Liverpool FC: 10 Most Embarassing Transfer Flops of the Last Decade

Nabeel KhokharCorrespondent IFebruary 7, 2012

Liverpool FC: 10 Most Embarassing Transfer Flops of the Last Decade

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    The latest transfer window closed with Liverpool FC doing no first team squad business at all.

    This was in stark contrast to the activities that took place within the same transfer window last year.

    In the past decade (2001-02 till this 2011-12 season), Liverpool FC have completed a considerable number of transfer deals and spent and recovered many millions of pounds.

    Many of the deals have resulted in some wonderful players coming into the squad and other valuable players departing.

    If one looks just at those transfers that brought players through the Shankly Gates into Anfield, there have also been some absolutely terrible deals, that over time have been downright embarrassing for fans and the club; although the latter will never admit it.

    The following is a list of Liverpool FC's top 10 most disastrous and embarrassing transfer flops of the last decade.

    This is of course my own personal opinion and am happy to hear, and welcome, your comments...

10. Robbie Keane

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    Date Signed: 28 July 2008

    Signed From: Tottenham Hotspurs

    Amount Paid: £19 million plus £1.3 million based on performance.

    From the outset, this transfer looked wrong in some unsettling way. Then-manager Rafa Benitez did not seem to have been involved in bringing, or even seemed as though he wanted Robbie Keane at Liverpool.

    Keane professed to be a lifelong Reds fan and it appeared that he could not have been happier to be wearing the red of his boyhood heroes. He was even given the Liverpool No. 7 shirt that had in the past been worn by Liverpool legends Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish so illustriously.

    The Irish star found Premier League goals hard to come by and it appeared that Keane did not seem to fit into the Liverpool way, or something.

    What was clear was that there was something not right with the Liverpool-Keane combination.

    In the end, Keane made 27 appearances for the Reds, scoring seven goals.

    He was sold back to Tottenham in the following January transfer window of 2009.

9. Alberto Aquilani

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    Date Signed: 7 August 2009

    Signed From: Roma

    Amount Paid: £20 million

    Alberto Aquilani was given the Liverpool No. 4 shirt, that had previously been worn by Liverpool great Sami Hyypia.

    However, the talented Italian arrived at Melwood injured and spent his first few months at the club in the treatment room.

    It was not until 9 November 2009, that Aquilani made his Premier League debut, as a late substitute in a 2-2 draw against Birmingham City.

    The Italian never really got an opportunity to show the Liverpool faithful what he was all about. His favoured position was more of an attacking midfielder, but more often than not he was employed in an uncomfortable deeper role.

    With the departure of Rafa Benitez, the manager that bought him, Aquilani found that new manager Roy Hodgson did not want him at the club.

    Aquilani made 28 appearances for the Reds and scored two goals before loans spells to Juventus and later to Milan have meant that his Anfield career is all but over.

8. Brad Jones

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    Date Signed: 17 August 2010

    Signed From: Middlesbrough

    Amount Paid: £2.3 million

    Brad Jones made his Liverpool debut in September 2010, in the disastrous League Cup third round tie at Anfield against Northampton Town, which ended 2-2 and went to penalties.

    The Reds embarrassingly lost the penalty shootout and humiliatingly exited the competition.

    Later, Jones injured a shoulder in training and was out of the squad until December 2010 when he kept a clean sheet in the Europa League game against Utrecht.

    In March 2011, Jones was loaned out to Derby County after making only two appearances for Liverpool.

7. Andrea Dossena

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    Date Signed: 4 July 2008

    Signed From: Udinese

    Amount Paid: £7 million

    Andrea Dossena was signed to replace the departed left-back John Arne Riise.

    From the start, the Italian had trouble with the pace of the game in the English Premier League and his form suffered considerably.

    Dossena never got to grips with English football and looked completely out of his depth.

    It was only the continued injury plight of Fabio Aurelio that allowed the Italian to play as many times as he eventually did.

    However, Dossena did score a fabulous goal in the famous 4-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2009. And for that, he will forever be remembered by Liverpool fans, but little else.

    He was sold to Napoli in early January 2010 after having made 31 appearance for Liverpool and scoring two goals.

6. Salif Diao

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    Date Signed: Summer 2002

    Signed From: Sedan

    Amount Paid: £5 million

    Salif Diao arrived at Liverpool following an impressive outing at the 2002 World Cup Finals for his country Senegal.

    Then manager who signed him, Gerard Houllier, described Diao as the new Patrick Viera, but the truth was far from it.

    Diao played in a variety of positions, including centre-back, full-back and his favoured centre-midfield, but never well enough, nor impressively enough, to be considered a permanent fixture in the first team.

    Never able to reproduce his World Cup form, Diao fell out of favour with Houllier and never really figured in Rafa Benitez's plans, when the Spaniard replaced Houllier.

    Diao made 61 appearances and scored three goals before being loaned out to Birmingham City in 2005, Portsmouth and Stoke City, to whom he was finally sold at the end of December 2007.

