Liverpool’s best January signings – ranked
Liverpool have been involved in some of the biggest January transfers ever, and while many of them have been sales, they’ve splashed the cash in the winter window too.
Doing so, as they’ve just done to bring in Cody Gakpo, is always risky business given how inflated the fees tend to be – lest we forger what they paid for one Andy Carroll – but it’s been a risk worth taking for them on a number of occasions.
Here’s who we think have been Liverpool’s five best January signings ever.
£17.6m – what Liverpool spent to sign Mascherano permanently following a season-long loan – was a lot of money back in 2008, but the midfielder proved to be worth every penny.
He was a big reason why Liverpool were finally able to challenge for the league title again in 2008/09, forming an excellent partnership with Xabi Alonso.
Things went downhill when the Spaniard left and wasn’t adequately replaced, but the Argentina remained an important player for the club, establishing himself as one of the best in the world before leaving for Barcelona after 139 matches.
There wasn’t too much excitement when Liverpool signed a 22-year-old defender from Brondby to say the least, but it would turn out to be an excellent purchase.
Agger went on to spend eight years at the club, being one of the best defenders around when fit and in form. Even with injuries hindering him, he played over 200 matches before leaving as a fan favourite.
In his time there, he played a big part in their run to the 2007 Champions League final and their Premier League title challenge in 2008/09. Oh, and he scored an absolute worldie that ensured the streets will never forget him.
Football is a business as well as a sport, and in terms of the former area, signings don’t come better than this one.
Coutinho was signed from Inter for just £8.5m in 2013 and would leave for Barcelona five years later for a fee that eventually amounted to £142m, meaning he made Liverpool a whopping £133.5m profit.
That’s because he was excellent on the pitch during his time there, getting 54 goals and 43 assists in 201 games, with many of those goals being stunners.
Whichever way you look at it, this was a top signing.
Liverpool lost a top striker in January of 2011 when Fernando Torres left for Chelsea, but they signed an even better one during the same week.
Suarez bagged 82 goals in 133 games, with his 2013/14 campaign being one of the best that English football has ever seen. In that season, he scored 31 times and so nearly led the club to their first ever Premier League title with some quite frankly ridiculous goals and performances.
His time in England and the legacy he left behind was somewhat tarnished by controversies, but there’s no doubt that he’s one of the best players to ever play for the club.
Given what Suarez was able to achieve in some really poor Liverpool sides, it’s scary to imagine just how good he’d have been if he played alongside better teammates.
You’ve got to be quite the player to be ahead of Luis Suarez on this list, and Virgil van Dijk is exactly that.
Since joining from Southampton for £75m at the start of 2018, the Dutchman has become one of the best centre-backs the Premier League has ever seen and played a huge part in the club’s improved fortunes.
It’s not a coincidence that they’ve won the Champions League and Premier League since he was signed, with van Dijk arguably being their most important player in both triumphs.
He’s already a true Liverpool legend, and he’s got a fair few years left in him yet too.
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Tottenham director Fabio Paratici banned from football worldwide by FIFA
Tottenham managing director of football Fabio Paratici has been banned from football worldwide after FIFA extended the punishment imposed in Italy following his involvement in Juventus’ penalised accounting practices.
In January, the Italian giants suffered a shock 15-point deduction after the club was deemed to have inflated player transfer values in swap deals among other financial offences.
Paratici joined the Juventus hierarchy in 2010 and was the club’s sporting director between November 2018 and the summer of 2021, before he took up a similar role at Tottenham. The investigation into Juve’s accounts scrutinised transactions between 2019 and 2021 – when Paratici was at the heart of the club’s dealings.
At the start of the year, Paratici was one of several former Juventus board members that were banned from football following the conclusion of the investigation by the Italian Football Federation. Initially, Paratici was handed a 30-month ban from just Italian football, although the threat of extending the scope of that punishment internationally always loomed.
On Wednesday, FIFA released a statement confirming that they had indeed taken up that option, extending the ban handed out to Paratici and the other Juventus board members – including former owner Andrea Agnelli – worldwide.
The statement read: “FIFA can confirm that following a request by the Italian FA (FIGC), the chairperson of FIFA disciplinary committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by FIGC on several football officials to have worldwide effect.”
Paratici was due to be in court this week for a a preliminary committal hearing regarding a portion of the charges levelled at Juve, but the date for those proceedings have been shunted back to 10 May. Juve appealed their 15-point penalty – which the prosecution only recommended as a nine-point punishment – and will hear the ruling of which on 19 April.
On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss Julian Nagelsmann’s future and links to the vacant Tottenham head coach role, Barcelona’s ambition to bring Lionel Messi ‘home’, Brighton teenager Evan Ferguson, Florian Wirtz, Kalvin Phillips and more!
If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!
Sir Alex Ferguson & Arsene Wenger inducted into Premier League Hall of Fame
Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have become the first managers to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The duo won 16 Premier League titles between them across respective long-term spells with Manchester United and Arsenal.
With 13 of those championships, Ferguson is the most decorated manager in the history of the competition. He is the only coach to have won the Premier League three times in a row, doing so on two different occasions.
Ferguson said: “I’m truly delighted to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. It’s an honour when you receive recognition like this. However, it’s not just about me as a person. It’s about the job at Manchester United and the bond we had over many years, so I’m also proud for the club, the staff and my players.
“My job was to send the fans home happy. United’s history and my own expectations were the things that drove me, and I then had to try and develop all my players with the same expectations and make sure we could go out and achieve them.
“I feel Arsene is a very worthy inductee as he transformed Arsenal Football Club fantastically. They became a tough team to compete with and we both wanted to win, which motivated us further. Through the years since retirement, we’d go for dinner together in a little restaurant he knows well in Switzerland. He is a really interesting man and I enjoy his company, but it is still my job to pick the wine!”
Wenger arrived in England in 1996 as one of the Premier League’s first foreign coaches, and quickly proved sceptics wrong, transforming Arsenal into title winners and changing English football’s culture with his scouting and dietary expertise.
The Frenchman won three Premier League titles with Arsenal, including an unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ season in 2003/04.
Wenger said: “I am very grateful to have been selected for the Premier League Hall of Fame. We always wanted to give something special to the fans and when you have players capable of remarkable things, the most important thing for me is the obligation of perfection.
“I’d like to be known as someone who loved Arsenal, who respected the values of the club and left it in a position where it can grow and become even bigger.
“To share this with Sir Alex is a great honour for me. It’s like two boxers, you fight like mad and go the distance together. At the end of the day, you have respect and it will be a great opportunity to meet with him, share a good bottle of wine and memories of our old battles.”
In addition to Ferguson and Wenger, there are 16 other inductees in the Premier League Hall of Fame.
Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry were the first two people inducted when the Hall of Fame was created in 2021. They were followed later that year by Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Dennis Bergkamp, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham.
In 2022, Wayne Rooney, Patrick Vieira, Sergio Aguero, Didier Drogba, Vincent Kompany, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes and Ian Wright were inducted.
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