. They have been a critical part of Liverpool's Premier League and Champions League triumphs in the last few years.

Liverpool did not have so much success with signings at the start of the decade

However, there was a time earlier in the decade when Liverpool were making disappointing signings from time to time. There were colossal fees spent on players who didn't justify the hype and eyebrow-raising signings that looked hopelessly out of place.

Here, we take a look at five of the most disappointing signings made by Liverpool in the last decade:

#5 Christian Benteke

Liverpool FC v FC Girondins de Bordeaux - UEFA Europa League
Liverpool FC v FC Girondins de Bordeaux - UEFA Europa League

Christian Benteke was Liverpool's most expensive signing at the time, joining the Reds from Aston Villa for a reported fee of £42 million in 2015. He was signed by the club to replace Luis Suarez, who departed for Barcelona in 2014, with others unable to fill the void.

Although Benteke performed well in the beginning for Liverpool, he was not necessarily the type of striker the Reds required upfront.

Liverpool were in need of a forward who could force the issue and create chances. Unfortunately, Benteke was a target man who simply could not fit into their system. Despite being given enough chances, he could not nail down a place in the starting eleven.

Benteke managed to spend just one season at the club, making 42 appearances and was eventually sold for £28 million to Crystal Palace in 2016.

#4 Loris Karius

Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final
Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

With Simon Mignolet underperforming and Liverpool left without any decent goalkeeping backups, the Reds decided to bring in Loris Karius for a bargain fee of £5.58 million in 2016. The 23-year-old arrived from Mainz and had put in impressive displays for the German team. He was even voted as the second-best goalkeeper behind Manuel Neuer in the league that season.

Karius put in some confident displays in the initial part of the season and quickly replaced Mignolet as Liverpool's first-choice keeper. But his form started dipping by late December with Karius fluffing some routine saves against Bournemouth. He was soon dropped to the bench and Mignolet was reinstated as the first-choice shot-stopper.

With neither goalkeeper putting in any assuring performances, Karius clawed his way back as the first-choice keeper during the 2017-18 season. With Liverpool's attack firing on all fronts, Karius' individual errors were mostly overlooked as they didn't cost the team much up until that fateful night in Kyiv.

Karius put in a career-breaking performance in the Champions League final against Real Madrid. The German was directly responsible for Madrid's opening goal after throwing the ball straight into Karim Benzema's feet and later fluffed a long-range effort from Bale.

Karius was immediately dropped from the team the following season, and was replaced by Liverpool's £66 million signing, Alisson Becker. The German had loan spells at Besiktas and Union Berlin and is back at Liverpool now but it is highly unlikely that he will feature for the Reds again.

#3 Andy Carroll

Liverpool v Everton - FA Cup Semi Final
Liverpool v Everton - FA Cup Semi Final

Liverpool's most expensive signing at the time, Andy Carroll, is often mentioned as one of the worst deadline day transfers in the history of football. He joined the Reds for £37 million in 2011 and was signed along with Luis Suarez to replace Fernando Torres upfront, who had departed for Chelsea that winter.

Carroll's experience in the league with Newcastle, coupled with his strength and heading ability, was seen as a safe bet.

However, his performances never lived up to expectations, and excluding a couple of goals in crucial moments, Carroll was a flop in front of goal for Liverpool. He managed to score just 11 goals in 58 appearances for the club.

With the arrival of Brendan Rodgers at the helm, Carroll was informed that he was surplus to requirements. As such, he subsequently departed for West Ham after spending just 18 months at Liverpool.

#2 Mario Balotelli

Liverpool FC v Besiktas JK - UEFA Europa League Round of 32
Liverpool FC v Besiktas JK - UEFA Europa League Round of 32

Not many signings have proved as controversial for Liverpool as Mario Balotelli. The Italian had a mixed reputation while coming to Anfield. He was seen as a promising young talent during his youth years at Inter Milan, but was always mired in controversies. Later on, during his Manchester City days, he became known for his impulsive and arrogant behavior and poor disciplinary record.

He was signed as a direct replacement for the departing Luis Suarez, with Brendan Rodgers himself accepting that it was a gamble from his club to put faith in Balotelli.

The Italian certainly lived up to his infamous reputation at Anfield. Not only was he unable to perform for Liverpool on the pitch, but he was also publicly involved in dubious behavior off the pitch. He was fined by the club for posting anti-semetic content and was even criticized by the manager for swapping shirts with an opponent during half-time.

Balotelli managed to make just 16 appearances in the Premier League for the Reds, scoring a solitary goal. He was loaned back to AC Milan after just one season and was eventually sold to Ligue 1 side Nice in 2016.

#1 Lazar Markovic

Liverpool v Swansea City - Premier League
Liverpool v Swansea City - Premier League

Among the plethora of signings made by Liverpool in the post-Suarez era, Lazar Markovic was one of the most disappointing ones. He was signed for £22.5 million from Benfica when he was just 20 and was considered a bright young prospect.

But things did not go according to plan for the youngster. On his European debut against Basel, he earned a straight red card for flicking his fingers in the face of an opposing player. This was a subtle indication of his time at Anfield.

He was extremely slow on the ball and gave it way too cheaply in dangerous positions. As such he was always kept on the fringes of the first-team for the rest of his Liverpool career. He managed to score only three goals in 34 appearances for the club and was only called up by Brendan Rodgers when the manager had no other choice left on the bench.

Markovic was loaned out to Fenerbahce after just one season to gain some game time as the club did not want to see the money invested in him go to waste. But after a variety of loan spells ranging from Hull City to Sporting Lisbon he was unable to impress the people at Anfield.

With no team ready to meet the £16 million price tag Liverpool set for him, Markovic saw his contract with the Reds expire in 2019. He subsequently joined Fulham on a free transfer. The 27-year-old is now back in his homeland in Serbia and represents Partizan Belgrade.

Edited by Nived Zenith


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