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How Liverpool turned around their transfer strategy from selling their stars to owning the best





From replacing Fernando Torres with Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll to owning the world's most expensive goalkeeper and defender... how Liverpool have turned around their transfer strategy

  • For the first time in years, Liverpool appear aggressive in the transfer market
  • Often hurt by the departure of their best player, they now look much stronger
  • Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho all left under the owners
  • Sportsmail looks at the changes in transfer windows under Fenway Sports Group

By Nathan Salt For Mailonline

Published: 09:08 EDT, 20 July 2018 | Updated: 11:25 EDT, 20 July 2018

Jurgen Klopp summed it up himself in a recent press gathering when he said that for once, the transfer traffic at Liverpool appears to be moving in one direction. 

Eight years ago Fenway Sports Group bought the Merseysiders and while big-name departures in the shape of Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho have helped fund new additions, the tide appears to be turning for the Champions League finalists. 

'I am not 100% sure but maybe it is the first year we don't sell a key player,' Klopp said recently, having now broken the record for a goalkeeper with the £65million swoop for Alisson Becker.

Under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool's attitude in the transfer market has completely shifted
Under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool's attitude in the transfer market has completely shifted

Under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool's attitude in the transfer market has completely shifted


'There was always a lot of change, but in both directions. Now it is more in one direction. That's clear.

'Big teams, successful teams, if you don't buy it you have to build it. That means stay together, bring additions in and make the next step. Stay together, bring additions in, make the next step. That's how it is.'

With those sentiments in mind, Sportsmail took a look through the Reds' ins and outs since the FSG takeover and how Klopp and Co now feel they are strong enough to keep their brightest talents from the hands of their rivals.  

2011: Ins £109.95m - Outs £79.1m = Net spend £20.8m

It was a year that began with Roy Hodgson - albeit only for eight days - and ended with club legend Kenny Dalglish in the dugout. 

There was a sense of chaos and panic about the club's dealings having agreed to the £50m sale of Fernando Torres to Chelsea in January. Andy Carroll was recruited from Newcastle and Luis Suarez was brought over from Ajax to bolster a front line that needed a major injection of goals.

The money was there and it was a show of intent signing Carroll for a club record fee but given how crucial Torres was to the side, it took some time to find stability and the new recruits to settle in. 

Suarez had five goals by the new year and Carroll had just three. They could not afford to keep losing their prized assets.  

Kenny Dalglish looked happy with Luis Suarez (L) and Andy Carroll replacing Fernando Torres
Kenny Dalglish looked happy with Luis Suarez (L) and Andy Carroll replacing Fernando Torres

Kenny Dalglish looked happy with Luis Suarez (L) and Andy Carroll replacing Fernando Torres

INCOMINGS 

Jordan Henderson

Charlie Adam

Stewart Downing

Jose Enrique

Sebastian Coates

Craig Bellamy

Jordon Ibe

Luis Suarez

Andy Carroll

 

OUTGOINGS 

Paul Konchesky

Thomas Ince

Nabil El Zhar

Daniel Ayala

Sotirios Kyrgiakos

Christian Poulson

Raul Miereles

David N'Gog

Ryan Babel

Fernando Torres 

 

2012: Ins £30.23m - Outs £14.3m = Net spend £15.93m

Following an eighth place finish in the Premier League, Dalglish was relieved of his duties and a number of players soon followed him out the door. 

Craig Bellamy, who had only arrived a year earlier, was one of eight departures in 2012 as Brendan Rodgers, who took over ahead of 2012-13, made no high profile additions. 

Fabio Borini and Daniel Sturridge were added for firepower while Rodgers believed Coutinho's capture from Inter Milan would prove a masterstroke in later years. 

Deadwood was cleared out - the main positive from this year of transfer business - with Dirk Kuyt, Maxi Rodriguez, Alberto Aquiliani, Joe Cole and Charlie Adam all deemed surplus to requirements. 

By this point Suarez was firmly in his element in England and the vision was clear: build a team around the Uruguayan in a bid to win the title. 

But of the 2012 additions, only one still pulls on the shirt in Daniel Sturridge and for how much longer remains to be seen.  

