Liverpool signed six new players this summer, bringing in players to start or compete at centre half, midfield, the wing, and in goal. Thanks for a few bargains and a more than a few outgoings, though, they didn’t pay a great deal for it—when everything was said and done, Liverpool actually ended the transfer window with a net profit.
With everything sorted and settled, we step back to look at who arrived and who departed. By the numbers…
Joël Matip - Centre Half, Schalke (Free)
Loris Karius - Goalkeeper, FSV Mainz (£4.7M)
Sadio Mané - Attacker, Southampton (£34M)
Ragnar Klavan - Centre Half, Augsburg (£4.2M)
Georginio Wijnaldum - Midfielder, Newcastle United (£25M)
Alex Manninger - Goalkeeper, Augsburg (Free)
With a pre-contract agreed with Joël Matip in the spring, Liverpool moved quickly to sign Karius and Mané when the window opened. Together, the three players gave the club a new starting goalkeeper, centre half, and winger for less than £40M—a bargain given the players’ quality and the current market. It was decisive, but it was also shrewd, as fair market value for the trio would have likely seen the club pay nearer £80-90M.
Along with the arrival of January signing Marko Grujic, Liverpool got the bulk of their dealing done early, and Jürgen Klopp then went about adding depth. Klavan replaced the outgoing Kolo Toure, Manninger became the club’s third goalkeeper, and Gini Wijnaldum arrived to compete for midfield minutes with Jordan Henderson while bringing the positional flexibility to cover half the positions on the pitch.
Jerome Sinclair - Attacker, Watford (£4M)
Lawrence Vigouroux - Goalkeeper, Swindon Town (£360k)
Joao Carlos Teixeira - Attacker, Porto (£250k)
Sergi Canos - Attacker, Norwich City (£2.5M)
Jordon Ibe - Attacker, Bournemouth (£15M)
Martin Skrtel - Centre Half, Fenerbahce (£5.5M)
Brad Smith - Left Back, Bournemouth (£6M)
Joe Allen - Midfielder, Stoke City (£13M)
Christian Benteke - Striker, Crystal Palace (£32M)
Mario Balotelli - Striker, Nice (Free)
Liverpool started the summer by agreeing transfer compensation for Jerome Sinclair, whose contract had expired. They followed that up by agreeing a series of deals for youngsters that included buy-back and sell-on clauses. Canos, Ibe, and Smith have all left the club—and for nearly £25M between them—but if they excel there’s a chance they could return.
Some fans have grumbled about the club ending up with a positive net spend—one that could shift by around £5M either way depending on how some of the add-ons in this summer’s transfers play out—but much of that is down to the smart business the club did bringing in their three marquee signings. Three marquee signings who are worth a combined £80-90M but who the club only paid around £40M for.
Shrewd business shouldn’t be seen as a negative, and by all accounts Jürgen Klopp had been given a £70M budget by owners FSG. The money was there if the manager saw a target that he liked. Either he didn’t see targets he liked beyond the ones he brought in, or he did but they couldn’t be convinced to make the switch. Either way, Liverpool’s manager made it clear he wasn’t interested in making change for its own sake. Now we’ll just have to wait and see if that was the right call to make.