Liverpool can use the £16.5 million double swoop as a learning experience as they rethink their transfer approach.
Every summer, the focus is on which players move for the highest transfer amounts, which is understandable given the increased expectations placed on them.
While exact figures are difficult to come by due to some deals being kept under wraps and others being subject to add-ons based on the deal’s performance, it’s safe to assume Liverpool’s signing of Fernando Torres was one of the most costly in the Premier League in 2007.
His transfer paid off right away, as he scored 24 Premier League goals in his first season in England, the most ever scored by a foreign import.
However, a club’s transfer business is about more than just one player, even if he is the most expensive in a given window. The squad’s less-heralded additions can also make significant contributions and are critical to raising the team’s overall standard.
This week marks the tenth anniversary of two more transfers made by Liverpool in the summer of 2007, as they attempted to rebound from their Champions League final defeat with a stronger league season.
And what’s interesting about the two players in question, Ryan Babel and Yossi Benayoun, is that on the surface, their careers with the Reds were extremely similar.
Babel appeared in 146 games for the club, scoring 22 goals and assisting on 15 others (according to LFCHistory), while Benayoun scored 29 goals and assisted on 20 others in 134 games.
However, most Kopites would agree that the former was a cult figure during his time with the Reds, while the latter was a disappointment.
Simple goal and assist statistics, on the other hand, can only tell us so much. Benayoun scored three hat-tricks for Liverpool, including one in the Champions League against Besiktas, which set a new competition record of 8-0.
The Israel international also scored the game-winning goal against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final. His stoppage time victory at Craven Cottage in April 2009 was perhaps the most memorable of all, since it kept Liverpool’s title challenge alive.
In each of his three seasons on Merseyside, he made at least 42 appearances, hence he was a. The summary comes to a close.