Liverpool have never been scared to spend money on top players in the transfer market. At the same time, unlike some of Liverpool’s contemporaries, they have not been afraid to sell top players over the years for large sums of money to help rebuild the playing squad.
Over the last 20 years, Liverpool were forced to sell several top players. Some of those former Reds went on to great success with their new teams. While some succeeded, others failed to live up to their sale prices. Here, we take a look at Liverpool’s 5 most expensive transfer sales.
5. Xabi Alonso, £31.05 million
Midfielder Xabi Alonso was a major player in Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League win and 2006 FA Cup trophy victory. In 2009, Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez decided it was time to sell Alonso with Gareth Barry rumoured as the Spaniard’s replacement. Real Madrid paid £31.05m for Alonso. The midfielder went on to win a number of trophies with Real Madrid and later on, Bayern Munich.
4. Fernando Torres, £52.65 million
After a massive decline in form and several injuries, striker Fernando Torres went from hero to zero at Anfield when he asked to leave the club in January 2011. Chelsea paid more than £52m for the Spaniard, who had been out of form for some time before the departure. Torres scored 81 goals in 142 matches for Liverpool. He went on to score just 45 goals in 172 games for Chelsea.
3. Raheem Sterling, £57.33 million
Raheem Sterling would still be a significant part of Liverpool’s first XI had he stayed at Liverpool. The Reds cashed in on Sterling in 2015 and used the funds made from the winger’s sale to rebuild the squad. At the time, few fans would have thought Liverpool would battle Manchester City over the last few seasons for the Premier League title, domestic cups, and European trophies.
2. Luis Suarez, £73.55 million
Luis Suarez arrived in 2011 from Ajax after the departure of Torres. The fiery forward scored 82 goals in 133 games for the Anfielders. Suarez was a double threat as he could create goals and score them in equal measure. The Uruguayan tallied 46 assists at Anfield. Unfortunately, several on-field issues which included allegedly racially abusing Patrice Evra and biting Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup caused many supporters to turn against Suarez. The forward was sold in 2014 to Barcelona. He joined Atletico Madrid in 2020. Rumours claim Liverpool want to bring the striker back to Anfield, but those are simply stories.
1. Philippe Coutinho, £121.50 million
The sale of Philippe Coutinho was one of the best transfers Liverpool have ever made. Despite Coutinho being a major part of the Liverpool first XI, his transfer to Barcelona allowed Liverpool to strengthen the squad. Liverpool followed up Coutinho’s sale by winning the Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League title the season after. Coutinho left in 2017 and Liverpool have not looked back, despite consistent stories of the Reds wanting to bring him back to the club. Unfortunately for Coutinho, since leaving Anfield, his play has not reached the same level as during his time at Anfield.