Liverpool's best bargains
Liverpool splashed the cash in the summer transfer window, spending £177m - more than any other English club - on Naby Keita, Fabinho, Alisson and Xherdan Shaqiri.
Jurgen Klopp will hope the sizeable outlay brings a return in the form of the Premier League title this season, but despite the Reds' strong start it's still too early to say whether the four new additions will go down as successes at Anfield.
In this slideshow, we look back at 20 of the club's best transfer bargains since 1992...
Xabi Alonso (£10.7m)
Alonso was a relatively unknown youngster when Rafael Benitez paid £10.7m for his services in 2004, so Liverpool fans reserved judgment following his move from Real Sociedad. But a year later, the fee looked paltry for a player of genuine class.
Alonso played an important role in helping Liverpool reach the 2005 Champions League Final, before scoring against Milan to help overturn a 3-0 deficit. The midfielder went on to win the FA Cup the following season, and was one of the Reds’ standout performers as they challenged for the Premier League title in 2008/09. Oh, and he scored twice from inside his own half.
Philippe Coutinho (£8.5m)
Acquired from Inter for just £8.5m, Coutinho left Liverpool after five years’ employment for £142m. His transfer was therefore a major success purely in financial terms, but he also contributed plenty on the pitch during his time on Merseyside.
The Brazilian magician played 201 games, scoring 54 goals – many of which were spectacular, with 19 of his 41 Premier League strikes coming from outside the box. He took on increased responsibility in his final couple of campaigns at Anfield, creating chances for team-mates and dominating games with his sublime technique and creativity.
Sami Hyypia (£2.5m)
Virgil van Dijk has transformed Liverpool’s defensive fortunes since his arrival from Southampton in January. Hyypia had a similar effect after rocking up at Anfield in 1999; the only difference is that the Finn cost just a fraction of the £75m his old club shelled out for Van Dijk in January 2018.
Costing just £2.5m from Willem II, the centre-back instantly became a key figure at the heart of Gerard Houllier’s backline. He starred in the Treble-winning season of 2000/01 when Liverpool scooped the FA Cup, UEFA Cup and League Cup, and continued to be an integral part of the side under Rafa Benitez, who led the Merseysiders to Champions League glory in 2005.
Gary McAllister (free)
On the face of it, McAllister was a curious signing in 2000. At the age of 35 his best days were clearly behind him and the Scot had just spent the last four seasons either battling relegation or finishing in mid-table with Coventry.
McAllister proved an inspired addition, though, bringing both invention and experience to the Liverpool midfield. He scored seven important goals as the Reds won three cups in 2000/01, playing 49 games in all competitions and helping to nurture some of the club’s younger talents – including one Steven Gerrard.
James Milner (free)
Milner is enjoying a career renaissance at Anfield, despite the fact he turns 34 later this campaign. The midfielder joined Liverpool on a free transfer in 2015, reportedly tempted by the opportunity to play in a central role having spent much of his time at Manchester City operating out wide.
A consummate professional, Milner’s versatility saw him deployed at left-back by Jurgen Klopp in 2016/17, before returning to the engine room the following campaign – when he broke the Champions League assists record by setting up nine of Liverpool’s goals en route to the final against Real Madrid.
Pepe Reina (£6m)
Having briefly broken the world-record fee for a goalkeeper by signing Alisson Becker for £67m earlier this summer, Liverpool know more than most that shot-stoppers don’t come cheap. The £6m Reina was once the Reds’ most expensive custodian, but the man who went on to make almost 400 appearances for the Reds proved to be a bargain.
The Spaniard was an expert shot-stopper and a brilliant distributor from the back to boot, while his ability to organise the defence is something Liverpool have lacked ever since he departed in 2014.
Andy Robertson (£8m)
Left-back has been a problem area at Liverpool for much of the past two decades. John Arne Riise temporarily solved it for a few years but never fully convinced, while Fabio Aurelio and Alvaro Arbeloa performed well but weren’t long-term solutions. More recently, Alberto Moreno tried and failed after a promising start, before James Milner deputised at left-back two seasons ago.
In the summer of 2017, though, everything changed as Klopp signed Robertson from Hull for £8 million. The Scotsman didn’t become a regular until winter, but the high-pressing full-back quickly became a firm favourite at Anfield and soothed the Reds' left-back woes for good.
