Top 10 Most Sensational Liverpool Transfer Deals of All Time
July 1st hasn’t even arrived yet, and there has already been plenty of news surrounding Liverpool’s Luis Suarez. Who, according to the Guardian, is considering a move away from Anfield to Spanish giants Real Madrid.
The latest in the Suarez saga, as reported by the Independent, is that the club will demand an official request before sanctioning a big-money move, much like they did back in 2011 for Fernando Torres.
Just as Torres himself once cost, Luis Suarez will reportedly command a £50 million transfer fee if he is to go, according to the Metro. Making it one of the biggest transfer deals in recent years, and shoot him towards the top of the all-time transfer records in football.
At this stage, all of this is pure conjecture.
Let’s look back, then, at the 10 most sensational Liverpool transfer deals of all time, some pretty, some not so much.
10. John Barnes, Watford to Liverpool
Watford’s—and John Barnes’—first five years in the English top flight were impressive: the Hornets had finished runners up (to Liverpool) in their second season, while they made the FA Cup final and semifinal, losing both times.
By the time Liverpool announced the £900,000 signing of Barnes, with his impressive scoring record for Watford, he was already a household name and was announced as a true star signing for an all-conquering Liverpool team.
The rest, as they say, is history, as Barnes went on to become one of the greatest ever players in a Red shirt, finishing with 84 goals in 314 league games.
9. Kevin Keegan, Liverpool to Hamburg SV
Our next nominee is another Liverpool legend, but Kevin Keegan made bigger headlines when he decided to leave Anfield than when he joined the club.
Understandable, as he arrived at Liverpool as a talented 20-year-old from Scunthorpe United, but left as one of Europe’s best forwards and having struck up a famous strike partnership with John Toshack.
Keegan had actually announced midway through his last season that he was going to leave Liverpool. When it happened, however, he was to be the new superstar signing for German side Hamburg SV, and the Reds had lost one of their biggest names.
All wasn’t lost though. Bob Paisley decided to replace Keegan with a certain Kenny Dalglish.
8. Ian Rush, Juventus to Liverpool
The story of Ian Rush at Liverpool is the adage “the grass is always greener on the other side” on full display.
After Rush had matured into one of Europe’s best strikers, he decided to go abroad to test his skills, and he left for Juventus in 1987 with a sterling reputation.
His time in Italy, however, ultimately proved to be underwhelming, but waiting to take him back—at an English transfer record fee of £2.7 million—was Liverpool.
Rush went back to Anfield after a whirlwind year abroad, and started scoring again.
7. Emile Heskey, Leicester City to Liverpool
Emile Heskey might currently ply his trade in the Australian A-League with the Newcastle Jets, and he might go down as one of English football’s most ridiculed and talked-about strikers, but he once cost Liverpool a grand £11 million from Leicester City.
And at Leicester, he was once the irreplaceable striker for Martin O’Neill, who had to reluctantly let him leave for Gerard Houllier’s regime at Anfield.
At the time, Heskey was Liverpool’s record signing. He might not have become a sensational striker in Liverpool colors, but he was certainly a sensational signing at the time.
6. Harry Kewell, Leeds United to Liverpool
Around the turn of the century, Leeds United went through a turbulent period in their Premier League stay. Harry Kewell was an integral part of their successes and was powerless to avoid their subsequent and sudden relegation.
After a PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2000 had kickstarted his career with Leeds, Kewell became one of the hottest properties in English football.
So when he moved to Liverpool for a mere £5 million, as reported by BBC Sport, he sent shockwaves across Europe and was hyped as one of the Reds’ all-time best signings.
Unfortunately, injury got in the way, and Kewell limped through his time at Anfield without ever hitting the heights that many expected of him.
5. Paul Ince, Internazionale to Liverpool
So when he returned to England from Internazionale in 1997, he raised many eyebrows by joining Liverpool, United’s archrivals, becoming arguably the most high-profile player to have appeared for both clubs.
Two seasons and a fine record of 14 goals in 65 league games later, Ince departed for Middlesbrough.
4. Andy Carroll, Newcastle to Liverpool
If £35 million isn’t a sensational enough transfer fee, Andy Carroll’s meager half-season stay in the Premier League made his deadline day transfer in January 2011 all the more sensational.
Add to the fact that he became the most expensive English footballer of all time and the eighth most expensive footballer of all time, and you have a signing who was doomed to fail before he even set foot on the Anfield pitch.
Sure enough, two and a half years on and after a season out on loan, he has been moved on to West Ham United after a failed experiment.
3. Michael Owen, Liverpool to Real Madrid
By contrast, Michael Owen, a striker in peak form, cost Real Madrid a mere £8 million and Antonio Nunez, according to the BBC, when he left Anfield in 2004.
This was Michael Owen, the new darling striker of Liverpool, who had scored 118 league goals in eight seasons in the first team. Who had come up through the youth ranks, who had become England’s new striking hope.
His love affair with Liverpool ended with a move sensational for all the wrong reasons, and from then on his career only went downhill.
2. Robbie Fowler, Manchester City to Liverpool
We all know the story: Robbie Fowler the academy graduate, Robbie Fowler the most natural goal-scorer in English football, Robbie Fowler the man who scored a four-and-some-minute hat-trick against Arsenal.
Robbie Fowler, the man the Liverpool fans called God.
He was let go by Gerard Houllier when he started losing his place in the team following the sensational signing of Emile Heskey, and it was off to Leeds United and then Manchester City he went, unwillingly.
So imagine his excitement, and that of the Liverpool fans, when Rafa Benitez decided to bring him back in one of the most unexpected transfers of the modern Liverpool era, in January 2006.
Truly a reunion of epic proportions.
1. Fernando Torres, Liverpool to Chelsea
Unfortunately for Reds fans, the most sensational Liverpool transfer of all time is for all the wrong reasons.
Yup, it's Fernando Torres' still-controversial deadline day move to Chelsea in that fated 2011 January transfer window.
Just weeks prior he had been talking about staying at Liverpool, and when Kenny Dalglish assumed the Anfield hot seat from the sacked Roy Hodgson, Torres started life under the new regime in quite decent form.
But, apparently, the first half of the season had done the damage.
Chelsea came calling, with their Champions League football and their millions, and soon Torres was off, his Reds legacy in tatters.