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.
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If you could sign one of these players for their modern cost, who would you pick and why?
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— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) March 28, 2022
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).
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.