Deadline Day Dreams and Disasters: Looking at the Best and Worst of Liverpool’s Late Transfer Business

Despite the close of the Premier League transfer window over twenty days ago, I thought it’d be interesting to look at the Reds successes and failures of transfer windows gone by.

Jerzy Dudek – 2001

What better way to start than with a member of the squad from that famous night in Istanbul. Jerzy Dudek arrived for a fee of £4.8m from Dutch side Feyenoord on deadline day, along with fellow shot stopper Chris Kirkland who arrived from Coventry City. It was Dudek though who’d go on to become a Kop hero. In his first season at Anfield, he managed to rack up 29 clean sheets in 49 appearances across all competitions. His last fixture as Liverpool’s number one will probably go down as his most memorable. After trailing 3-0 at half-time, Rafa Benitez’s side managed to bring it back level before Dudek saved an Andriy Shevchenko penalty to win the Reds their fifth European Cup. The Polish ‘keeper would go on to move to Real Madrid in 2007 after Pepe Reina was brought in to replace him as first choice.

Final Verdict: SUCCESS

Javier Mascherano – 2007

This transfer certainly came with plenty of controversy. After trying to sign the Argentinian on loan two weeks before the close of the January window, FIFA finally approved the deal on deadline day leaving the club just hours to register him before midnight. The move didn’t become fully official until the 20th February after the Premier League investigated whether it was completed in time, which it was. An impressive first year at the club, which saw him voted as the Liverpool fan’s man of the match in the Champions League final, led to the club signing Mascherano permanently on the 29th February 2008. He certainly wasn’t the most glamourous of players, but he’s the type of player most clubs need and certainly one the Reds have been lacking for the last ten years or so. In the summer of 2010, it was reported that Barcelona wanted the defensive midfielder. This led to him telling Liverpool that he wished to leave the club, and on the 27th of August his wish was granted when he completed a move to the Camp Nou for £22m.

Final Verdict: SUCCESS

Paul Konchesky – 2010

Where do we even start with this one? Konchesky signed for the Reds on the deadline of the summer window in a deal worth £3.5m from Fulham. The transfer saw him link up with his former manager and newly appointed Liverpool boss, Roy Hodgson. Once Hodgson was sacked though, it was all over for the ex-West Ham full-back. After just one season at the club which saw him make 18 appearances, Konchesky completed a £1.5m move to Championship side Leicester City.

Final Verdict: FAILURE

Andy Carroll – 2011

This transfer will forever be seen as one of the biggest failures in Premier League history. Kenny Dalglish and the board splashed out £35m to acquire the services of the big Newcastle United forward, meaning he then became the most expensive British player in history. In an opening couple of the months at the club hindered by injuries, he scored his first goals in a 3-0 victory over Manchester City in April.

Although his few years at Anfield were blighted with a recurring knee problem, his highlight came in 2012 on the 14th April. In an FA Cup semi-final against fierce rivals Everton, Carroll rose highest to net an 87th minute winner to send Liverpool through to the final. The Gateshead-born man would also go on to net in that final, however it only proved to be a consolation as the Reds lost 2-1 against Chelsea. The appointment of Brendan Rodgers as manager the following summer saw Andy Carroll shipped out on loan to West Ham United as it was made clear that he would not be a part of the manager’s future plans. He scored 7 goals in 24 games at Upton Park before the Hammers made the transfer permanent a year later. Liverpool took a hefty loss of £20m.

Final Verdict: FAILURE

Luis Suárez – 2011

Although the Carroll transfer may have disappointed, this one more than certainly made up for it. The £50m loss of Fernando Torres to Chelsea saw the club splash the money on not only Andy Carroll, but £22m of it went to Ajax for the signature of Luis Suárez. The Uruguayan made an instant impact, coming off the bench to score on his debut against Stoke City in a 2-0 victory. His first six months at the club saw him score 4 goals in 13 appearances whilst also racking up 5 assists, and he more than covered the blow of Torres’ departure.

The next two years saw El Pistolero net 47 times in 83 games as he helped the club win the League Cup, the club’s first trophy in six years. The 2013/14 would not only be his final season at Anfield, but it would also be his best. After forming a deadly and destructive partnership with Daniel Sturridge, Suarez netted 31 times in 37 appearances across all competitions as Brendan Rodgers’ side came the closest they ever have to lifting a Premier League trophy. The summer saw him earn a deserved move to Barcelona for a fee of £75m. His two-and-a-half-years saw him score 82 times in 133 appearances.

Final Verdict: Does it really need clarifying? SUCCESS

Mamadou Sakho – 2013

The PSG man was brought in on deadline day in the hopes of fixing a Liverpool defence that had shipped 43 goals the season before, just two less than Stoke City. Sakho was out of favour at the French club following the arrivals of Diego Lugano and Marquinhos, so Liverpool took advantage and splashed a reported £17m on the defender. His first two seasons at the club saw him make just 29 appearances, mainly due to injury and Brendan Rodgers’ preference of playing Dejan Lovren and Martin Škrtel ahead of him.

The arrival of Jürgen Klopp saw Sakho get his chance as a regular starter playing for what he called the ‘Liverpool country’. The Frenchman’s defensive heroics saw him help the club reach a Europa League final. However, a UEFA investigation for a failed drugs test prevented him from playing in the final that the Reds lost 3-1 against Sevilla. A bust up with Klopp the following summer saw Sakho’s Liverpool career pretty much put to bed, and he ended up joining Crystal Palace on loan on the 1st of February 2017. After helping them survive relegation, the Eagles splashed out a huge £26m on the defender which would see him join permanently.

Final Verdict: BIT OF BOTH

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 2017

When Liverpool beat Chelsea to the signature of the Arsenal midfielder, many questioned the £35m move especially considering he only had a year left on his contract at the Emirates. Are there many people questioning it now? Probably not as many as there were back then. The England midfielder contributed to 12 goals in his maiden season, which isn’t bad considering he only started 18 games. Oxlade-Chamberlain become a regular in the Reds starting eleven in the second half of the season and was pivotal in helping the club reach the Champions League final and also securing a top four finish.

It went under the radar but Jürgen Klopp actually put his trust in the ex-Southampton man to fill in for Philippe Coutinho once he departed for Barcelona, and he showed exactly why the manager was correct to put his faith in him. A serious knee injury dealt blow to his World Cup hopes and it’s now looking likely that he won’t feature this campaign. However there’s no doubt that once he returns, he will once again play a massive part in this Liverpool team.

Final Verdict: ON HIS WAY TO BECOMING A SUCCESS

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