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Arguably Brendan Rodgers’ biggest crime while Liverpool manager was a failure to get the best out of the players signed under his stewardship.
Whether he wanted these players proved irrelevant, as the gap between money spent and reward reaped was enough to get the Northern Irishman the sack.
Here, we’ve picked five signings that had been labelled overpriced or ‘mistakes’ before Jurgen Klopp took charge. Promisingly, all are proving far better under the German.
(We can’t obviously judge Mario Balotelli or Lazar Markovic yet, as two of the most criticised Rodgers/committee signings are out on loan.)
Joe Allen – Signed in 2012 for £15m
It’s ironic that Allen was known as Rodgers’ favourite, yet it’s for the fired manager’s replacement that he’s finally performing. The Welsh midfielder played under Rodgers for the entirety of the three year tenure and two years before at Swansea, but despite a promising start, eventually became associated with Rodgers’ failures. The former boss was sure of Allen’s ability. He referred to him as a brave footballer, in that Allen wanted the ball and would collect it in tight situations – infamously dubbing him ‘The Welsh Xavi’. And while those comparisons were and still are only harmful, Allen has displayed more of those characteristics under Klopp. He was solid during 90 minute outings against Bournemouth and Rubin Kazan, but superb last night versus Southampton. Since the new manager’s appointment, Allen’s smiled – something we never saw him do in three years – but more importantly, looked to pass the ball forward. He can still improve, but he’s clearly now a very handy squad or rotation option, whereas many felt he was surplus to requirements beforehand.