Maxi Rodriguez (free)
Free transfers don’t always work out – see Milan Jovanovic and Joe Cole – but when they do, they are the ultimate bargain signing. A wildcard arrival in the winter of 2010, Rodriguez was one of Benitez’s last signings as a free transfer arrival from Atletico Madrid.
After a couple of hat-tricks the following season under returning manager Kenny Dalglish, the Argentine became a cult figure among Reds fans. However, he was unfortunately marginalised soon after by the arrivals of two £20m midfielders, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing – with the latter proving that you don’t always get what you pay for.
Mohamed Salah (£36m)
Some sceptics raised their eyebrows at the £36m Liverpool paid Roma for 'Chelsea reject' Salah in 2017 – but they were quickly made to eat their words. A remarkable 44 goals in his debut campaign at Anfield silenced the doubters, as Liverpool provided the Egyptian with a platform to prove his worth after that disappointing first spell in England.
It was in Europe where he really laid down his marker, however, terrorising Manchester City and Roma as Liverpool reached the final. The 26-year-old still has his peak years ahead of him, and although Real Madrid are supposedly keen, he could cost up to £200m in the post-Neymar market.
Luis Suarez (£22.8m)
Suarez was the principal reason for Liverpool’s title tilt under Brendan Rodgers in 2013/14, and some supporters claim he’s the most entertaining player they’ve ever seen at Anfield. His astonishing four-goal haul against Norwich that season had fans laughing in reaction to the mesmerising quality they were witnessing.
Controversial, colourful, passionate: Suarez had it all. His 82 goals in 133 appearances represented an incredible return for the now-Barcelona frontman, who arrived as a wide attacker unproven as a goalscorer at the highest level, yet departed for almost treble his fee and as one of the best No.9s on the planet.
Daniel Agger (£5.8m)
Agger’s time at Anfield was heavily disrupted by injuries; the Danish centre-half made fewer than 20 Premier League starts in five of his nine seasons on Merseyside, while fitness issues also caused him to miss the 2006 FA Cup Final in his debut campaign at the club.
Agger still contributed plenty to the Liverpool cause, though, and at £5.8m he represented excellent value for money. A ball-playing defender who scored more than his fair share of spectacular long-range strikes, Agger made 232 appearances for the Reds before departing for Brondby in 2014.
Fabio Aurelio (free)
Acquired a year before Lucas Leiva made the move to Anfield, Aurelio was the first Brazilian to sign for Liverpool when he joined on a free transfer following the expiration of his Valencia contract in summer 2006.
Best remembered for his free-kick in the 4-1 triumph over Manchester United in 2008/09, the attack-minded left-back was on the losing side just 16 times in his 87 Premier League appearances. He also helped Liverpool win the League Cup in 2011/12, which was his only piece of silverware at the club.
Patrik Berger (£3.25m)
Captured from Borussia Dortmund in 1996, Berger went on to pay 195 games in a seven-year spell at Liverpool. An attacking midfielder who could play out wide or centrally, the left-footed Czech scored 35 goals for the club and was a particularly key figure under Gerard Houllier, who led the Reds to a cup treble in 2000/01.
Berger wasn’t always a starter during his time at Anfield, with opportunities particularly hard to come by under Roy Evans. Nevertheless, he did more than enough at Liverpool to be considered a bargain buy at £3.25m.
Steve Finnan (£3.5m)
Finnan is far from the most glamorous player to have pulled on the red shirt in the Premier League era, but the right-back was a highly consistent performer throughout his time at the club. Signed from Fulham for £3.5m in 2003, the Irishman was rarely out of the team whenever fit, with manager Rafael Benitez labelling him an “unsung hero”.
Finnan played 217 times for Liverpool in all competitions, with his five-year stay at Anfield bringing him winner’s medals from the Champions League, FA Cup and UEFA Super Cup.
Joe Gomez (£3.5m)
Liverpool fans will hope Gomez’s career at the club is still in its infancy, but the 21-year-old has already done enough to show he was a steal at £3.5m. Bought from Charlton in 2015, the defender broke into the first team last season and impressed Jurgen Klopp with his displays at right-back in the first half of the campaign.
Now partnering Virgil van Dijk in central defence, Gomez’s athleticism and ball-playing ability have improved Liverpool’s fortunes at the back. Under contract at Anfield until 2022, there’s still plenty more to come from the four-time England international.
