After a £117 million blunder, Luis Suarez pushed Liverpool to reconsider their transfer strategy.
Luis Suarez was transferred to Barcelona for a club record cost of £75 million seven years ago today.
The Uruguayan attacker made a total of 133 games with Liverpool, scoring 82 goals and providing 29 assists.
He was the ‘Lovable Rogue’ of Anfield; Reds fans adored him, while opposing fans despised him. That’s how it went down.
Given this, Liverpool fans were understandably upset when he left the club. It didn’t help that they knew relocating to Barcelona had been Suarez’s longtime goal, but that didn’t make it any easier.
While his move to Barcelona in July 2014 was disappointing for then-manager Brendan Rodgers because the Reds had lost a player who had almost single-handedly won them the title the previous season, it did have a significant impact on how much money the club could look to reinvest in the playing squad.
The issue was that Liverpool chose quantity over quality when replacing Suarez.
It was clear that replacing a player who had recently scored 31 goals and assisted 19 in just 37 games would be difficult – but the Reds got it wrong and will pay the price for years to come.
Rickie Lambert (£4m), Emre Can (£10m), Adam Lallana (£25m), Lazar Markovic (£20m), Dejan Lovren (£20m), Divock Origi (£10m), Javier Manquillo (Loan), Alberto Moreno (£12m), and Mario Balotelli (£16m) were among the players who cost Liverpool £117 million.
Lallana, Lovren, and Origi – all Champions League and Premier League champions with Liverpool – have all repaid their transfer fees.
Even with the three players named, as well as Can and Lambert to some extent, Liverpool’s problem was that they had spent their entire transfer budget and still failed to sign the most desperate of buys – a true Luis Suarez replacement.
At the time, spending £16 million for Balotelli was considered risky. Despite the fact that the Italian had scored 18 goals in 41 games for AC Milan the season before his debut at Anfield, he would never be able to fill the void left by Suarez.
To say the least, the post-Suarez season was a letdown. The Reds came in sixth place overall. The summary comes to a close.