How Virgil van Dijk signing ‘cost’ Liverpool less than Fernando Torres

Despite spending £55 million more to sign Virgil van Dijk in 2018, the deal for Liverpool’s No. 4 ‘cost’ the club much less than it did to bring in Fernando Torres.

They are, truly, two of the most transformational signings at Anfield in the Premier League era; Van Dijk one of the Reds’ greatest-ever defenders, Torres one of their all-time top strikers.

Both proved exceptional value for money, despite both representing club-record buys at the time they were acquired from Southampton and Atletico Madrid respectively.

Interestingly, in today’s money, the £20.2 million deal to sign Torres from Atletico converts to a sizeable £93.4 million – which, according to The Athletic, stands as the 25th most-costly signing in Premier League history.

There is a £13.3 million difference between that outlay and the modern-day equivalent of the fee paid for Van Dijk, which four years later would be worth £80.1 million.

That deal for Van Dijk stands as the fourth-most costly for a centre-back, behind only Rio Ferdinand (twice) and Jaap Stam, and the third-biggest across Liverpool’s dealings.

Stan Collymore’s £8.5 million move from Nottingham Forest to Liverpool – a British record in 1995 – would be worth £132.9 million in today’s money.

It makes Collymore the third-most expensive signing in the history of the Premier League, when converted to the current market, with only Alan Shearer (Blackburn to Newcastle, £222m) and Juan Sebastian Veron (Lazio to Man United, £155.4m) above.

Liverpool signings feature six times in The Athletic’s transfer calculator top 100, with five of those being strikers.

Along with Collymore (£132.9m), Torres (£93.4m) and Van Dijk (£80.1m) are Andy Carroll (£78.6m), Emile Heskey (£76.4m) and El Hadji Diouf (£45.2m).

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 8, 2012: Liverpool's Andy Carroll and Chelsea's Fernando Torres during the final home Premiership match of the season at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Meanwhile, Liverpool sales make the list on three occasions, including Torres to Chelsea (£112.3m), Collymore to Aston Villa (£78.7m) and Raheem Sterling to Man City (£67.5m).

It is all relative, of course, and it can only really be analysed through a lighthearted lens, but these conversions to today’s money do showcase the value and waste in some of the club’s biggest signings.

While Torres resembles a bargain, for example, the outlay on Carroll and Diouf in particular is much less commendable.