Liverpool’s record with large transfers has been the envy of almost all clubs in recent years.
Diogo Jota is just the latest Anfield success story. He has already scored nine goals in red despite only making eight starts for the club.
His record is reminiscent of Mohamed Salah’s fabulous debut season with Liverpool in which he scored 44 goals. Nevertheless, Jota finds the network even more than the Egyptian in 2017/18.
Between signing this deadly striker, the Reds have also won arguably the best goalkeeper and center-back in the world, while other less-announced transfers like Andy Robertson and Fabinho have given Jürgen Klopp’s starting eleven even more world-class abilities.
But even a team as smart as Liverpool in the transfer market has made its mistakes. This can often be due to reasons beyond their control – including injury leaders – but it can also prove difficult giving signings the minutes it takes to get used to football life in England.
For example, the club waited 12 months to make sure they could sign Naby Keita, but the Guinean was rarely able to maintain a long run on the team. He’s shown what he was capable of, and while he’s not a transfer flop, it would also be wrong to call him an unconditional success at this point.
From the perspective of Michael Edwards’ time in the hot seat, it may be more interesting to look at the players who both failed and failed to show their skills at Anfield.
Take Iago Aspas, who is considered a meme rather than a former red in England these days. When someone takes a spectacularly bad turn, you can be sure that the Spaniard’s name is trending on Twitter before you know it thanks to one he suffered in the infamous 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in 2014.
Nevertheless, he has proven time and again in his home country that he is much more than the bum of lame jokes about corners. As OptaJose foundAspas had nine chances in Celta Vigo’s 3-1 win over Granada on Sunday, the most he has ever scored in a La Liga game and the most of any player this season.
And he’s consistently scored goals while with the team he’s represented for most of his career. Aspas scored 12 league goals the season before joining Liverpool and has scored between 14-22 goals each season since joining Celta Vigo.via WhoScored).
If he had gotten more opportunities in the Premier League, maybe he would have been a successful signing for the Reds?
It was similar for Luis Luiso, who was also with Liverpool in 2013/14 and has not yet started a single league for the club. He’s only turned 21 this season so it would have been remarkable if he had forced his way into Brendan Rodgers midfield, but since then he has undoubtedly proven his worth.
Alberto led the Serie A rankings at 14 in 2017/18 and finished second last season, although he actually scored one more goal than two years earlier (for FBRef). It wasn’t a coincidence either, as it was in these two campaigns that he generated the most anticipated templates in Italy.
Get the latest injury and team news from Liverpool as Klopp faces a selection dilemma, as well as breaking news and analysis on what’s next for the Reds.
With our FREE e-mail newsletter, you will receive the latest referral conversations and analyzes straight to your inbox every day.
Register here – it only takes a few seconds!
These players show the brilliance of Liverpool’s data-driven scouting approach. The players may not have succeeded at Anfield, but their skills were correctly identified prior to their move to England. Circumstances weren’t right for them at the time, but that doesn’t make them bad players.
And at a time when Takumi Minamino is battling for the Reds and had to move to England to be caught almost immediately in a ban imposed by the pandemic, the Japanese international should see Aspas and Alberto well.
They’ve proven themselves to be good players and how Liverpool identified him so does Minamino.