Liverpool have completed the £34.3million signing of Mohamed Salah from Roma but with add-ons, the transfer could see the Egypt international become the club’s record signing.
Salah completed a medical and agreed personal terms on a five-year contract after the two clubs finally ended a month-long stay at the negotiation table with the Reds initially seeing a £28million bid rejected last month.
The 25-year-old returns to the Premier League after an unsuccessful spell at Chelsea but having reinvented himself with first Fiorentina and then Roma, Salah will inject some much needed pace into Jurgen Klopp’s side.
With the transfer finalised we look at Liverpool’s most expensive purchases and analyse their stay and Anfield.
For now, the towering striker remains the club’s record buy after Kenny Dalglish parted with a then British record transfer fee of £35million to sign him from Newcastle on January transfer deadline day in 2011.
At 22 years old, Carroll was one of England’s most promising young talents having hugely impressed during the first half of the 2010/11 campaign, scoring 11 times for the Magpies.
Incredibly, that matches his entire goalscoring tally for the Reds as he scored only 11 times in 58 games as injuries curtailed his career.
Admittedly when in the side, Carroll wasn’t helped by Dalglish. Stewart Downing was brought in the summer after to provide width and a regular supply line to the big man but the two rarely played together with the traditional 4-4-2 formation lacking cohesion.
Following Dalglish’s departure, Brendan Rodgers quickly determined that Carroll wouldn’t fit his style and he was allowed to join West Ham on loan in 2012.
That turned into a permanent move as Liverpool recovered £15million with Rodgers’ ruthless decision to cut him from his plans justified.
While Carroll is undoubtedly a talented player, a combination of circumstances and injuries meant his Reds career was a failure
Another case of wrong player for the wrong manager at the wrong time.
Brendan Rodgers was in need of goals and in the summer of 2015 he turned to the Belgian striker, making him the club’s second most expensive player ever having agreed a £32.5million deal with Aston Villa.
Few saw the logic in the transfer given it was clear Benteke wasn’t a typical Rodgers-type player. While there is more to his game than simply being a target man, it was his primary strength and quite simply Liverpool were not built to get the best out of him.
Under Rodgers, Liverpool dogmatically kept the ball on the deck and consistently leaned towards the bottom of the table when it came to crosses made.
Perplexing then they signed a player who had the most headed goals in the Premier League since signing in 2012 and had won the most aerial duels at the time, too.
His long-term unsuitability was obvious and that was only strengthened when Rodgers was sacked and Jurgen Klopp brought in as his successor.
The German had no desire to crowbar his predecessor’s signing into the team, starting Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge and even Roberto Firmino ahead of him.
Benteke started just eight Premier League games in total under Klopp, scoring nine goals in 29 league appearances. At the end of the season Benteke was sold to Crystal Palace for £32million.
Salah and Mane may just be about to provide Liverpool with the most potent wing pairing in the Premier League.
When Klopp completed the £30million transfer of Mane from Southampton last year it’s fair to say there was a collective raised eyebrow for Anfield supporters.
The skepticism, though, quickly made way for broad smiles. The Senegalese forward was simply a sensation last season as he emerged as Klopp’s chief attacking threat.
His solo goal against Arsenal on the opening day was just the beginning as his pace, power and incessant movement made him a menace both from an attacking and defensive perspective.
Mane meshed perfectly with Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino as their chemistry guided the Liverpool back into the promise land of Champions League football.
He ended the season with 13 goals and eight assists in 29 appearances but his impact was far more reaching than just the numbers.
His absence for the Africa Cup of Nations saw a noticeable drop off in Liverpool’s dynamism and undoubtedly Mane has established himself as a crucial cog in Klopp’s attacking machine.
With specters of Carroll and Benteke vanished, Liverpool fans will look at Mane with decidedly more optimism ahead of the new campaign.
While Mane’s signing was met with cynicism, Firmino’s was greeted by ebullience.
The £29million buy from Hoffenheim was a relative mystery when he signed two years ago but that didn’t stem the tide of positive sentiment.
Indeed, Liverpool had beaten both Chelsea and Manchester United to secure the Brazilian and that alone was justification for the excitement.
