Liverpool have made four new major signings for the upcoming campaign as they prepare for a renewed assault on the Premier League top four, after missing out on qualification for European competitions last season.
Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto, Kolo Toure and Simon Mignolet have joined the Reds, while manager Brendan Rodgers has let the likes of Jose Reina, Suso and Jack Robinson leave on loan.
Interestingly one of the departures, striker Andy Carroll, features amongst their top five most expensive signings. Wantaway striker Luis Suarez also makes the list as we take a look at who else ranks amongst the most expensive purchases ever at Anfield below.
5. Stewart Downing from Aston Villa, £20 million*, July 2011
After finishing the 2010-11 season as one of Aston Villa’s best players, Downing attracted the attention of Liverpool. He was promptly snapped up on July 15 by then-manager Kenny Dalglish despite the Villans insisting that Downing was not for sale.
But the 29-year-old came in for much criticism in his debut season, where he was constantly singled out for being the Reds’ weakest link. A penalty miss against Chelsea on May 8 meant that he finished the campaign with no goals and no assists in the league, although he did score from the spot in a shootout as Liverpool won the League Cup against Cardiff City.
Downing had a better 2012-13 season under new manager Brendan Rodgers, scoring four times and notching seven assists in all competitions. He even played as a left-back on a few occasions, proving his versatality and willingness to work hard and looks to be steadily improving at Anfield as he tries to justify his price tag.
4. Robbie Keane from Tottenham, £21.4 million*, July 2008
Football journeyman Keane made the Reds the sixth of ten clubs he has since played for when he signed for them under then-manager Rafael Benitez from Tottenham Hotspur.
The Irish striker moved from a successful five years or so at White Hart Lane, but struggled at Anfield. Wearing the number 7, Keane played 42 games and scored only 12 times in a spell that lasted only half a year at Liverpool before he rejoined Spurs in February 2009, with the club making a loss. The 33-year-old went on to play for Celtic and West Ham on loan during his second time at Spurs.
Keane, a prolific scorer on the international stage where he is the Republic of Ireland’s all-time leading scorer and most capped player in addition to being their captain, currently plies his trade in the United States with Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy.
3. Luis Suarez from Ajax, £22.8 million*, January 2011
With 111 goals in 159 appearances for Ajax, Liverpool supporters had every right to salivate over Luis Suarez’s mid-season signing in 2011 from the Dutch champions.
The Uruguayan wasted no time in leaving his mark by scoring on his debut against Stoke City in a 2-0 home win after coming off the bench. The Reds finished sixth that season, with Suarez netting thrice more and proving himself to be a quality player.
The next season saw the 26-year-old strike 11 times as Liverpool finished a disappointing eighth, but he will forever be remembered for an incident with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. Suarez was alleged to have racially abused the French left-back during a league encounter between the bitter rivals in October, and was subsequently found guilty and banned for eight games on top of a £40,000 fine. He was also banned for one game for making an obscene gesture towards Fulham supporters.
Suarez was more prolific in the season just ended with 2 3 league goals in 33 appearances, but it was once again marred by yet another high-profile incident. During a match against Chelsea in April, the striker appeared to bite Blues defender Branislav Ivanovic on the shoulder. He went on to score an injury time equaliser, as the officials had not noticed his act. Subsequently charged by the Football Association for violent conduct, he was slapped with a ten-game ban.
While the club and Rodgers have stood by him through out his time in England, the wantaway striker declared in May that he wished to move away from Anfield. Arsenal is understood to have had bids rejected for the Uruguayuan however, with the Merseyside club keen for him to stay.
2. Fernando Torres from Atletico Madrid, £23.5 million*, July 2007
The floppy-haired Torres established himself as a fan favorite on Merseyside after arriving from La Liga side Atletico Madrid, where he was already making a name for himself as one of the brightest striking prospects in Europe.
An impressive haul of 33 goals in 46 games in the 2007-08 season followed, with his 24 league strikes eclipsing Ruud van Nistelrooy’s 23 to make him the most prolific foreign goal-scorer in a debut season in England. The following year, Torres scored Liverpool’s 1000th goal in the Premier League and came in third in the Fifa World Player of the Year award to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The Spaniard then became the fastest Liverpool player to reach 50 league goals next season, with 22 in 32 games in all competitions in the 2009-10 campaign.
With a record of 81 goals in 146 Liverpool appearances, Torres was then sold by manager Roy Hodgson for a stunning £50 million to rivals Chelsea on January 31, 2011 on a five-and-a-half-y ear contract, which was a record British transfer. Fans made their thoughts on the move perfectly clear, with many burning their Torres jerseys in disgust.
Torres’s impressive Liverpool form has not transferred over to his time at the Blues as yet, with the striker taking 903 torrid minutes to score his first goal for them.
However, he did become the first player to score in seven different competitions in one season when he struck in the 2012-2013 Europa League, adding to goals in the Premier League, Champions League, Fifa Club World Cup, Community Shield, FA Cup and League Cup.
1. Andy Carroll from Newcastle United, £35 million*, January 2011
Mention the words “Andy Carroll” and you are more likely than not to get a response that mentions the price of his move from Newcastle United to Liverpool in 2011.
Then-Reds manager Kenny Dalglish was presumably impressed by Carroll’s 11 goals in 19 games for the Magpies in their first season back in the Premier League following their time in the Championship in the previous campaign, shelling out a club-record free for the striker.
Arriving with Luis Suarez on the day Fernando Torres left for Chelsea, the 22-year-old was handed the number 9 jersey worn by the Spaniard as he completed a move that made him the most expensive British player of all time.
Carroll struck twice in nine games for Liverpool that season but struggled in the following campaign with only nine goals in 47 appearances, and would play only twice more for the Reds in the 2012-13 one as he struggled to adapt to the playing system at Anfield.
Loaned to West Ham for the rest of that season, Carroll scored seven times in 23 games in a more fruitful and seemingly happier spell before joining the Hammers permanently for £15 million on June 19 this year.
*Figures have been adjusted for inflation