Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Liverpool narrowly miss out on a second Champions League trophy in three years. (L-R) Craig Bellamy, Bolo Zenden, Dirk Kuyt, Jerzy Dudek and Steve Finnan collect their runner-up medals
The season of 2006/07 saw Liverpool once again embark on a memorable European campaign. Whilst they were victorious in 2005, this time it was not to be. Once again meeting A.C. Milan in the final, Liverpool went down 2-1.
The focus of Rafa Benitez' attention in the summer transfer window was on attacking players, with a Dutch international joining the Anfield ranks along with a well-traveled Welsh striker.
Craig Bellamy—£6 million from Blackburn Rovers—Bellamy is an aggressive, fast striker with great goal-scoring prowess. During his first, and only, season with Liverpool, he was involved in a controversy surrounding fellow teammate John Arne Riise and a golf club. Bellamy's apology for the incident was accepted, and he went on to score against Barcelona in the following game. At the end of the season, Bellamy was sold for £7.5 million to West Ham United, after scoring only seven goals all season. Since leaving Liverpool, Bellamy has rediscovered his form and become one of the Premier League's most prolific players. Surprisingly he moved on loan to Championship side, Cardiff City for the 2010/11 season. Rating: 5/10
Mark Gonzalez—£1.5 million from Albacete—The quick, Chilean, left winger Gonzalez started his Liverpool career off well with a goal three minutes into his debut against Maccabi Haifa, but unfortunately he could not keep up such promise, and he moved to Real Betis the following summer for £5 million. A player with a lot of potential, Gonzalez struggled to live up to the expectation bestowed on him, but still made the club a tidy profit. Rating: 5/10
Gabriel Paletta—£2 million from Banfield—The Argentinan centre-back's career at Liverpool never really got started. After only one season in England, Paletta moved to Boca Juniors in an exchange deal with Emiliano Insua. Rating: 3/10
Fabio Aurelio—Free transfer from Valencia—The Brazilian full-back relished the opportunity to work with his former boss, Benitez.. Aurelio is still part of the Liverpool squad now, having racked up over 110 appearances. Despite suffering from injuries, Aurelio has been an important member of the team, with his most memorable goal coming from a free-kick against Manchester United at Old Trafford. At 31 years old, Aurelio might not have a long-term future with Liverpool, but he has been a great servant since arriving from Spain. Rating: 7/10
Dirk Kuyt—£9 million from Feyenoord—Ever since arriving at Anfield, Kuyt has had a place in the heart of the Kop. His tireless efforts week-in, week-out have ensured that he is a fan favourite. Being brought to Liverpool as a striker, Benitez was quick to move Kuyt to the right-wing where he has regularly been played since. In the 2008/09 season, Kuyt scored 15 goals from his right-sided position, his best haul since signing for Liverpool. Dirk Kuyt could have a starting berth in Liverpool's starting XI for some time to come. Rating: 8/10
Nabil El Zhar—Free transfer from Saint-Etiene—Moroccan El Zhar moved to Liverpool at a fairly young age, but now, aged 24, he has not managed to crack the first team and has been sent out on loan. Benitez insisted El Zhar was destined to be a star of the future but that confidence never materialized into a good enough player. The fact that El Zhar was signed on a free transfer is the only saving grace. Rating: 3/10
Alvaro Arbeloa—£3 million from Deportivo La Coruna—the Spanish full-back was a bargain signing in the January transfer window. Arbeloa immediately managed to stake a claim for a first-team place, often pushing Finnan to the bench. Arbeloa's good performances in Liverpool colours prompted interest from Real Madrid, who paid £4 million for him in 2009. Arbeloa was a solid defender, who provided a couple of years of good service. Rating: 7/10
Javier Mascherano—£18 million from "Unattached"—the Argentinian midfield star took a while to settle into his role at Anfield, but soon managed to forge a fantastic partnership with Xabi Alonso in the heart of Liverpool's midfield. Mascherano's aggression, tackling and energy levels mark him out as one of the world class midfielders in the world. In the summer of 2010, he signed for Barcelona for a reported £22 million. Liverpool would have hoped to have made a bigger profit on a player they saved from the wilderness when he was languishing on the bench for West Ham United. Rating: 9/10
Martin Hansen (Free transfer from Brondby)—Danish goalkeeper, currently playing for Liverpool reserves.
Astrit Ajdarevic (Free transfer from Falkensberg)—Unknown Ajdarevic never managed to emerge as a potential first-team player and moved to Leicester in January 2009.
Alex Cooper (£100k from Ross County)—Cooper is a member of the Liverpool youth squad.
Jordy Brouwer (Undisclosed from Ajax)—Brouwer never made it past the reserve squad and joined ADO Den Haag in 2011.
Francisco Duran (Undisclosed from Malaga)—Spanish youngster was released by Liverpool in July 2010.
Ronald Huth (Undisclosed from Tacuary—Huth never made it through the Liverpool youth system and was released. He now plays for Italian side, Vicenza.
Premier League: 3rd
FA Cup: 3rd Round
Champions League: Runners Up
League Cup: Quarter Finals
Community Shield: Winners
Overall Transfer Rating: 6/10 - out of six youngsters bought by the club four years ago, only two remain at Liverpool and they have little chance of pushing for a first team place. Major signings like Kuyt, Arbeloa and Mascherano added lasting strength and depth to the squad, but players like Bellamy and Gonzalez were not so successful and only lasted a single season at Anfield. Paletta and El Zhar were the main youth signings of the season, and as such, were given first-team opportunities. They turned out to be poor recruits, despite Benitez' insistence that they had bright futures.