Dietmar Hamann (£8m)
Hamann was brought to the Premier League in 1998 by Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish, who was manager of Newcastle at the time. The Germany international played 31 times for the Magpies before swapping St James’ Park for Anfield, where he became a mainstay over the next seven seasons.
A consistent, dependable midfielder who excelled in breaking up play in front of the back four, Hamann also helped bring out the best in those around him. A World Cup finalist in 2002, the ex-Bayern Munich man won two FA Cups, two League Cups, a UEFA Cup and the Champions League on Merseyside.
Stephane Henchoz (£3.5m)
Henchoz was unable to prevent Blackburn suffering relegation to the second tier in 1998/99, but his impressive performances across two years at Ewood Park earned him a move to Liverpool at the end of that season. Acquired for £3.5m, the Swiss defender formed a terrific partnership with Sami Hyypia at the heart of the Reds’ backline, with the centre-back duo shining as Gerard Houllier’s men won three trophies in 2000/01.
Injuries disrupted his final two years at the club, but Henchoz still racked up 205 appearances for Liverpool before moving north of the border to Celtic in 2005.
Danny Murphy (£1.5m)
Boyhood Liverpool fan Murphy was granted his dream move to Anfield when Crewe agreed to sell the midfielder for an initial £1.5m in 1997. After making 17 appearances in his debut season he fell out of favour the following campaign, playing just once in the Premier League before loaned back to Crewe in February.
Murphy was linked with a permanent exit, but he forced his way into the first team upon returning to Liverpool and went on to play nearly 250 matches for the club. He was virtually ever-present in 2001/02 and 2002/03, having helped the Reds win the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup in 2000/01.
John Arne Riise (£4m)
Riise scored on his Liverpool debut in August 2001, helping Gerard Houllier’s charges claim the UEFA Super Cup with a 3-2 victory over Bayern Munich. Memorable goals were a feature of his seven-season spell on Merseyside, with the Norwegian netting spectacular strikes against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal among others.
Able to play at left-back or further forward on the flank, Riise – who won the FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League before joining Roma in 2008 – found the net 30 times in his 339 appearances for the Reds.
Raheem Sterling (£600,000)
Sterling is no longer such a popular figure among Liverpool supporters, who objected to the manner of his departure to Manchester City in 2015. The forward’s £49m sale generated a sizeable profit for the Reds, though, with a 15-year-old Sterling initially snapped up for just £600,000 in 2010.
The future England international made his Liverpool debut in 2011/12, before playing a more important role in the first team the following season. In 2013/14, meanwhile, Sterling scored nine goals and provided five assists as Brendan Rodgers’ side came close to brining the league title back to Anfield for the first time since 1990.
Fernando Torres (£20m)
The sum Liverpool forked out to bring Torres to Merseyside from Atletico Madrid in 2007 was sizeable, but proved to be an excellent piece of business over time.
Torres hit the peak form of his career during his time at Anfield, scoring 81 goals in 142 goals before earning the club £50m with his sale to Chelsea in January 2011.
Lucas Leiva (£6m)
When he was brought in from Gremio, Lucas was regarded as a promising attacking midfielder, but the Brazilian adapted his game at Anfield and eventually became a fan favourite in his new role.
He spent a decade at the club before leaving to join Lazio in 2017 – where he has quickly become a popular figure with the fans once again.
Joel Matip (Free)
The Cameroon international initially struggled after joining the club in 2016, but he has grown and grown under Jurgen Klopp’s leadership and is now the undisputed go-to partner for Virgil van Dijk.
Matip has taken advantage of the opportunities given to him and his form in 2019 has been superb, helping the club to European glory and to the brink of the league title.
Divock Origi (£10m)
Origi may not have exploded in the way that fans hoped for after his arrival from Lille on the back of an impressive World Cup in 2014, but the Belgian has made a valuable contribution.
For many Reds fans, the striker’s double in the Champions League semi-final second leg and winner in the final alone would be enough to justify his fee.
Jordan Henderson (£20m)
It’s fair to say more than a few eyebrows were raised at Liverpool’s decision to throw so much money at Sunderland’s midfielder back in 2011, but his development and contribution to the progression at Anfield in recent years have meant he was worth every penny.
The England international was tasked with the impossible job of succeeding Steven Gerrard as Reds captain after the Liverpool legend’s retirement, but he has grown into the leadership role and his assured performances were at the heart of the club’s Champions League triumph last season.