Liverpool have had one of the best recruitment strategies in recent memory.
When you look at how much they have spent year-on-year at a net profit, it’s remarkable that they have achieved so much, especially when competing against heavy spenders such as Chelsea, Manchester City, and Manchester United.
Compared to the likes of Erik ten Hag at the Red Devils, Jurgen Klopp never had a huge hand in buying and selling for the Reds, but during his tenure, there have still been some massive flops.
Including loans and free agents, Liverpool have bought in 140 new names since the German took over in 2015.
Here FootballTransfers goes through the five worst under him.
Arthur Melo – €4.5M loan plus €37.5M option to buy from Juventus
In the summer of 2022, Liverpool announced the loan signing of Arthur. The midfielder came in on an initial loan plus an option to buy to fill in the centre of the park. The Reds were lacking in that area and needed fresh legs to come in and bolster their season. Arthur made his first and only appearance in a 4–1 Champions League defeat to Napoli in September.
He was subsequently hampered by injury and never came onto the pitch again for Liverpool. In total for the Premier League giants, the Brazilian played just 13 minutes of football. It’s safe to say that Liverpool did not activate the option to buy at the end of his deal. He currently plays for Fiorentina on loan from Juventus.
Naby Keita- €60M from RB Leipzig
Keita joined Liverpool from RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga, agreeing to make the move in 2017 but formally starting his time at Anfield the following year. In the Bundesliga, he had garnered a reputation as a dynamic and box-to-box midfielder and big things were expected to come from him.
But Keita’s time at Liverpool has been characterised by a mix of performances. He showed glimpses of his former self but injuries hindered his consistency on the field. Keita struggled to hold down a place in the starting XI for the most part, making 129 appearances in all competitions, netting 11 goals in that time.
At the end of his contract last June, he made the return to Germany – with Werder Bremen announcing that Keita would join the club as a free agent.
Ben Davies – €1.29M from Preston North End
In February 2021, Liverpool officially unveiled defender Ben Davies who signed from Championship outfit Preston North End. The decision to secure a defender arose from the Reds’ setbacks in losing key players, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joel Matip, out with injuries.
Davies stated at the time: “I want to come in and play games to start with. I want to get my foot in the door and make myself a Premier League player rather than a Championship player. And then take it from there really… I’m sure a lot of fans and people don’t know [me], or haven’t seen me play.”
But Davies did not make a competitive appearance for the club, as the central defensive partnership of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams took centre stage.
It was a move that did not amount to much – and arguably Liverpool really could have looked elsewhere.
Loris Karius -€6.2M from Mainz
Loris Karius joined Liverpool from Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga, with high expectations for him to solidify Liverpool’s goalkeeping position. The German initially faced competition from Simon Mignolet for the starting goalkeeper role, someone whose form has been questioned a lot of times.
Karius was solid for the Reds, showing moments of promise, however, his tenure at the club is often overshadowed by a high-profile error in the Champions League final against Real Madrid. In that match, Karius made two crucial mistakes, leading to goals for Real Madrid. He was seen in tears after the match.
Following that season, Liverpool signed Alisson Becker from AS Roma and Karius never played for the club again.
He currently plays as a backup goalkeeper for Newcastle.
Ozan Kabak – loan plus €31M option to buy from Schalke
In 2021, Kabak joined Liverpool on loan for the remainder of the 2020–21 season. The Turkish centre-back marked his debut for Klopp’s side in a Premier League match against Leicester City, a 1–3 away defeat. He made 13 appearances in total for Liverpool but failed to impress as the club opted not to activate the clause in his deal.
He joined Norwich City on loan soon after but now plays for Hoffenheim.