Assessing the Liverpool Loanees: The Hits and Misses

Dominic Chandler

Bayern Munich lifted the Champions League trophy on Sunday, and on-loan duo Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perišić each played a telling part. It’s an area of recruitment which the Reds have overlooked in recent years. So given the current climate, is it a section of the market that Liverpool could (or indeed should) delve into this summer? Here’s a recap of how the Premier League champions have fared concerning loan acquisitions over the past two decades.

Read Time:5 Minute, 48 Second

by Dominic Chandler (@Frankly2Shankly)

Nicolas Anelka

As Robbie Fowler left for Leeds in 2001, Liverpool chose PSG’s Nicolas Anelka as his replacement. A young star with Arsenal in the 90s, the Frenchman’s return to England proved a fruitful one. The striker netted just five goals in 22 games for the Reds, but his clear-to-see class received much adulation from the Anfield faithful. He helped his temporary employers seal a second-place finish in 2002.

Despite the former French international’s apparent desire to remain at the club, his former manager had other ideas. Instead, Gerard Houllier opted to move for Senegalese forward El Hadji Diouf, perhaps the biggest transfer blunder in charge. Anelka eventually went on to exhibit his world class best with Chelsea several years later.

Verdict: Hit

Paul Jones

Injuries to Jerzy Dudek and Chris Kirkland left the Reds facing a goalkeeping crisis in 2004. As a result, Liverpool brought in Southampton’s Paul Jones on loan that January. Signing for the club he supported as a youngster, the Welsh stopper became his side’s oldest post-war debutant (37) in his brief stint at Anfield.

Jones only played two league games for Liverpool, but in the first he earned a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa. Those three points played a pivotal role in the club achieving Champions League qualification that season – a competition they went on to win the following year.

Verdict: Hit

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Daniele Padelli

Another loanee between the sticks, Rafa Benitez snapped up the former Italy U21 international in January 2007. Behind Pepe Reina and Jerzy Dudek in the goalkeeping pecking order, Padelli got his chance to shine in the final game of the 2006-2007 Premier League campaign.

Becoming the first Italian to represent Liverpool, Padelli conceded two goals in a 2-2 draw with Charlton. It turned out to be his sole outing for the club, as they opted not to make his deal a permanent one. Now 34, he’s currently on the books at Inter Milan.

Verdict: Miss

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Javier Mascherano

Liverpool rescued the Argentine from a bizarre stint at West Ham United in February 2007. The combative midfielder initially moved to Merseyside in a loan deal and was an influential figure in a side which reached a Champions League final within the first few months of his arrival.

The Reds soon moved to make his deal a permanent one, with Mascherano going on to cement his status as one of the best holding players in Europe. The ex-River Plate star left Anfield in 2010, joining Barcelona in a deal worth around £17m. V

Verdict: Hit

Péter Gulácsi

You would be forgiven for forgetting that the Hungarian stopper was once on the books of the Premier League champions. Liverpool brought the keeper to England as teenager in 2007 and made that loan deal from MTK Budapest a permanent one the following year.

After three spells out on loan, Gulácsi failed to break into the first team and never made a senior outing for the Reds. Seeking a new venture in 2013, the 30-year-old has gone on to establish himself as top-class player. The 31-cap international is the current number one goalkeeper at Champions League semi-finalists RB Leipzig.

Verdict: Miss

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Nuri Şahin

When Liverpool captured the Real Madrid midfielder on loan in 2012, the move seemed to be a real coup. The Turkish international had been one of the standout performers in the Bundesliga the previous year but endured a stuttering start to his spell in Spain. Still, at 23, there was hope that the player could recapture his promise with the Reds.

However, the ex-Dortmund star had an equally disappointing time in England. Şahin made just seven league starts for Liverpool, before his loan-spell was cut short in January. The 31-year-old has recently moved back to Turkey, signing with Antalyaspor this month.

Verdict: Miss

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Aly Cissokho

Now embraided in the rich tapestry of Liverpool’s futile attempts to solve the left-back conundrum; the one-time French international signed in 2013. After seemingly missing out on Granada’s Guilherme Siqueira, Brendan Rodgers turned his attention to Valencia’s Cissokho.

Despite unsuccessful stints in France and Spain, the defender was highly rated just a few years previously with Porto. However, Cissokho failed to convince at Liverpool; he played just 15 league games and was largely kept out of the side by a young Jon Flanagan. The left back spent much of the next three years at Aston Villa.

Verdict: Miss

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Victor Moses

After missing out on Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Diego Costa and Willian, Liverpool sealed a deadline day deal for the Chelsea winger in 2013. The club had signed his former teammate Daniel Sturridge a few months before and were hoping for similar success with another former Blue.

However, despite scoring on his debut for his new side, Moses struggled to settle at Anfield. The Nigerian failed to register another goal in his further 18 league outings and made little impact off the bench for the title-challenging Reds. After re-finding favour at Chelsea under Antonio Conte, Moses has spent the last two years out on loan again since the Italian’s departure.

Verdict: Miss

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Javier Manquillo

In a bid to bolster their full-back options upon their return to the Champions League in 2014, Liverpool brought in the Spaniard. Just 20 at the time, Manquillo was a highly rated prospect with Atletico Madrid and the Reds were rumoured to have beaten Arsenal to his signature.

One of nine Anfield arrivals that summer, the right-back struggled to make an impression with the club, in what was a torrid season under Rodgers. The former Spanish U21 international has since gone on to play for north-east rivals Sunderland and Newcastle United.

Verdict: Miss

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Steven Caulker

The first new player to arrive under Klopp’s tenure, the Englishman remains the last loan signing that Liverpool have made. Signed to ease an injury crisis at the back end of 2016, Caulker played just four times for the Reds.

Once highly regarded at Swansea, the former England international is one of the more bizarre acquisitions the club have made in the past decade. Nonetheless, Caulker is fondly remembered for his role in Lallana’s last-gasp winner vs Norwich four years ago – where he took to the field as a striker. He now plays in Turkey with Alanyaspor.

Verdict: Miss

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