How Liverpool do it, we don’t quite know. Their record in the transfer market since Jurgen Klopp was appointed and Michael Edwards took on the role of sporting director has been astonishing, not just for the success of their signings, but for the eye-bleeding fees they have been able to squeeze out of their fringe players.
They have a way of predicting the trajectory of players, running the numbers, and making sensible decisions that usually pay off. To prove it, here is an entire starting XI of players sold by Klopp and Edwards since 2015 for far more than their value.
Danny Ward (GK) – £12m – Since joining Leicester all the way back in the summer of 2018, Danny Ward has made a grand total of…10 appearances. And none of those have come in the Premier League. He hasn’t actually played in the top flight since his first two appearances for Liverpool came about in 2016.
Ki-Jana Hoever (RB) – £9m – Dutch defender Hoever was, and still is, showing some serious promise. When you’re being offered a 100-fold profit on an 18-year-old who has barely featured however, there’s only so much you can do.
Dejan Lovren (CB) – £11m – No matter what anyone tells you, Lovren was a great servant to Liverpool, and although he was prone to a s–tshow, he was nowhere near as bad as people think. The time was right for him to leave in the summer, however, and getting £11m for him – at 31 with a year remaining on his deal – was great business.
Mamadou Sakho (CB) – £25m – Lovren doesn’t look so bad now, does he? It defies belief that Sakho made 80 appearances for Liverpool, almost as much as it defies belief that he was sold for a tidy profit on his £17m signing.
Brad Smith (LB) – £3m – Liverpool actually included a buy-back clause in the deal that took ‘Brad Smith’ to Bournemouth. A couple of years later, he was farmed out on loan to MLS, and it was abundantly clear that clause would not be activated.
Ryan Kent (RM) – £7m – Let’s face it, Ryan Kent was never going to make the grade at Liverpool. He’s not even that good for Rangers, though it seems likely he’ll be returning to the Premier League for a hair-raising fee at one point or another.
Philippe Coutinho (CM) – £140m – Coutinho’s sale to Barcelona is arguably one of the best bits of transfer business Liverpool have ever done. Letting him go funded the signing of Virgil van Dijk with enough change left over to spend a world record fee on a goalkeeper, and his form since has shown why Klopp wasn’t too bothered about keeping him around.
Kevin Stewart (CM) – £4m – Is a midfielder who, at one point, existed.
Jordon Ibe (LM) – £16m – There was a point in time when Ibe was lazily billed as the heir-apparent to Raheem Sterling, and his departure for Bournemouth was laced with disappointment from fans who wanted to see him get more of a chance. Four years on, he’s signed for Derby County on a free transfer.
Rhian Brewster (CF) – £23m – Take emotion out of the Brewster deal and you can see it for what it is. More than £20m for a 20-year-old whose only substantial senior experience was six months in the Championship. A buy-back clause keeps all the cards in Liverpool’s hands, though Smith and Ibe – who had similar clauses – should serve as cautionary tales on that front.
Dominic Solanke (CF) – £19m – Signed for a nominal compensation fee. Scores once. Sold for £19m. Michael Edwards, how do you do it?
Total Value of XI: £270m