Remembering Liverpool’s best January signings as the window opens once again

The Reds have done some incredible deals in the winter transfer windows of the past. Can they unearth another gem in 2020?

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It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will add to the squad further when the January transfer period opens, but we have definitely enjoyed this window in the past.

Jürgen Klopp’s side have been immense so far this season, sitting comfortably on top of the Premier League. Klopp opted to stay quiet in the summer window but, with a gruelling winter schedule, will we see any further additions in the winter window to help us progress in 2020?

Takumi Minamino is already in the bag — the Japan international has signed from Red Bull Salzburg after impressing in the two matches against the Reds in the UEFA Champions League.

History tells us that most big deals are done in the summer, but how have Liverpool got on in the January transfer window? 

I count down my top 20. Feel free to object or agree with my choices in the comments below.

20. Steven Caulker, loan from QPR – 2016

This was a weird one wasn’t it?


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Liverpool needed an extra body at centre-back in Klopp’s first winter at the club. A short-term deal was agreed for Caulker, who had just had a less than impressive time on loan at Southampton.

He only played four times, two of which were upfront late on in the game. Remember the Norwich game? 

 19. Paul Jones, loan from Southampton – 2004

Jones was 36 when he made his Reds debut in 2004. Gérard Houllier was in need of another back up due to Jerzy Dudek being injured against Chelsea and Chris Kirkland already sidelined.

He played twice, kept a clean sheet on his debut, and then returned down south.

18. Mauricio Pellegrino, free from Valencia – 2005

Pellegrino was signed by Rafa to add depth and experience to Liverpool’s defence in 2005.

He WAS a very decent central defender and a favourite of Rafa Benitez. But his best days were well and truly behind him by the time he got to Anfield. He played a minimal amount of games and was moved out pretty sharpish.

 17. Jan Kromkamp, swap deal from Villarreal – 2006

The only good thing about this deal was that Josemi was part of the deal that saw him go the other way.

He did play in the 2006 FA Cup final though. So, there was that.

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16. Abel Xavier, £800,000 from Everton – 2002

Its always nice to poach a player from The Ev. It proves that we will ALWAYS be bigger when there players want to leave when we come knocking. Hello Nick Barmby!

Xavier is still the last player to transfer directly from Everton to Liverpool. 
He never scored for Everton, but he did score on his Reds debut in a 6-0 win at Ipswich.

He wasn’t very good, but had great hair!

 15. Marko Grujic, £5.1m from Red Star Belgrade – 2016

Jurgen Klopp’s first signing is still held in high regard at Anfield, even if he has been shipped off on loan every year.

Will our No.16 ever be a regular at Anfield? Time will tell.

14. Scott Carson, £750,000 from Leeds – 2005

There were other, far more remarkable things about Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League win of course, and so 19-year-old goalkeeper Carson playing in the quarter-final against Juventus is usually overlooked.

He made a great save from Alessandro Del Piero in what was one of only nine first-team appearances, but then made a howler in the same game to make the second leg a bit nervy.

Believe it or not, he now keeps City’s bench warm…

13. Andy Carroll, £35m from Newcastle – 2011

“£35m! £35m! Biggest flop ever!” That’s what people say about the big Geordie. But that assessment is a bit unfair.

Look at the variables: Torres decided to leave late in the window, Newcastle knew we had £50m in the bank, Carroll was the in-form striker leading up to the window and he was English so came with that premium. So when you think about it like that, it’s a little harsh.

However he found it hard to find his goal-scoring boots and is only really remembered for his contributions toward the FA Cup run in 2012. 

 12. Robbie Fowler, free from Manchester City – 2006

THE SECOND COMING!

I was shopping in the Asda on Smithdown Road when my bluenose mate text me to say that God had returned. Safe to say I left my trolley in the middle of the cereal aisle and went home to check Sky Sports News. (No SSN app back then).

Our Hero had returned and we loved every second of it.

11. Fernando Morientes, £6.3m from Real Madrid – 2005

I bet you forgot about this one. “Goal-scoring royalty from Madrid,” read one headline in 2005.

It didn’t really happen, but there were still flashes of genius from Fernando in that 2005/06 season. 

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 10. Jari Litmanen, free from Barcelona – 2001

Gerard Houllier played a blinder signing Litmanen, adding great experience upfront to an already stellar strike force.

