It probably wouldn’t be fair to say that Liverpool have been a selling club for much of the last decade, but it’s certainly true that they have tended to sell their very best players when the interested party has been one of Europe’s elite.
One suspects that may have changed now, with the club having had a change of tact in the transfer market and having been very bullish when it came to the signings of Allison and Virgil van Dijk, both setting world record fees at the time for their respective positions.
It would be an interesting litmus test to see how the Reds would respond should a Real Madrid or Barcelona express a serious interest in signing Van Dijk or Salah now, but one suspects they would be less susceptible to a sale than they have been in recent years.
Today we continue our series looking at a club’s most lucrative sales, and we focus on Liverpool since they have been requested a number of times. As always, let us know which clubs you’d like to see feature in the future in the comments.
Here are Liverpool’s 7 most expensive player sales: Where are they now?
7. Mamadou Sakho - Crystal Palace
A popular figure among Liverpool fans, Mamadou Sakho never seemed to be a player Jurgen Klopp was overly fond of. Even after his very impressive - albeit brief - loan spell at Crystal Palace, where he played a pivotal role in ensuring the Eagles survival, Klopp made little attempt to keep the Frenchman at Anfield. Having been brought to Merseyside from PSG for £18 million, he departed to Palace for £24 million, plus a potential £2 million in future add-ons. Sakho has since played 40 games for Roy Hodgson’s side, but there are suggestions that he could be a target for Thierry Henry at Monaco in the January transfer window.
6. Xabi Alonso - Real Madrid Youth Coach
Xabi Alonso of Real Madrid Legends during the Corazon Classic match between Real Madrid Legends and Asenal Legends at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on June 3, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.
One of Liverpool’s outstanding players of the 21st century, Xabi Alonso was a key man during his five seasons at Anfield. An integral part of the Reds’ 2005 Champions League winning side, Alonso went on to win a second Champions League title with Real Madrid, followed by three league titles in Germany with Bayern Munich to add to his 2010 World Cup and two European Championship’s that he won with Spain. A fantastic passer of the ball who combined brilliantly with Steven Gerrard in a slightly deeper role than the Englishman, Alonso left Liverpool in a £30 million move to Real Madrid. Now aged 37, the 2003 Spanish Footballer of the Year retired in 2017, and is now working with the youth teams at Real Madrid while completing his coaching courses.
5. Christian Benteke - Crystal Palace
Xabi Alonso is sandwiched between two current Crystal Palace players who failed to make much of an impact at Liverpool in this seven, and that’s just a mark of the way in which football finances have gone. Christian Benteke joined Liverpool for £32.5 million having scored prolifically for Aston Villa, but he always looked a little static in a dynamic Liverpool side. He joined Crystal Palace for £27 million up front plus a potential £5 million, but after a respectable first season, his attacking output has been dreadful for the last 18 months.
4. Raheem Sterling - Manchester City
Raheem Sterling of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Etihad Stadium on January 14, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Into the top four and we’re now talking about some of the biggest transfers in the history of the English game. We start in fourth place with Raheem Sterling, who joined Liverpool from QPR for what ended up being a £5 million fee as a youth player. The Kingston-born England international made a real impression as part of a prolific front three at Anfield under Brendan Rodgers, as the club came mightily close to winning an elusive Premier League title. He received a lot of criticism when he left the club for a potential £49 million in 2015, with many branding him as greedy and claiming Man City had overpaid.
It’s proved to be a pretty smart deal by both club and player approaching four years on though, as Sterling is one of the most effective forwards in the division and City have won a couple of trophies with more likely on the horizon since his arrival.
3. Fernando Torres - Sagan Tosu
From Andres Iniesta to Lukas Podolski and David Villa, a handful of ageing stars seem to have headed to the land of the rising sun in recent times. Fernando Torres is a man who belongs firmly to that category, a former World Cup winner who finished third in 2008 Ballon d’Or voting. Torres joined Liverpool in 2007, and he was absolutely sensational in his debut season, bagging 33 goals in 46 games. He failed to hit 20 Premier League goals in either of the next two seasons, although he still impressed, and in January 2011 he signed for Chelsea as per Roman Abramovich’s wishes in a transfer worth a then British record £50 million. Torres’ time at Chelsea was mixed, as he won some big trophies and scored some huge goals but ultimately failed to match the form he showed at Anfield.
2. Luis Suarez - Barcelona
Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona looks on prior during the prematch warm up before the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and SD Eibar at Camp Nou on January 13, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.
When Luis Suarez left Liverpool to join Barcelona for somewhere between £65 and £75 million, he became the third most expensive footballer in history. He’s dropped out of the top 10 in the four years since then, but it was a gargantuan deal at the time. Thankfully for Barcelona, it turned out to be money well spent, with Suarez even becoming the first player in donkeys years to break Messi and Ronaldo’s La Liga Golden Boot duopoly. Now aged 31, the Uruguayan is still with Barca, where he has scored 11 goals in 21 games so far this season.
1. Philippe Coutinho - Barcelona
Top spot, and by some distance too, is another South American who left Liverpool in a move to Catalonia. Like Suarez, Coutinho became the third most expensive footballer on the planet when he joined Barcelona, but unlike Suarez, Coutinho still is at the time of this videos production. The add-ons in the Brazilians transfer fee make a definitive figure hard to come by, but it’s generally accepted that Barca paid around £105 million with close to £40 million in potential future add-ons.
Cute, clever and creative, Coutinho is a menace to play against whether he’s operating out wide or through the middle, and there are few players more effective when it comes to shooting from outside the box on the planet. His departure, following more than 200 games, seemed like a hefty blow to Liverpool, but the fact is they haven’t really felt it. The money has been re-invested well, and Liverpool’s attacking trio have been incredibly prolific since Coutinho’s departure.
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