5. Bruno Cheyrou

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    Date Signed: Summer 2002

    Signed From: Lille

    Amount Paid: £4.5 million

    Bruno Cheyrou was signed by Gerard Houllier as a youngster with enormous potential and promise and was fully expected to be the next big talent to emerge from France.

    He was described as the new Zidane by Houllier and his Liverpool career got off to a good start.

    But as time went on, Cheyrou failed to come anywhere close to his promise and frizzled away onto the peripheries of the first team squad.

    The departure of Houllier and the arrival of Rafa Benitez all but snuffed out the Frenchman's fading hopes of making it at Anfield and he was loaned out to Marseilles immediately.

    The next season, Cheyrou was again loaned out for the season, this time to Bordeaux. 

    It was Rennes that finally signed him from Liverpool in 2006 after Cheyrou had made 44 appearances and scored three times for the Reds.   

4. Fernando Morientes

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    Date Signed: 2005

    Signed From: Real Madrid

    Amount Paid: £6.3 million

    After becoming surplus to requirement at Real Mardid, Liverpool signed Fernando Morientes in 2005.

    The expectations were sky high. The Reds had signed a striker that was a world-class proven goal scorer and fans could not wait to see the Spanish marksman in action.

    Morientes oozed class from his very first touch and his ability was clear for all to see, surely the goals would start to fly in. But unfortunately they did not.

    The Spaniard found the pace of the English game all too much and more often than not, he simply looked out of place on the pitch.

    Sadly, he was cup-tied for Liverpool's 2005 victorious campaign in the Champions League, where he may have excelled but the Reds fared rather well, even without his services.

    Never being able to get to grips and settle into the faster, more physical style of play, Morientes played only 61 times for Liverpool and scored 12 goals.

    In 2006, Morientes ended his time at Liverpool and moved back to Spain, signing for Valencia.

3. Christian Poulsen

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    Date Signed: 12 August 2010

    Signed From: Juventus

    Amount Paid: £4.5 million

    Then-manager Roy Hodgson signed Dane Christian Poulsen from Italian giants Juventus and was thought to be the ultimate successor to Javier Mascherano.

    Hodgson's assessment of the player fell well short of this and Poulsen never looked being capable of filling such illustrious boots as those of the Argentine midfield general.

    Instead, Poulsen seemed to lack any sort of pace and generally seemed to want to play the game at a pedestrian-like pace. The Dane was never accepted by the Liverpool fans and rightfully so.

    Hodgson's judge of the standard of player that was required and demanded at Anfield was far too low and Poulsen was never at the level required of a Liverpool player.

    After the departure of Hodgson, the Dane found little joy from Kenny Dalglish and despite a slight elevation of his form, always looked likely to be surplus to Dalglish's requirements.

    After a single season at Anfield and 21 appearances without scoring, Poulsen was sold to the French side Evian.

2. Paul Konchesky

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    Date Signed: 31 August 2010

    Signed From: Fulham

    Amount Paid: £3 million

    On transfer deadline day 2010, then-manager Roy Hodgson, made yet another transfer blunder in signing left-back Paul Konchesky from his former club Fulham.

    Hodgson again demonstrated his complete lack of understanding of the quality of player that was required at a club like Liverpool.

    Konchesky never looked like a player comfortable playing at a club the size of Liverpool and subsequently was unable to produce the form required to play for a top club.

    With the end of Hodgson and arrival of Kenny Dalglish, Konchesky's time at Anfield looked to be limited.

    Sure enough, after only a few miserable and unsuccessful months at Liverpool, Konchesky went on loan to Nottingham Forest and was then sold to Leicester City.

    At both these clubs, Konchesky found his feet and has put in the required quality of performances required at that level.

    Playing for a club like Liverpool was clearly a step too high for him, as it proved to be for his old manager Hodgson.

    Konchesky made 18 appearances for the Reds.

1. El Hadji Diouf

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    Date Signed: 2002

    Signed From: Lens

    Amount Paid: £10 million

    Another player that Gerard Houllier signed from the Senegalese 2002 World Cup squad, El Hadji Diouf went on to become an enormous failure and a huge disappointment.

    This was not only in his productivity, or lack of it, but also in the way he conducted himself both on and off the pitch.

    His all round attitude was at times disgraceful and not at all what was expected of a player that pulls on a Liverpool shirt.

    More often than not, his commitment to the game was questionable as well as towards his teammates. It appeared that Diouf played for himself and not for Liverpool.

    His attitude in the dressing room, in training and on the pitch did not win him many admirers, let alone friends. But he can only have himself to blame for this.

    Diouf had ability but did not seem to want to put it to use or on display, unless he felt like it.

    Often blaming others, he was his own worst enemy and in the end his career at Liverpool came to an end when he was loaned out to Bolton Wanderers in the 2004-05 season.

    In the previous season, Diouf failed to score a single goal.

    In his time at Anfield, Diouf made 80 appearances and scored only six goals.