The Finnish international played a key role in the 2000/01 treble-winning season under Houllier and will always be held in high regard for his contributions.

9. Maxi Rodríguez, free from Atlético Madrid – 2010

 The Argentinean became a fans’ favourite when he signed in 2010. He played under three different managers at Liverpool, but it was under King Kenny where he found his feet.

Maxi is best remembered for a couple of hat-tricks against Birmingham City and Fulham in quick succession, and for his catchy song, “Maxi, Maxi Rodríguez, run down the wing for me”

For free, you can’t argue with this one.

8. Alvaro Arbeloa, £2.6m from Real Madrid – 2007

Arbeloa made his debut man-marking Lionel Messi in a 2-1 win at the Nou Camp in a Champions League. It was a tough ask to dislodge Steve Finnan from the right back position, but Rafa was taking his team in a new direction an Arbeloa fitted that system perfectly.

Reds fans were hugely disappointed to see him leave for Madrid in the same window as Xabi Alonso.

7. Martin Skrtel, £6.5m from Zenit St Petersburg – 2008

If there was one person you wouldn’t want to walk past in a dark alley, it was Skrtel.

Never everyone’s cup of tea, the rough and ready Slovakian was still a fairly consistent figure over his time at Liverpool. He was voted fans’ Player of the Season in 2011-12.

6. Daniel Agger, £6m from Brondby – 2006

Agger was a clever signing by Benitez. The young Dane was in and out of the side so he could learn from Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia and was eventually the preferred partner to Carragher, which said a lot about Agger’s stature.

Agger turned down a move to Barcelona and, if it wasn’t for his horrible luck with injuries, he probably would have gone on to become of our greatest ever centre-backs. He’s still a big red to this day!

5. Javier Mascherano, initial loan (then £18.6m) from West Ham – 2007

“We’ve got the best midfield in the world.”

Mascherano was the Anchor to this midfield and was loved by everyone at Anfield. He gave us that ‘bit’ in midfield we had been missing and we have not seen that again until we signed a certain someone from Monaco last summer. That’s how important he was.

We also love him for his post-match interview after the 2011 Champions League Final.

4. Daniel Sturridge, £12m from Chelsea – 2013

Why is he so high up the list? Well, you’ve got short memories. Think back to that window. We only had Luis Suárez as real fire power and Studge was the type of striker we had been missing.

That 2013/14 season was obviously the peak of his powers before injuries took over his body and probably his mind. But he scored vital goals that took us on an incredible journey during that ‘Make Us Dream’ season.

So, on that basis, you’ve got to say that he was a January bargain.

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 3. Philippe Coutinho, £8.5m from Inter Milan – 2013

Rafa Benitez knew what he was doing when he sold us Coutinho. What a bargain he turned out to be.

That’s first six months gave us a glimpse of the magician he would ultimately become. He formed a great partnership with Sturridge straight away and gave us an added dynamic in midfield. Some of his passing was Xabi Alonso-esque and we had missed it.

Little Phil had five incredible years at Anfield that gave us some fantastic memories. He got his dream move to Barcelona and we got £145m. To this day, it has worked out perfectly for both parties hasn’t it? (He’s still at Barca right? Nope – doing averagely at Bayern Munich. Okay…) 

2. Luis Suárez, £22.8m from Ajax – 2011

The Uruguayan arrived at Anfield and ensured that he’d never be forgotten.
Genius may get bandied around easily when talking about footballers, but this man was just that – a footballing genius. The things he could do on a football pitch was worth the ticket fee alone, forget the result.

When you talk about players breaking your heart when they leave, it means they were so loved at Liverpool, and Luis was loved more than anyone. Steven Gerrard says he’s the best player he’s ever played with, that is some compliment.

Suárez gave us some incredible moments, moments and goals that will never be forgotten. But he also gave us some crazy ones too.

Say what you want about him now (his antics last season) he is still up there as one of the best January deals we have ever done. But he’s not number one…

1. Virgil van Dijk, £75m from Southampton – 2018

The arrival of this colossal of a human being has completely changed the way Liverpool’s backline operate. How can one man have that much of an influence?

He is the best defender in the world! (The same player Man City said was too expensive). I can’t say anything here that hasn’t already been said about our No.4.

He has made us as fans relax when we are defending, he has raised the game of the players around him and he is leading Liverpool on the ‘Virg’ of something special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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