It’s been another busy summer at Anfield with 11 departures, a host of loans, 8 major signings and numerous youth signings from around the world.
The tale of the number 9 shirt has seen Liverpool’s transfer record broken with the arrival of Fernando Torres to take over from former idol Robbie Fowler who left on a free transfer, while the former occupant of the famous jersey Djibril Cisse moved to Marseille.
Along with Torres, large sums of cash were splashed on exciting winger Ryan Babel from Ajax, Brazilian under 20 midfielder Lucas Leiva and West Ham midfielder Yossi Benayoun. Free transfer Andri Voronin arrived from Bayer Leverkusen and is proving to be a hit already as he adds further options to the Reds front line.
Sold / Released
As one South American left winger departed – Mark Gonzalez – another arrived to replace him in the shape of Sebastien Leto.
There’s been quite a merry-go-around in the goalkeeper department, first Daniele Padelli was released and followed Jerzy Dudek out of Anfield, Nikolay Mihaylov was brought in, had work permit problems and was then loaned out to FC Twente, then Scott Carson got his wish for first team football by being allowed to move on loan to Aston Villa – so Charles Itandje was brought in from Lens to supply back up to Pepe Reina.
A host of players came under the category of ‘available at the right price’ and had their prices met as they departed; Cisse, Gonzalez, Craig Bellamy, Gabriel Paletta and Luis Garcia. Only Garcia will be seen as any great loss by Liverpool fans though. The little Spaniard has supplied some memorable moments in his 3 seasons at the club and joined Atletico Madrid as part of the Torres deal.
Paletta’s move to Boca Juniors meant left back Emiliano Insua’s loan move was made permament – he made a couple of appearances towards the end of last season and the Reds have high hopes for him.
Rafa Benitez’s scouting team have again been busy snapping up young talent from around the globe. Goalkeeper Mihaylov arrived from Levski Sofia of Bulgaria and is seen as a talent for the future; Krisztian Nemeth and Andras Simon where brought in from MTK Hungaria; Alexander Kacaniklic arrived from Helsingborgs, Marvin Pourie from Borussia Dortmund, Mikel San Jose from Athletic Bilboa, Dani Pacheco from Barcelona, Peter Gulasci from Budapest and Damien Plessi arrived from Lens on deadline day.
British arrivals came in the shape of academy graduates Jay Spearing, Ray Putterill and Martin Hansen; while David Amoo was brought in from Millwall, Gary Mackay Steven from Ross County and Ryan Crowther from Stockport County.
|Adam Hamill – Southampton
Lee Peltier – Yeovil Town
Paul Anderson – Swansea
Miki Roque – Xerez (Liga 2)
Danny Guthrie – Bolton
Scott Carson – Aston Villa
Nikolay Mihalov – FC Twente
Godwin Antwi – Hartlepool
Besian Idrizaj – Crystal Palace
James Smith – Stockport
While these youngsters arrived at Anfield – a similar number were loaned out to clubs around Europe. Midfielder Danny Guthrie joined up with Sammy Lee at Bolton, Paul Anderson went to Swansea where he has already impressed and scored, Adam Hammill headed south to Southampton, Lee Peltier scored in the opening pre-season match but was then loaned to Yeovil, Godwin Antwi has been loaned to Hartlepool but has picked up an injury early on in the season, Besian Idirzaj hit the headlines when he grabbed a hat trick in pre-season and has been loaned to Crystal Palace for the season. Only Miki Roque has been loaned abroad, to Liga 2 side Xerez.
Other departures saw midfielder Bolo Zenden join Cisse at Marseille after being released, Dudek joined Spanish Champions Real Madrid after also being released, youngster David Roberts was released and fellow academy graduate Danny O’Donnell joined Crewe.
Florent Sinama Pongolle’s move to Recreativo Huelva was made permanent although his cousin and fellow hopeful under Gerard Houller, Anthony Le Tallec, remains at Anfield despite a move away being sought by both parties.
There have also been important signings from within the squad with Carragher, Gerrard, Alonso, Finnan, Reina and Sissoko all signins contract extensions.
The biggest departure to hit the club though looks like being an integral part of the Rafalution with assistant manager Pako Ayseteran set to leave after a series of bust-ups with Benitez.
One thing is for sure – the squad looks hugely impressive, vastly improved and – most importantly – ready for a title challenge!
|Jerzy Dudek – Released (Real Madrid)
Robbie Foweler – Released (Cardiff City)
Daniele Padelli – Released
Boudewijn Zenden – Released (Marseille)
David Roberts – Released
Florent Sinama Pongolle – Recreativo Huelva for 2,700,000
Danny O’Donnell – Sold to Crewe Alexander for 100,000
Luis Garcia – Sold to Athletico Madrid – 2,700,000
Djibril Cisse – Sold to Olympic Marseille for 5,400,000
Craig Bellamy – Sold to West Ham Utd for 7,500,000
Mark Gonzalez – Sold to Real Betis for 3,500,000
Gabriel Paletta – Sold to Boca Juniors undisclosed
|Andriy Voronin (Bayer Leverkusen) – Free
SebastiÃ¡n Leto (LanÃºs) – 2,500,000
Lucas Pezzini Leiva (Gremio) – 6,750,000
Krisztian Nemeth (MTK Hungaria) – 750,000
Andras Simon (MTK Hungaria) – 750,000
Alexander Kacaniklic (Helsingborgs) undisclosed
Gary Makay Steven (Ross County)- undisclosed
Marvin Pourie (Borussia Dortmund) – undisclosed
Nikolay Mihaylov (Levski Sofia) – undisclosed
Mikel San Jose (Athletic Bilbao) 270,000
Dani Pacheco (Barcelona) – undisclosed
Fernando Torres (Athletico Madrid) – 20,300,000
Ryan Crowther (Stockport County) – undisclosed
David Amoo (Millwall) – undisclosed
Yossi Benayoun (West Ham Utd) – 4,500,000
Ryan Babel (AFC Ajax) – 11,500,000
Charles Itandje (Lens) – undisclosed
Peter Gulacsi (MTK Budapest) – undisclosed
Emiliano Insua (Boca Juniors) – undisclosed (loan made permanent)
Damien Plessi (Lyon) -undisclosed
Jay Spearing (Acadamy graduate.
Ray Putterill (Acadamy graduate)
Martin Hansen (Acadamy graduate)