Liverpool’s most expensive signings ever

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It took 30 years before Liverpool won the league title again in 2020, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

Over the years the Reds built squads to compete with the dominance of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United and more recently the billions of Manchester City and Chelsea.

However, until the arrival of FSG in 2010, they struggled to match their rivals for spending power with Rafa Benitez particularly vocal about his inability to splash the cash.

Nevertheless, Liverpool have had some of the world’s best and priciest players at Anfield.

Here are the club’s most expensive players ever.

Daniel Sturridge
Sturridge signed from Chelsea | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The former England striker moved to Anfield after falling out of favour at Chelsea. Despite being blighted by injuries, he still managed to score 67 goals in 160 games for the Reds and formed part of the infamous SAS partnership with Luis Suarez.

Xherdan Shaqiri
Shaqiri was signed after Stoke got relegated | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

After joining Stoke in a shock deal from Bayern Munich, Shaqiri was snapped up by Liverpool when they got relegated from the Premier League.

He’s served as back up to Mo Salah mainly during his time at Anfield but will be fondly remembered for his winning brace against Manchester United in 2018.

Djibril Cisse
Cisse was signed for a then club-record fee back in 2004 | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

After shining in Ligue 1 for Auxerre, Gerard Houllier splashed a club-record fee on the 22-year-old striker Djibril Cisse. Unfortunately for him, his time at Anfield was marred by serious injuries, as he suffered a double leg break.

Though a decent goalscorer, and part of the Champions League and FA Cup winning squads, he never quite hit the heights many had hoped he would.

Joe Allen
Joe Allen was brought to Anfield by Brendan Rodgers | Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

After arriving from Swansea, new manager Rodgers decided to bring Joe Allen with him.

The ‘Welsh Xavi’ spent a solid four years at Anfield, though he did not win a trophy.

Mario Balotelli
The controversial striker spent one season at Anfield | Julian Finney/Getty Images

After a good spell at AC Milan following his Manchester City days, Liverpool took a punt on the Italian striker as a replacement for outgoing star Luis Suarez.

It’s not controversial to say this move didn’t work out, as he scored four goals in 28 games before returning to Milan the following summer.

Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, Alexander Doni, Kenny Dalglish
Jordan Henderson signed from Sunderland for £20m | Clint Hughes/Getty Images

During Kenny Dalglish’s second spell in charge of the club, he looked to bring a British core back to the club. This included the signing of 20-year-old Jordan Henderson from Sunderland.

Though the signing was questioned at the time, it worked out alright in the end, you’d have to say!

Liverpool's new signing right-back Glen
Glen Johnson signed from Portsmouth | AFP/Getty Images

After becoming the first signing of Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea reign and a successful spell at Portsmouth, Rafa Benitez moved to make Glen Johnson the Liverpool first-choice right back.

He spent six years at Anfield, winning the League Cup in 2012.

Javier Mascherano
Mascherano was a key player under Rafa Benitez | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The Argentine was saved from his West Ham hell by Rafa Benitez and became a key player during his three-and-a-half years at the club.

He often played in a midfield three alongside Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard – one of the best trios the clubs (and Premier League) has ever witnessed.

Mamadou Sakho
Mamadou Sakho signed after coming through PSG’s academy | Ian Walton/Getty Images

After coming through the PSG academy and becoming their youngest-ever captain, Sakho was brought to Anfield by Brendan Rodgers.

His Liverpool career wasn’t the most successful, managing 80 appearances over three seasons before leaving for Crystal Palace after disciplinary problems.

Liverpool manager Rafael Ben?tez (L) sta
Keane’s time at Liverpool was short-lived | ANDREW YATES/Getty Images

Robbie Keane joined one of his many boyhood clubs in 2008 as Liverpool looked to sign a partner Fernando Torres.

He scored seven goals in his half season at the club but never really clicked with the team before returning to Tottenham for £12m in the January window. Odd.

Lazar Markovic
Maybe Liverpool’s worst big-money signing? | Michael Regan/Getty Images

After looking like a rising starlet at Benfica, Liverpool paid big to sign Markovic, with the intention of developing him into a world beater at Anfield.

He made 34 underwhelming appearances in his first season in 2014/15 but then never played for the club again – despite remaining on their books until 2019 when he finally left on a free transfer. Perhaps Liverpool’s worst signing of modern times.

Lovren wasn't popular but he was successful
Lovren wasn’t popular but he was successful | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Liverpool have signed a lot of Southampton players in recent years and Lovren was one of them.

He was never the most popular defender, with an error never far away, but that didn’t stop him winning the Champions League and Premier League title with the Reds, where he became a cult hero, before leaving for Zenit in 2020.

Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, Alexander Doni, Kenny Dalglish
Kenny Dalglish brought Stewart Downing to Anfield | Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Part of Dalglish’s aforementioned British core project, Stewart Downing was signed from Aston Villa for £20m. The left winger was never quite of the level required though and was allowed to join West Ham for around £5m two years later.

