While Diouf moved to the Reds from Lens for £10 million and Cheyrou arrived from Lille for £3.7m, Diao came from Sedan for £4.7m.
None of the three players managed to a long-lasting impact at Anfield. While Cheyrou left Liverpool in 2006 after making just 31 Premier League appearances, Diouf departed the Reds in 2005 and Diao was gone in 2007.
Carragher, who played his entire career at Liverpool, has now claimed that it was a mistake to purchase the three players, while highlighting the transfer business Manchester United did that summer.
“When we finished second to Arsenal in 2002, the next step was to win the league,” the 36-year-old wrote in The Daily Mail.
“We were outstanding in the cups, as our treble in 2001 showed, and we had beaten United in five consecutive games over two campaigns. The right moves would have given us a great chance.
“Instead, we bought El Hadji Diouf, Bruno Cheyrou and Salif Diao for £20m, all of whom failed. That same summer, United paid £29.3m to smash the British transfer record for Rio Ferdinand, Ferguson fixed his defence and, 12 months later, they were champions.”
Liverpool’s mistakes of 2002 were repeated this summer, when they signed a number of good but not very good or world class players.
However, one needs to remember that Liverpool do not have the financial strength of United, who are England’s biggest club.
As glorious a history the Merseryside outfit have, in modern football it is United who are the ‘Kings of English football’.