Liverpool’s Transfer Committee Shows Patience is Necessary

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Liverpool have this reputation in the transfer market for being grossly negligent in their recruitment of players. Make no bones about it, Liverpool have spent recklessly in the past and signed some average players for extortionate fees. There’s no denying that and there’s no escaping it.

As supporters of the club it’s our cross to bear.

Fans of other clubs taunt us with the fees we’ve splurged on players like Andy Carroll, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic and Christian Benteke. Over £120 million on those five players. The club recouped £20 million of that when they sold Carroll to West Ham, they expect to breakeven on the Benteke deal when he’s sold this summer and are hopeful of getting £15 million for Markovic. Liverpool will lose money on those signings but it’s not as though that £120 million was pissed down the drain.

Liverpool Transfer Committee Shows Patience is Necessary

There’s supposedly a 60% hit rate for transfers being a success. It’s just unfortunate that Liverpool’s big money signings tend to be the ones that fail. Costly mistakes that overshadow the good signings the club have made over the last five years.

The much maligned Liverpool transfer committee have had to bear the brunt of a lot of fan frustration directed at the questionable approach in the market. The anonymity and mystery surrounding the committee lead to greater scrutiny of it when a transfer seemed to flop, especially from fans who were very much on the Rodgers side of the fence. When Klopp was appointed people wanted them to be sacked.

The Liverpool transfer committee is under-valued and under-appreciated. They’re by no means perfect but they deserve credit.

The way modern football is going, where the next big thing is hyped from the age of 16, it means it’s hard to find value for money. Yet our committee delivered Emre Can, Divock Origi, Joe Gomez, Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, Danny Ings, Marko Grujic, Loris Karius and Allan all for under £60 million.

You could probably recoup a large chunk, if not all, of that fee if you were to sell Daniel Sturridge after an injury free season.

Divock Origi cost a third of what each of his Belgian compatriots Romelu Lukaku, Christian Benteke and Michy Batshuayi went for. The fact Mahmoud Dahoud is rumoured to be available for £30 million put’s into perspective just how good of a deal it was when Emre Can was signed for less than £10 million.

Eric Bailly moved to Manchester United for £30 million and Liverpool have a player with just as much potential in Joe Gomez who was signed for £4 million. Joe Gomez is going to be a bargain.

Kevin De Bruyne cost £54 million and Liverpool signed Philippe Coutinho for £8 million. Even though he’s inconsistent, if Liverpool were to cash in on Coutinho today they would quadruple their investment at least. Sergio Aguero is the best striker in the league and he cost £32 million. Behind him, in my opinion at least, is Daniel Sturridge who cost £12 million.

At the time Manchester United paid £18 million for a goalkeeper with a lot of potential but who had areas to improve on in David De Gea. Liverpool have just paid £4 million for a goalkeeper who could become David De Gea-esque in Loris Karius.

To some extent Roberto Firmino for £21 million can’t be seen as bad business given Watford just rejected a £30 million offer for Troy Deeney. Firmino is another who if he adds consistency to his game could easily be considered a £40 million player.

The committee may not have overseen all of these signings or be directly responsible for them but they’ve been the constant throughout and after the criticism and abuse they received for some signings the least they deserve now is acknowledgement for these extraordinary pieces of business in hindsight.

You can say it’s luck that these players turned out to be the players they are today, or how the market is now grossly inflated so it’s not right to compare. However, player identification isn’t lucky. If a player fits the profile then he’s more than likely going to be a success. The scouts had a brief and it seems for the most part they hit it with those signings. Similarly, do you not think the club knew about the new TV deal and expected a boom in transfer fees this summer? I’m convinced they signed some of these players a year or two ahead of schedule just to avoid the inflated fees this summer.

Of course, it’s not all been plain sailing. Mario Balotelli, Lazar Markovic, Tiago Ilori, Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas arrived for £57 million. The squad has evolved since then but there is a part of me that thinks Markovic, Aspas and even Alberto could have played a part in a Klopp squad.

Liverpool and their committee have taken a lot of stick over the years but looking at that, have they really done that poorly in the market? Was it not more a matter of being patient before the fruits of their labour could be fully appreciated.

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  1. Trully speaking, this article is spot on, and has been a long time coming. Yes, there have been complete hit and misses, surprisingly, our ‘marquee signings (+30M signings) are the hugest flops, Mane, please break this cycle!! Nowardays am actually more excited at the players we get on less, Markovic, i still have not given up hope on you, believe Klop will work his magic on you. All the same on the overall scheme of things, our committee has it made. You just need to look at those Mancs, remember the cost of Martial and Shaw, then compare it with Origi and Gomez.

  2. Good article! Made me think again. Like Ben above, I still think Markovic can do a job for us, I hope so and I hope he’s given the chance. Same with Joe Allen, and as a Wales supporter I’m still on a high from lat night! 🙂

  3. Why should we be looking to sell Markovic for 15m. He was never given a chance by Rodgers and has just returned to pre season training. Ilori should not be written off yet as he might just do well under Klopp alongside Matip. We’ve just released Toure and Skrtel looks to be going so this might just be the chance that Ilori needs. I’ve not given up on either of these players coming good as they’re both still young.

  4. There’s a lot of “might” and “could” here. We don’t KNOW Karius could be De Gea-esque. We don’t KNOW Joe Gomez will be a great defender. Same goes for Origi and Ings. You cannot say they’re bargain and were successful signings. You’re giving the committee credit that they don’t deserve yet. Some of their signings were outrageous and unforgivable. Balotelli? 20m for an average Markovic? Benteke in a Rodgers team? Seriously? And many others.
    Only ones that they got right were Coutinho, Sturridge, Can and maybe Firmino.

    • How do you know Markovic was an average signing? He was never given a proper chance by Rodgers and was played out of position. Judge him after a decent amount of games in his real position with Klopp in charge.

    • He didn’t have a great season with Fenerbahce either mate. Chances are he won’t become the player we want him to be.

  5. Disagree with your 60% success figure. Paul Tomokins and his work shows it is far less, and that even the best managers struggle to get 50%right. Having said that, yes our dealings do leave something to be desired. What we need are less knee jerk purchases like Mario B and ill fitting ones like Christian Benteke. Hopefully this will change with Klopp in charge


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