Transfer guru Michael Edwards five best and worst Liverpool signings ranked

Liverpool have confirmed that sporting director Michael Edwards will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

Edwards has been a key man behind the scenes and played a vital role in building the team that would go on to win the Champions League and the Premier League.

Ever since being appointed sporting director in November 2016, Edwards has worked closely with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and in that time the club has signed a handful of players who will no doubt go on to become club legends – if they haven't done already.

But they haven't all been great signings.

So as rumours of a move to Newcastle United continue to circulate, we take a look back at Edwards' five best and five worst signings for Liverpool.

Starting with the worst…

5 – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

This is perhaps a little unfair on the former Arsenal and Southampton man, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain makes the list because his unfortunate injury record.

While 'the ox' made a bright start to his career at Liverpool, the knee injury he suffered in the 2018 Champions League semi-final against Roma sidelined him for an entire year.

He lost all his rhythm – as well his first-team spot to Fabinho – and has been nothing more than an impact sub ever since.

And while he's won plenty of silverware at Anfield, it's beginning to feel like Arsenal did very well to get £35m for him, which is a lot of money for a squad player.

Who do you think is Liverpool's greatest ever Premier League signing? Let us know in the comments section below…

4 – Takumi Minamino

Speaking of squad players, Takumi Minamino's Liverpool career has never really managed to get going.

Signed from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2020, Minamino arrived at Anfield with a lot of promise, but unseating Mo Salah or Sadio Mane in the first team was never going to be an easy task.

After showcasing very little of his supposed ability, and falling down the pecking order following the arrival of Diogo Jota, the Japan international was loaned out to Southampton last season where – aside from scoring on his debut – he spent a largely forgettable few months.

3 – Naby Keita

Time is running out for Naby Keita to prove his worth at Liverpool.

Despite becoming the Reds most expensive midfielder after signing for a whopping £52m, the Guinea internatonal has largely failed to establish himself in the first team.

Gini Wijnaldum's summer move to PSG has freed up a midfield spot, and the 26-year-old is finally playing regularly, but is yet to truly warrant the mammoth fee Liverpool payed for him.

The jury is definitely still out, but Keita is well into his fourth season at the club, and hasn't come close to living up to the hype yet.

2 – Thiago Alcantara

Speaking of failing to live up to the hype, Thiago Alcantara's arrival at Anfield mere weeks after Klopp's side secured the Premier League title must have sent shivers down the spine of every opposition fan in the division.

But despite the Spaniard's impressive history with both Barcelona and Bayern Munich, he's struggled to stand out in Klopp's high-energy, quick-transition midfield and critics argue that, as a methodical, technically gifted passer, Thiago simply doesn't fit.

Liverpool may have only payed £20m for him, but what they bought was a truly top-class playmaker in his prime. Sadly for Reds fans, after 18 months he's been anything but.

1 – Loris Karius

Poor old Loris Karius. His career will forever be defined by one match, no matter what he does.

In truth, the German was never good enough to be Liverpool's long-term number one goalkeeper, but managed to find himself between the sticks for the biggest game in club football, the Champions League final, in 2018.

Liverpool were beaten 3-1 by Real Madrid and Karius was comically at fault for two goals.

He threw the ball onto the outstretched leg of Karim Benzema for Madrid's opener, then bungled a tame long-distance shot by Gareth Bale into his own net for the third.

Images of Karius weeping and apologising to the supporters after the game are still heart-wrenching, but the fact of the matter is his mistakes cost Liverpool when it mattered most, and he never played for the club again.

And now for the best…

5 – Joel Matip

He might not be the biggest name on the team-sheet, or the most glamourous player, but the value for money Liverpool got for Joel Matip cannot be understated.

After arriving on a free transfer from Schalke in 2016, Matip has developed into one of the most consistent centre-backs in the Premier League.

Virgil van Dijk will naturally get most of the plaudits at the back, but it takes more than one great defender to build a title-winning team.

Injuries have plagued the Cameroon international for the last couple of years, but he remains one of Klopp's most reliable soldiers, and one of the most underrated players in England.

4 – Andy Robertson

Eyebrows were raised when Liverpool signed a recently relegated young left-back from Hull City to form a central part of their title push, but it didn't take long before Andy Robertson was one of the first names on the team-sheet.

Together with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Robertson has almost reinvented what it is to be a fullback. His crossing ability, as well as his pace and energy down the flank have turned the Scot into one of Liverpool's biggest attacking assets.

Arguably one of the very best in the world in his position, Robertson has made the £8m Liverpool paid for him in 2017 look like one of the bargains of the decade.

3 – Alisson Becker

Alisson Becker's importance to Liverpool's recent success cannot overestimated. The Reds paid a hefty fee for his services in 2018 (£66m), but they got exactly what they paid for – one of the world's finest goalkeepers.

Not only is a world-class keeper absolutely vital for any title push, it also plugged a gap Liverpool have struggled to properly plug since Bruce Grobbelaar left in 1994.

Pepe Reina may have had his moments, but Alisson is the first genuinely top-quality stopper Liverpool have had in the Premier League, and lo and behold, they won the title for the first time in the Brazilian's second season.

2 – Mohamed Salah

The Egyptian is arguably in the form of his life right now, which is saying something.

Signed for what looks now like a measly fee of just £37m, Mo Salah has become one of the Premier League's most prolific goalscorers and has undoubtedly etched his name into the Liverpool history books.

At the time of writing, Salah has scored 140 goals for the Reds and has bagged 15 in 14 games so far this season.

He'll easily go down as one of Liverpool's greatest ever players, and he's still only 29. How he failed to make the cut at Chelsea is anyone's guess.

1 – Virgil van Dijk

While Salah could have easily taken top spot, the signing that truly turned Liverpool into world-beaters was that of Virgil van Dijk.

The giant Dutchman immediately shored up Klopp's leaky defence after arriving in January 2018 for an eye-watering £75m from Southampton.

Rival fans mocked the size of the fee, but they wouldn't be laughing for long. 18 months later van Dijk had a Champions League winner's medal and a PFA Player of the Year award to show off.

His leadership, reading of the game, commanding presence and ability on the ball have proved to be worth their weight in gold, and the defender's arrival was the first proper signal that Liverpool were no longer content with a top-four spot. They were coming for the Premier League title, and nothing was going to stop them.

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