Liverpool’s Five Worst Attacking Signings Ever

I was chatting with a friend the other day about Cody Gakpo. He’s a player who has faced significant criticism since joining the club from PSV in the winter of 2023. My friend despises Gakpo, and calls him, “one of Liverpool’s worst signings ever”. I assume this is a bit of an exaggeration. However, a large number of fans have been pondering whether or not to cash in on him. Before the damage destroys us, I want to defend Cody Gakpo while giving you the five worst attacking signings to see how well Gakpo stands up.

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5. Mario Balotelli

Of course, it is hard to fill the shoes of the greatest striker of a generation, Luis Suarez. Nevertheless, Mario Balotelli didn’t even come close. Brendan Rodgers took a chance on the AC Milan super striker who managed to score an impressive 26 goals in 43 appearances with a short semi-successful stint at Manchester City just a few years prior. Of Rodgers’ mediocre short time at the club, this was unarguably one of his worst signings.

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As a young Red, I was extremely excited to see what our new star could achieve. Balotelli only let me down. It took the young striker thirteen Premier League matches to score for the club. At the end of the season, he only managed four goals with ZERO assists in all competitions. He added five yellow cards for good measure. He also was suspended for posting a racist and anti-semitic post on social media.

At the end of the season, we sent him packing back to Italy where he belonged. He is now with Turkish side Adana Demirspor, where this season he has managed six goals in ten matches, not too bad if you don’t consider his four yellow cards.

4. Robbie Keane

In the shadows of the legendary football last name family of Keane, is Robbie. Yes, he may be the Irish National Team’s all-time leading scorer and the player with the most caps. But, in earnest, he is not very well known for his short season in Liverpool where he scored seven goals in 28 appearances for the Reds. Liverpool signed the Irish legend from his most well-known club, Tottenham in 2008 for £20M. He was sold, just six months later, back to Tottenham for £12M.

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After this, of course, he went on to become a Tottenham and Irish legend. He is now the manager of Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the Israeli Premier League. They currently sit in first with a comfortable 10-point lead. He is proving himself to be a decent manager. Maybe one day he will manage the Irish National team.

3. Naby Keita

Naby Lad. He was a cult hero (in a way) and was personally one of my favorite signings of the Klopp era. Liverpool spent a heavy £50m to procure his services from RB Leipzig. However, his time at Liverpool was full of mediocrity and injuries.

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He scored only 11 goals in 129 appearances. A couple of those had big impacts. He did win it for us against Newcastle in 2022, one of my favorite moments of that season. Sadly, he couldn’t break into the team, maybe in another life when our midfield wasn’t as stacked as it was he was worth the value. He currently is with Bundesliga side, SV Werder Bremen, who sit mid-table.

2. Lazar Markovic

To call Lazar Markovic’s time at Anfield mediocre would be an overstatement. Signed from Benfica for £20m, back when that wasn’t what you paid for a fifth option, he scored a measly three goals in 34 appearances with Liverpool. I was looking forward to this signing too, but he just never came good. He is now with Turkish Süper Lig club Gaziantep, playing as a midfielder and they sit in the relegation zone in the league.

1. Andy Carroll

My least favorite of all these signings is Andy Carroll. Coming in alongside Luis Suarez to spend the Fernando Torres windfall, Carroll cost the club a record fee (at the time) of £35m from Newcastle. The forward managed a disappointing 11 goals in 53 matches with the club from 2011-2013. Not too great for a record signing.

In his defense, some of this may have been mental struggles. Leaked text messages from a journalist who was close to Carroll, showed that he was extremely disappointed with the move away from his childhood club in Newcastle. In 2013, Carroll was sold to West Ham for half the price he was bought for (£15.5M). The striker now plays for Ligue 2 side, Amiens SC, where this season has managed four goals in 29 appearances for the club.

How Does Gakpo Stack Up?

As of writing Gakpo has scored 13 times in 49 league appearances. This makes him just a tad bit better than Andy Carroll, but just because he can compare to a top-five worst signing player, doesn’t mean he is one of the worst.

Gakpo despite his lack of assists (4) is a very creative player, with the ability to be a very technical player. He may not be a goal-scoring freak, but he is a great passer. Gakpo is also still young at 24. When we see Gakpo it seems most of the time he is through the center, but I feel his best work is when he is on the left. I don’t agree with the shouts to sell him this summer. I’m in the camp that thinks we give him one more season. He could be on the edge of something wonderful, just look at that header against Sheffield United. Cody Gakpo is a wonderful young talent who I think will come good for Liverpool.

Ugly Crying and Tissues American Scouser Podcast

We think there was a game this weekend as well but the main topic of course is Klopp's farewell
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