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Rafa’s Signings: The Best and the Worst



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The Reds, as we all know have not been backed by a billionaire owner who can afford many mistakes done in the transfer market. Signing players properly is of top priority when you’re in financial turmoil. Recently, before the resignation of Rafael Benitez, we saw him take a lot of criticism for failed transfers. When you see the money spent by Liverpool on bad deals, you will realize that. Here, we list the best and the worst of Liverpool signings.

Worst signings, starting with this, mainly because we have had more bad signings than good ones recently.

  • Robbie Keane – 20.3m – sold for 16m after starting just 19 games
  • Alberto Aquilani – 18m – about to leave on loan to Italy after Roy Hodgson declared that he was not a part of his plans.
  • Ryan Babel – 11.5m – has scored only 21 goals in 3 seasons at Anfield, and most of them as he came on from the bench in the second half. Still hasn’t lived up to his expectations.
  • Albert Riera – 8m – sold for 3.7m, made just 15 appearances last season and didn’t score even once.
  • Andrey Voronin – 1.8m – had two spells one on each side of his loan to Hertha BSC, and was finally sold to Dynamo Moscow for 1.8m
  • Andrea Dossena – 7m – sold for 3m, made almost zero impact
  • Phillip Degen – free – played only 10 games for Liverpool, has been loaned out to Stuttgart
  • Jermaine Pennant – 6.7m – scored 3 goals in 3 season, was loaned out to Portsmouth for the last season in his contract
  • Fernando Morientes – 6.3m – sold for 3m, one of the worst transfers in the history of the Premier League.
  • Craig Bellamy – 6m – didn’t make much of an impact but was sold for 7m
  • Mark González – 4.5m – lasted only one season at Liverpool, sold at 4m
  • Antonio Nunez – part of the deal which saw Michael Owen leave for Real Madrid.
  • Gabriel Paletta 2m – 3 appearances for 2m, young star, who didn’t shine
  • Josemi 2m – swapped by Jan Kromkamp who was also unsuccessful.

Best signings – this list will be well known to you, and if you are a Reds fan, you would have been a fan of each of these players at some point. Needless to give a description about these players. There are some big names in this list.

  • Fernando Torres – 20m
  • Xabi Alonso – 10.5m – sold to Real Madrid
  • Pepe Reina – 6m
  • Dirk Kuyt – around 9m
  • Javier Mascherano – 18.5m
  • Glen Johnson – 17m
  • Yossi Benayoun – 5m
  • Martin Skrtel – 7m
  • Alvero Arbeloa – 3m – sold to Real Madrid
  • Lucas Leiva – unreported fee
  • David N’Gog – 1.5m
  • Maxi Rodriguez – free
  • Milan Jovanovic – free

All the prices mentioned above are in pounds.

For those of you who are looking for Djibril Cisse in this list – he was not signed by Benitez, it was Houllier. That is an entire story all-together.

In Benitez’s era at Liverpool, we saw him spend more money on the wrong players instead of the right ones. Selling these players have resulted in a commendable loss. However, it should be noted that Rafa didn’t have the funding like a top 3 club and his achievements were still very good when he had so little money to spend. If he had spent more wisely, we might have won a Premier League title which so badly needs to return to Anfield.

Players like Babel now get a new beginning under Roy Hodgson, where they can hopefully do better than before. Let’s continue to dream and hope for good progress in the future.