Unlike their rivals, Liverpool's transfer policy saw them go for players with potential in future
Unlike their rivals, Liverpool's transfer policy saw them go for players with potential in future

Unlike their rivals, Liverpool's transfer policy saw them go for players with potential in future

INCOMINGS 

Fabio Borini

Joe Allen

Oussama Assaidi

Daniel Sturridge

Philippe Coutinho

 

OUTGOINGS

Fabio Aurelio

Dirk Kuyt

Maxi Rodriguez

Alberto Aquilani

Craig Bellamy 

Charlie Adam

Joe Cole

Christian Doni

2013: Ins £65.3m - Outs £28.7m = Net spend £36.6m

2013 - the year Liverpool cut their losses on Carroll and accepted his signing simply had not worked. 

The Geordie targetman never appeared to fit Rodgers' style of play and was restricted to cameo appearances. 

Additions appeared sensible, if unspectacular, as Rodgers looked to solidify the defence with Kolo Toure, Mamadou Sakho and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet all part of the rearguard plan. 

And frankly the plan worked. Liverpool came within a handful of games of winning the title in 2013-14 and made their greatest assault on the Premier League in years. Suarez and Sturridge looked electrifying and Mignolet was proving a solid acquisition. 

For the first time since the takeover, Liverpool looked to have stole a march on their rivals and surely now the stars would stay? 

Defensive solidity was the primary focus with Kolo Toure and Simon Mignolet brought in
Defensive solidity was the primary focus with Kolo Toure and Simon Mignolet brought in

Defensive solidity was the primary focus with Kolo Toure and Simon Mignolet brought in

INCOMINGS

Mamadou Sakho

Thiago Ilori

Iago Aspas

Luis Alberto

Simon Mignolet

Kolo Toure 

OUTGOINGS

Stewart Downing

Jay Spearing

Jonjo Shelvey

Andy Carroll 

 

 

2014: Ins £116.85m - Outs £72.875m = Net spend £43.975m

Not since Fernando Torres departed did Liverpool suffer as big a blow in the transfer market as they did losing Suarez to Barcelona. 

The title push felt like a moment when the tide was turning for Liverpool but the departure of their biggest star had fans questioning the level of ambition emanating from the owners. 

Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli were cheap and arguably unsuitable replacements and there was rather little to show despite a £117m outlay. 

A double raid on Southampton for Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren was a sign of things to come but both remain established members of the first team squad.  

Luis Suarez's move to Barcelona was devastating for Liverpool after their title push
Luis Suarez's move to Barcelona was devastating for Liverpool after their title push
Mario Balotelli was brought in to replace Suarez's goals but struggled
Mario Balotelli was brought in to replace Suarez's goals but struggled

The departure of Luis Suarez was devastating and Mario Balotelli failed to step up with goals

INCOMINGS

Rickie Lambert

Emre Can

Adam Lallana

Lazar Markovic

Dejan Lovren

Divock Origi

Javer Manquillo

Alberto Moreno

Mario Balotelli

OUTGOINGS

Luis Suarez

Conor Coady

Pepe Reina

Martin Kelly

Jack Robinson

Daniel Agger

Oussama Assaidi

Suso

 

2015: Ins £88.5m - Outs £76.02m = Net spend £12.48m

Suarez's departure weighed heavy on Liverpool and it was made even more obvious when Steven Gerrard, who would leave at the end of the 2014-15 season, finished top scorer in the league for the club with nine goals. 

A sixth place finish summed up the state of play as rivals splashed the cash in a bid to secure European football. 

Gerarrd's departure was the emotional end to the campaign for supporters and it ultimately proved the end for Rodgers, albeit far sooner, as he was relieved of his duties at the start of October following a poor start. 

Jurgen Klopp took the reins and optimism had been restored. Reaching the finals of the League Cup and Europa League suggested change was afoot under the charismatic German and it proved to be the case. 

