Welcome to the Friends of Liverpool Greatest Transfers.
In this series of posts, I will be taking you through the fifteen greatest transfers in Liverpool’s history. From the arrival of legendary players to value for money, I will count them down in the order I think they are worthy. Of course, this is completely subjective and I encourage you to give me grief if you completely disagree with any of the choice I’ve made or if I’ve left anyone out.
I will kick off this series with the honourable mentions; six names that I considered for various reasons but ultimately decided against putting into my top fifteen.
So, without further ado…
Arriving on a Bosman from Bayern Munich, Babbel was without doubt one of Gerard Houllier’s most inspired bits of business at Liverpool. He rejected the chance to join Real Madrid because he had already said he was coming to Anfield which goes to show the class of the human off the pitch while on it, he was incredible.
Highly regarded as one of the fines defenders in Germany, Babbel was a model of consistency throughout the 2000/01 season. He played 60 of the 63 matches as Liverpool won a historic treble and very rarely, if ever, put a foot wrong. That season would prove to be his highlight in England as he was diagnosed with the horrible Guillan-Barre syndrome that took fifteen months of his career.
Irrespective of that though, Babbel was certainly the greatest free transfer that Liverpool may ever have snapped up.
£3.5 million for a model professional and a consistently solid full back? Incredible business. Gerard Houllier’s final season at Liverpool was a bit of a mess but one of the few things that he got right was his purchase of Fulham’s Steve Finnan.
The Irishman would patrol the right wing brilliantly and without fuss in a manner similar to Nathaniel Clyne does today. He was a regular throughout the mid-2000s as Rafael Benitez re-established the club in the upper echelons of European competition before he was eventually ousted by Alvaro Arbeloa. Even still, Finnan’s quiet consistency and modest fee certainly make him worthy of consideration for the greatest transfer.
£33,000 from Scunthorpe. Drink that in as you remember just how good Kevin Keegan was on the pitch. He’s become a bit of a meme thanks to his managerial career but Might Mouse was one heck of a player that really made his name at Liverpool.
That being said, for all of his brilliance at Anfield, he’s never been adored like a Dalglish or Gerrard. There was never that connection quite like other players had. That’s irrelevant for this list as what a player he was. He helped Liverpool move into the 70s successfully and in his final act for the club, ran himself into the ground to bring the European Cup to Merseyside for the first time.
A truly remarkable player who left for Germany in his prime which may just be held over him at Anfield.
An adopted Scouser and beloved German, Didi cost Liverpool £8 million from Newcastle back in 1999 which was a lot. However, the money was worth it as he proved to be a wonderful holding midfielder for the club.
His contribution in Istanbul has been lauded as critical in helping the incredible comeback while his personality and friendliness meant the fans took to him instantly.
He may have cost £18.6 million in total to sign and required some butt kissing towards FIFA to get him signed but it was all worth it in the end. Mascherano had struggled at West Ham but, at Liverpool, he provided the perfect foil for Xabi Alonso in the middle of the park allowing Steven Gerrard to get further forward.
He was so good in his time at Liverpool that Pep Guardiola at the height of his super-Barcelona era wanted him badly and Mascherano was gone after three and a half years at the club. But the memories of his brilliance remain.
Oh what could have been. If Agger was available now as he was back in 2006, he’d be a £20 million player minimum. Amazingly though, Rafa Benitez only paid just under £6 million for one of the classiest and brilliant defenders seen in the modern era at Anfield.
Injuries may have caused him to miss plenty of games but Agger’s love for Liverpool and quality meant that he was always straight into the side. What futher endeared Agger to the fans though was his loyalty to Liverpool, treating it as a second home and only leaving the club for Brondby.
Those six are the honourable mentions so just who will make the full list? Well, stay tuned for next week’s where the first name will be revealed. Hint – he’s Scottish.