As the dawn of a new decade approaches, one in which Liverpool fans hope their resurgence to the summit of Premier League and European competition will continue, it’s time to look back at the ten best signings of the 2010s.
10. Joel Matip
Free transfer from FC Schalke on 1 July 2016
When Liverpool announced a precontract agreement to sign Joel Matip from FC Schalke six months before his debut they knew they were picking up an experienced defender with a knack for scoring the occasional goal. What they didn’t realise was how vital a role the Cameroon international would play in forming a backline as good as the Reds have seen in recent memory.
Matip is deceptively solid and reliable given his lengthy gazelle-like stride. He possesses quality on the ball, is never shy of bursting forward to start attacks and his 193-centimetre frame provides a hefty challenge for adversaries to bypass. Furthermore, he didn’t play in a single Premier League loss in 2018-19, winning 17 matches and drawing five, and helped propel the Reds to their best defensive record in the modern era.
Being a Champions League winner doesn’t hurt his case either, and based on the fact that he was picked up on a Bosman he is easily the second-best central defender Liverpool have signed this decade.
9. Andy Robertson
£8 million (A$15 million) from Hull City on 21 July 2017
Continuing on with members of Liverpool’s current defence is left-back Andy Robertson. Dismissed at under-15 level by Celtic for being “too small”, the Scotsman has played a huge role in what we now see as a fully fledged Jurgen Klopp-moulded Liverpool outfit.
Andy Robertson’s pinpoint crossing accuracy and industrious attitude have seen him nail down the left-back position, erasing the ghosts of the likes of Andrea Dossena, Paul Konchesky and, more recently, Alberto Moreno in what was once a serious problem position for Liverpool.
Like Joel Matip, Andy Robertson has Champions League and UEFA Super Cup titles on his resume. His addition was yet another shrewd piece of business from the Liverpool board, especially since he was signed immediately following Premier League relegation with Hull City.
8. Jordan Henderson
£16 million (A$30 million) from Sunderland on 9 June 2011
You’ll do well to find anyone who believed in Jordan Henderson around the time of his signing in 2011. A player arriving amidst a heavy phase of club turbulence, Henderson could have easily drowned in the sea of negativity from fans and pundits alike. His output on the field did little to deter the perception, while a £16 million ($30 million) price tag – considerably lofty at the time – meant mounting pressure with each match.
However, he never threw in the towel. He was given the option to join Fulham in 2012 but declined, deciding to fight for his place. And fight he did – all the way to becoming captain at Liverpool, taking the armband from legendary club icon Steven Gerrard, a decision ultimately based on merit.
Henderson is far from spectacular but his resilience, professionalism and longevity with Liverpool simply cannot be denied. The image of him hoisting the historic Champions League trophy as captain of the club makes for a redemption arc as good as anything you’ll find from fiction, and there could yet be more to add.
7. Daniel Sturridge
£12 million (A$23 million) from Chelsea on 2 January 2013
Daniel Sturridge wasted no time adjusting to life at Liverpool, scoring seven minutes into his debut in the FA Cup before notching his first Premier League goal for the Reds at Old Trafford. The goals kept flowing, and he finished the season with 11 strikes in just 16 appearances. The following season would produce some truly magical moments.
The England international led the charge for the Premier League title in the 2013-14 season alongside Luis Suarez and a young Raheem Sterling. Sturridge amassed an impressive 24 goals from 33 appearances, pushing Liverpool as close as they’ve come to Premier League glory since 1990 before falling heartbreakingly short.
There’s a bittersweet feel to Daniel Sturridge’s time at Liverpool when you consider what followed: numerous injury disruptions, a loan spell at West Brom and virtually permanent second-fiddle role under Jurgen Klopp. He could have easily featured much higher on this list without the recurring injuries that thwarted his career.
6. Philippe Coutinho
£8.5 million (A$16 million) from Inter Milan on 30 January 2013
Immediately given the No. 10 shirt at Liverpool, Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho arrived at Anfield on the back of high praise from the likes of Rafael Benitez and Mauricio Pochettino.
The praise was quickly justified with bright performances, dazzling the opposition with quick feet and stunning long-range shooting abilities. There’s no doubt that during many stages of his Liverpool career Philippe Coutinho was the biggest threat on the park for the Reds.
Unfortunately Barcelona came calling in 2018 and signed Coutinho just as he appeared to be entering his prime years. Liverpool were swift yet calculated in their reinvesting approach of Coutinho’s remarkable transfer fee, while the former Red interestingly flattered to deceive in Spain and now plies his trade in Germany with Bayern Munich.