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5 Best Liverpool Transfer Signings of All Time

Richard MorganContributor INovember 20, 2016

5 Best Liverpool Transfer Signings of All Time

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    As befits a club that has won 18 top-flight titles and five European Cups, Liverpool have brought a number of players to Anfield in their illustrious 121-year history that have gone on to be world-class performers, as well as Reds legends.

    And so, we at the Bleacher Report have selected our top-five Liverpool signings of all time, in no particular order.

Alan Hansen (1977-91)

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    Position: Centre back
    Age at time of signing: 21
    Signed from: Partick Thistle, May 1977
    Transfer fee: £110,000
    Top-flight appearances (goals): 434 (8)
    Career appearances (goals): 620 (14)
    Team honours: League title (8): 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990; FA Cup (2): 1986, 1989; League Cup (4): 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984; European Cup (3): 1978, 1981, 1984
    Individual honours: None
    Subsequent clubs: None

    Without a doubt, Alan Hansen is Liverpool’s greatest-ever centre back and captain, and one of only a trio of outfield players in the history of the English game to have won the title in three different decades.

    The Scot was a silky-smooth defender who favoured starting attacks by bringing the ball out of defence at his feet, and there have been few better defenders than him at doing this.

    Hansen won a plethora of medals during his glittering 14-year career at Anfield, the last five of which were as captain, during which time he skippered the team to their only-ever league and cup Double in 1986.

    And until Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs recently overtook him, the one-time central defender was the most decorated domestic footballer in the history of the English game.

Kenny Dalglish (1977-90)

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    Position: Forward
    Age at time of signing: 26
    Signed from: Celtic, Aug 1977
    Transfer fee: £440,000
    Top-flight goals (appearances): 118 (355)
    Career goals (appearances): 169 (501)
    Team honours: League title (6): 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986; FA Cup (2): 1986, 1989; League Cup (4): 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984; European Cup (3): 1978, 1981, 1984
    Individual honours: PFA Player of the Year (1): 1983; FAW Player of the Year (2): 1980 and 1983
    Subsequent clubs: None

    Generally regarded as being Liverpool’s greatest-ever player, the man dubbed “King Kenny” arrived at Anfield for a then club-record fee in the summer of 1977 as a replacement for the Hamburg-bound Kevin Keegan, and despite initial scepticism on the Kop, the Scot went on to prove it was money well spent by Bob Paisley over the course of the next 13 years.

    In his first season with the club, Dalglish scored the winning goal in the European Cup final as the Reds won back-to-back continental titles. From then on, the forward was at the heart of all Liverpool’s subsequent and continued success at both home and abroad.

    And to seal his place in the pantheon of Liverpool greats, Dalglish crowned his first season as player-manager at Anfield in 1985-86 by creating history as the Reds won the League and Cup Double for the very first time.

Ian Rush (1980-87 & 1988-96)

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    Position: Centre forward
    Age at time of signing: 18
    Signed from: Chester, April 1980
    Transfer fee: £300,000
    Top-flight goals (appearances): 229 (469)
    Career goals (appearances): 346 (660)
    Team honours: League title (5): 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1990; FA Cup (3): 1986, 1989, 1992; League Cup (5): 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995; European Cup (2): 1981, 1984
    Individual honours: PFA Player of the Year (1): 1984; FAW Player of the Year (1): 1984; European Golden Shoe (1): 1984
    Subsequent clubs: Leeds United, Newcastle United, Wrexham and Sydney Olympic FC

    What is there to say that has not already been said about Liverpool’s greatest all-time goalscorer, who netted a remarkable 346 strikes for the Reds in just 660 matches across his two spells at Anfield?

    His partnership up front with Kenny Dalglish, the archetypal little-and-large combination with the Scot playing in the “hole”, supplying the bullets for Rush to clinically shoot down the opposition, is perhaps the deadliest strike force the English game has ever seen.

    However, the Wales international was far from simply a penalty-box operator, having the ability to score all kinds of different goals, including tap-ins, headers and long-range strikes.

    And Rush also played a crucial role in Liverpool’s success by being one of the first strikers in the modern game to start a team’s defending from the front, as he would use his extreme pace to hassle and hurry the opposition back four when trying to start attacks from the back.

John Barnes (1987-97)

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    Position: Winger
    Age at time of signing: 23
    Signed from: Watford, Aug 1987
    Transfer fee: £900,000
    Top-flight goals (appearances): 84 (314)
    Career goals (appearances): 106 (403)
    Team honours: League title (2): 1988 and 1990; FA Cup (2): 1989 and 1992; League Cup (1): 1995
    Individual honours: PFA Player of the Year (1): 1988; FAW Player of the Year (2): 1988 and 1990
    Subsequent clubs: Newcastle United, Charlton Athletic and Celtic

    Bought by Kenny Dalglish using the proceeds from the sale of Ian Rush to Juventus in the summer of 1987, John Barnes was one of a trio of new players to help fill the vacuum created by the striker’s shock departure. The England international went on to become one of the Reds’ best-ever players.

    Barnes won pretty much everything there was to claim during his ten-year stay on Merseyside, both as a team and individually, but it is his debut campaign at Anfield that will live long in the memory as the wide man produced some scintillating football that few opponents could live with.

    In fact, that 1987-88 Liverpool vintage is often regarded as the greatest-ever team in the club’s history, going unbeaten for a record-equalling 29 games at the start of the season, with Barnes ending the campaign being crowned the double Footballer of the Year.

Fernando Torres (2007-11)

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    Position: Centre forward
    Age at time of signing: 23
    Signed from: Atletico de Madrid, July 2007
    Transfer fee: £20m
    Premier League goals (appearances): 65 (102)
    Career goals (appearances): 81 (142)
    Team honours: None
    Individual honours: None
    Subsequent clubs: Chelsea

    A controversial selection, perhaps. However, when one looks back at the impact that the Spanish international had across his entire four-year spell at Anfield while also taking into consideration both how much the club paid and then sold Torres for, then the player’s worth becomes far clearer.

    For three of Torres’ four seasons on Merseyside, he was without doubt the best striker in the Premier League as he set record after record, including the most amount of league goals (24) by a foreigner in their debut campaign in the Premier League, the fastest Liverpool player to net 50 league goals and scoring in eight straight league matches at Anfield.

    And while a combination of debilitating injuries and a chronic loss of confidence and form in front of goal would subsequently cause his star to wane, the Spaniard still fetched a British-record transfer fee of £50 million when he left to join Chelsea in January 2011.

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