Steven Gerrard's departure was the moment to note after a raft of underwhelming signings
Steven Gerrard's departure was the moment to note after a raft of underwhelming signings

Steven Gerrard's departure was the moment to note after a raft of underwhelming signings

INCOMINGS

Christian Benteke

Roberto Firmino

Nathaniel Clyne

Joe Gomez

Allan Rodrigues

James Milner

Danny Ings

Adam Bogdan

Marko Grujic 

OUTGOINGS

Raheem Sterling

Fabio Borini

Iago Aspas

Rickie Lambert

Sebastian Coates

Glen Johnson

Steven Gerrard

Brad Jones

Javier Manquillo

2016: Ins £69m - Outs £86.5m = Net spend £17.5m

Klopp, much like his predecessors following their appointments, looked to clear the deadwood from the squad he had inherited. 

Much like Carroll, Christian Benteke had proven a waste of money and was sold and Balotelli lacked the consistency and mentality for a Klopp team.

In came hard-working Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum along with German goalkeeper Loris Karius, after doubts emerged over the long-term suitability of Mignolet. 

Mane brought pace and Klopp's fabled 'gegenpressing' philosophy relied as much on personnel as it did with the application. 

It was unlikely to be a quick fix but the foundations were evident. Klopp was creating a younger, hungrier, fitter and better all-round team.  

Under Jurgen Klopp, the narrative of selling their stars seemed the end almost overnight
Under Jurgen Klopp, the narrative of selling their stars seemed the end almost overnight

Under Jurgen Klopp, the narrative of selling their stars seemed the end almost overnight

INCOMINGS 

Joel Matip

Loris Karius

Sadio Mane

Alex Manninger

Ragnar Klavan

Georginio Wijnaldum

 

 

 

 

 

OUTGOINGS

Joao Teixeira

Jerome Sinclair

Sergi Canos

Jordon Ibe

Martin Srktel

Joe Allen

Brad Smith

Christian Benteke

Luis Alberto

Mario Balotelli

Thiago Ilori

 

2017: Ins £88.9m - Outs £47.25m = Net spend £41.65m

Enthusiasm was building nicely and so was Liverpool's new-look squad under Klopp.

There were to be no big-name departures and the arrival of Mohamed Salah from Roma was promising, even if some remained unconvinced following his time at Chelsea. 

But the Egyptian was a revelation and was the club's best piece of business since Suarez or Coutinho were recruited. 

Untouchable domestically and in Europe, Liverpool needed to keep their man and build a title-winning squad or the ambitions of the club would be thrown into real doubt. 

Everything was falling into place for the biggest assault on the market since FSG took over... 

Mohamed Salah has proven one of the best purchases Liverpool has made in recent years
Mohamed Salah has proven one of the best purchases Liverpool has made in recent years

Mohamed Salah has proven one of the best purchases Liverpool has made in recent years

INCOMINGS 

Mohamed Salah - £39m

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - £35m

Andrew Robertson £8m

Tony Gallacher 

Dom Solanke

OUTGOINGS 

Andre Wisdon 

Lucas Leiva

Kevin Stewart

Mamadou Sakho

Alex Manninger

Cameron Brannagan 

2018: Ins: £252.75m (Including Van Dijk and Keita) - Outs: £145m = Net spend £107.75m

Then we arrive to the present. The most expensive goalkeeper in the world has a liver bird on his chest and as does the most expensive defender. 

Alisson will be well marshalled this season with van Dijk organising his team-mates in front and once again Liverpool look strong challengers for the Premier League title.

The arrivals of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig and Monaco utility man Fabinho help offset the departures of Emre Can (Juventus) and Coutinho (Barcelona). 

Xherdan Shaqiri is a sensible signing to add depth to the attacking trident of Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino. 

And Klopp was right, for the first time in a long time, the club look under no threat to lose their biggest stars and the hottest talents all want to make the move to Anfield. 

The transfer traffic, eight years after the FSG takeover, has certainly changed direction.

Liverpool's sign of intent is clear with the world record £65m signing of goalkeeper Alisson 
Liverpool's sign of intent is clear with the world record £65m signing of goalkeeper Alisson 

Liverpool's sign of intent is clear with the world record £65m signing of goalkeeper Alisson 

INCOMINGS 

Virgil van Dijk - £75m

Alisson - £65m 

Naby Keita £55m

Fabinho £44m

Xherdan Shaqiri £13.75m

OUTGOINGS 

Philippe Coutinho 

Emre Can 

 

 

 

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