Double agents: Players traded through Liverpool and Southampton’s special relationship

BEN PAINTER on some of the players who have made the move between Liverpool and their unofficial feeder club Southampton, ahead of the two sides’ meeting this weekend.

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After Sunday’s game against Manchester United was called off due to the protests at Old Trafford Liverpool have even fresher legs for the game against Southampton on Saturday evening.

The Saints are 15th in the table and all but safe in the Premier League – Liverpool are in seventh and the race for top four and European football really is on.

Liverpool need the three points desperately in this game and must put aside their inconsistent form to dig deep and get something from this game.


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The two sides have had a mutually beneficially relationship in the past. Liverpool have signed a lot of players from Southampton in recent years, while a few have gone the other way as well.

Here are the 14 players that have played for both the Reds and the Saints over the years.

Bruce Grobbelaar

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As unorthodox careers go, Grobbelaar is most certainly up there.

He signed for Liverpool in 1981 from Vancouver Whitecaps and played for 14 years, turning out over 400 times for the Reds and winning the First Division six times.

He was sold directly to Southampton in 1994 after David James took over as the club’s No.1, but only played for two years and made 36 appearances between the sticks.

Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock

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The central defender started his career with Millwall and got his real first-team football at Southampton in 1989. He made over 100 appearances for the Saints.

He signed for Liverpool in 1993 and enjoyed a five-year career with the Reds, scoring 11 times in 115 Premier League appearances, even winning the League Cup in 1995.

A part of the Spiceboy era at Liverpool a team that never really lived up to their potential in the 90s.

Peter Crouch

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Crouch is something of a journeyman in the top flight. He had one season at Southampton, scoring 12 times in 25 games in the 2004/05 season.

After winning the Champions League, Liverpool needed some attacking cover and signed Crouch – he played 85 times for the Reds, scoring 22 times.

But his Liverpool career was basically over when Rafa Benítez brought in Fernando Torres, and he went on to represent a whole host of clubs throughout a career as long as his body.

Rickie Lambert

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A boyhood Liverpool fan, the striker played for the academy, but was let go in 1997 and played for a plethora of different clubs.

He signed for Southampton in 2009 and in his five years at the club, he helped take them from League One to the Premier League – becoming a club legend and an England international in the process.

Lambert was awarded a dream move to his club in 2014 to be used as a backup striker by Brendan Rodgers, but only managed two goals in 25 games and moved to West Brom a year later.

Then he moved to Cardiff City a year later where he retired in 2017 with injury concerns.

Adam Lallana

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Like Lambert, Lallana was with Southampton from League One to the Premier League and became the club captain after his many years of service. He left the Saints after 48 goals in 235 games.

An attacking midfielder, he was brought in by Brendan Rodgers in 2014 and made 178 appearances for Liverpool. He was a key player in the early Jürgen Klopp years and winning it all with the Reds.

At the end of last season Lallana left for Brighton and Hove Albion to play regular football and help kick start his career after a lengthy injury with Liverpool.

Dejan Lovren

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The Croatian signed for Southampton in 2013 from Lyon but played only a season for the Saints, where he impressed and caught the eye of Liverpool.

After his £20m move to Anfield, he started off slowly making a couple mistakes but became a solid addition to the Reds’ defence and made his contribution to Liverpool winning what they did over the last couple of seasons.

Lovren moved on to Zenit St. Petersburg in the summer, wanting to play more regular football – as it turns out, he would have got that this season at Anfield due to Liverpool’s defensive crisis.

Nathaniel Clyne

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He signed for Southampton in 2012 from Crystal Palace and became the club’s starting right-back in the Premier League.

Clyne was Liverpool’s replacement for Glen Johnson, but due to an injury and the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold, he became the club’s second choice right-back earlier than many of us imagined.

He made 103 appearances in his five seasons with Liverpool, but did not play a single minute last season – meaning he did not win a Premier League medal.

The full-back signed for Crystal Palace this season following his release.

Sadio Mané

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The Senegalese winger got his big break with Red Bull Salzburg in Austria and moved to Southampton in 2014, where he impressed and even beat Robbie Fowler’s previous record of the quickest Premier League hat-trick.

He was signed in 2016 for £34m and has been a mainstay in the Liverpool squad, turning into one of the best players in the Premier League.

Another player who has won it all with Liverpool, Mané has been criticised lately but with 94 goals in 213 games there is no question he is a firm favourite on Merseyside.

Virgil van Dijk

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After impressing for Celtic in the Scottish Premiership, the Dutchman signed for Southampton in the Premier League and every season improved showing his quality that has turned so many heads.

The world’s most expensive defender, van Dijk waited until January 2018 to get his move to Liverpool and quickly proved why he was the best defender in the world.

He won player of the year in 2018/19 as the Reds finished second and marshalled the Liverpool defence to many Champions League and Premier League in the last few years.

There is little doubt that, if the Dutchman did not miss this season, the Reds would have been more competitive in the title race.


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