Italian footballer Alberto Aquilani (R)
Aquilani was tipped to replace Xabi Alonso | ANDREW YATES/Getty Images

When Xabi Alonso left for Real Madrid, Liverpool replaced him with young Italian Alberto Aquilani.

The deal never worked out as he struggled with injury issues, making just 26 appearances in total. Rafa left that season and was replaced by Roy Hodgson, who let him return to Italy on loan after just one season at the club.

Thiago Alcantara
Thiago joined this summer from Bayern Munich | Pool/Getty Images

After winning the treble with Bayern Munich in 2020, Thiago decided he wanted a new challenge and made it a priority to join the newly crowned English champions. An immediate fan favourite, his debut season has had ups and downs so far.

Fernando Torres
El Nino was magical at Anfield | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

‘El Nino’ arguably became the best striker in the world at one point during his Liverpool career, where his partnership with Steven Gerrard made the club true title contenders.

His relationship with the fans turned sour though when he left for Chelsea in 2011.

Liverpool's new signing Uruguayan strike
Suarez is a hero at Anfield | ANDREW YATES/Getty Images

After Fernando Torres joined Chelsea in a £50m deal, Liverpool moved to replace him on deadline day by signing Luis Suarez from Ajax.

He went on to become a hero at Anfield, scoring 82 goals in 133 games for the club including an incredible 31 in the 2013/14 Premier League season.

Georginio Wijnaldum
Wijnaldum signed from relegated Newcastle | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The Dutch midfielder joined the club after Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League and has become a key figure in Jurgen Klopp’s all-conquering midfield.

Lallana moved from Southampton
Lallana moved from Southampton | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Following a great season with Southampton, Liverpool snapped up the playmaker in 2014. His fancy footwork and creativity made him a fan favourite but injuries got the better of him and he eventually left on a free transfer in 2020.

Roberto Firmino
Firmino has been excellent for Liverpool | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Signed as an attacking midfielder from Hoffenheim, Firmino has been turned into a false nine by Klopp and is a key part to the system that has seen the current Liverpool side become so successful.

No Brazilian has ever scored more in the Premier League.

Sadio Mane
Mane is another who joined from Southampton | Jan Kruger/Getty Images

When Klopp arrived at Anfield he wanted a tricky, direct, goalscoring winger and in his first summer window he signed Sadio Mane from Southampton. The Senegalese winger has been incredible for the Reds, taking the legendary number ten shirt and creating his own legacy in it.

Christian Benteke
Benteke struggled after his move | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

After being a stand-out striker at Aston Villa, Liverpool splashed £32.5m on Christian Benteke to help replace Luis Suarez.

He struggled massively with the style of play though and lasted just one season before signing for Crystal Palace. His bicycle kick against Manchester United remains an all-too-rare highlight.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
‘The Ox’ came from rivals Arsenal as his contract was running down | Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

Injuries blighted his time at Arsenal but when his contract was near expiry, Liverpool moved quickly to bring him in.

His dynamism and pace saw him add something extra to the team before a serious knee injury saw him miss almost 18 months of action and he slipped down the pecking order.

Andy Carroll, Kenny Dalglish, Luis Suarez
Andy Carroll was the club record signing after his move from Newcastle | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Andy Carroll joined from Newcastle United on deadline day in January 2011, following the sale of Fernando Torres to Chelsea. Liverpool inexplicably spent £35m on him and after he inevitably flopped, he left for West Ham just 18 months after his arrival.

Fabinho
Fabinho has become one of the best in the world | Pool/Getty Images

Liverpool spent over £40m on bringing Fabinho to Anfield after his time in Monaco. Since joining, the Brazilian has become one of the best defensive midfielders in the world and is showing this year that he’s not a bad centre back either.

Mohamed Salah
Potentially the best signing in Liverpool history? | Clive Rose/Getty Images

Liverpool paid just over £40m including add-ons to bring Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah from Roma to Anfield and they’ve never looked back.

Since joining in 2017 he has become the club’s highest goalscorer in Europe, broken countless records including the single season Premier League goals record and won the Premier League and Champions League.

Not bad, eh?

Diogo Jota
Jota was signed from Wolves in 2020 | Pool/Getty Images

After winning the Premier League title, Liverpool looked to freshen the squad up a bit by signing Portuguese winger Diogo Jota from Wolves. He started the season on fire, but has missed the last few months with a knee injury.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-WEST HAM
Liverpool went big on Naby Keita | OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Naby Keita was so wanted by Liverpool that they agreed to sign him a year in advance of when he actually joined the club.

Since arriving though he has struggled massively with injuries and has been somewhat underwhelming.

Alisson Becker
Becker is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world now | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool more than doubled the previous world record fee for a goalkeeper when they signed Alisson from Roma in 2018. Since joining he is now regarded as one of the best in the world for his reflexes and distribution ability.

Virgil van Dijk
A behemoth in defence | Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

A mid-season signing, Liverpool broke the world record at the time for a defender when they spent £75m on Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk.

He is credited with transforming the side into a title caliber team, reaching the Champions League final in his first half-season, before winning it the following year and then winning the Premier League and becoming the best defender in the world.

He’s made the fee unimportant with his performances.