While he flourished at Anfield last season under the guidance of Klopp, his debut campaign with Rodgers at the helm saw him get off to a slow start in an unfamiliar wide role.
There were times when he was even deployed in a withdrawn wing-back role but the arrival of Klopp in October saw the shackles broken. His tremendous work rate combined with a clinical edge saw Firmino make the No9 shirt his own.
He finished the season as the club’s top league scorer with 10 and entered last term as Klopp’s first-choice centre-forward.
The 25-year-old didn’t just shoulder the responsibility but embraced it. With Mane and countryman Coutinho either side of him, the fluidity among the front three in Klopp’s shape-shifting 4-3-3 formation provided penetration, work rate and ingenuity.
There was, however, a dip in form from December onward as the Reds struggled with Coutinho’s spell on the sidelines and Mane’s absence for the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Brazil international found himself shifted to the wings to accommodate Divock Origi although a Jekyll and Hyde 2017 saw him return to his best form towards the end of the campaign.
No player has benefitted more from Rodgers’ exit and Klopp’s arrival than Lallana.
His maiden season at Anfield following a £25million switch from Southampton in 2014 was forgettable to say the least.
In Lallana’s defence, injury prevented him from getting a full pre-season under his belt which inherently affected him during the 2014/15 campaign.
However, his insipid displays at the beginning of his second season had the Reds faithful worried as his rapidly deteriorating form mirrored that of the squad under Rodgers.
But with Klopp’s arrival in October, Lallana burst into life and began to show the glimpses of form which convinced the Anfield outfit to make him their fifth most expensive player ever.
A slick operator, the confidence he gained under Klopp enabled him to become a pivotal figure with impressive performances coming in that season’s home win over Chelsea and the victory at Man City.
While he regained style in the 2015/16 season, he added substance last term. Lallana crucially produced goals (8) and assists (7) his creativity warranted to add numerical credence to his star performances.
Injury disrupted his season but regardless, Lallana enjoyed a standout season and has been transformed into one of England’s finest creative talents under Klopp.
The German will hope he can kick on and stay free of injury next term.
In his first season at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho delivered three trophies and returned Manchester United to the Champions League.
On the surface, that seems like a stunning season but the truth is that they accomplished it all in rather unorthodox fashion.
They struggled to score goals, particularly at home, and ended up drawing far too many games, leading to a sixth place finish.
Meanwhile, the trophies they won were the Community Shield, League Cup and Europa League. With all due respect to those competitions, a club of United’s stature should be chasing the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League instead.
This video (below) from Copa90‘s official YouTube Channel takes us through six ways United can become great again.
Adnan Januzaj is heading towards the Old Trafford exit as Manchester United consider a number of offers for the winger, it is understood.
Having flourished after being given a first-term role by then United manager David Moyes, the 22-year-old’s star has faded over the years.
Januzaj returned early from an ill-fated loan spell at Borussia Dortmund during the 2015/16 campaign and endured a turbulent season-long stint at Sunderland last term.
It is understood the Belgium international is now set to leave Old Trafford on a permanent basis, with Real Sociedad among the clubs speaking to United about a deal.
Januzaj has a year left on his contract and United are reported to be looking at a fee in the region of £10million, as well as an option to re-sign the player if he flourishes. A similar clause was part of the deal that took Memphis Depay to Lyon in January.
The winger was part of the 25-man squad taken to China on last year’s pre-season tour, but did not do enough to show Jose Mourinho he merited a first-team role.
Januzaj subsequently linked up again with Moyes at Sunderland in a campaign that not only ended in relegation but the loanee being jeered by his own fans.
It has been quite the fall from grace for a player whose outstanding displays during the 2013/14 season earned a five-year deal and admiring glances from England, with manager Roy Hodgson confirming he was being monitored and his eligibility was assessed.
Mourinho confirmed he made up his mind on Januzaj’s future in April, while question marks remain over several others at United.
Captain Wayne Rooney has been mulling over his future in recent weeks, while speculation has linked Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling with a move.
Provided by Press Association Sport