Liverpool fans were left questioning Brendan Rodgers’ sanity on transfer deadline day after our boss allowed Tiago Ilori, one of the highest rated young defenders in the world, to leave on loan for a third successive season.
Rodgers’ reputation over transfer decisions has certainly not been helped by the Ilori saga – with the Portuguese still waiting for his first appearance for the club he signed for back in the summer of 2013, despite the indifferent performances of Dejan Lovren and co.
Incredibly, Ilori becomes the thirteenth player signed by Rodgers to leave the club again, either permanently or on loan. In total, the players listed below cost us a combined fee of £75.2m, and yet none of them have been able to earn Rodgers’ continued faith over the last three years.
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Where did it all go wrong? We discuss all that and more below…
Fabio Borini – £11m from Roma (via BBC Sport)
How highly did Rodgers rate him? – Rodgers worked with Borini at Chelsea and Swansea and rated him highly. He told the Mirror upon signing him: “He’s a multi-functional player who can play in a number of positions and someone I believe has got great growth. He is arguably the best physical player I’ve worked with in terms of his pace, power and fitness. Mentally, he’s very strong.”
What went wrong? – Borini broke his foot in October 2012, an injury which kept him out for three months and severely hampered his development. In February 2013, just a month after his comeback, he dislocated his shoulder and didn’t play again until April. He spent the following season on loan and by the time he returned to the squad in the summer of 2014, it had become clear that he was no longer viewed as a first-team player.
Where are they now? – Borini joined Sunderland on a permanent basis this summer.
Oussama Assaidi – £2.4m from Heerenveen (via Liverpool Echo)
How highly did Rodgers rate him? – Rodgers though he’d uncovered a gem when he signed the Moroccan, and told BBC Sport: “He fits our style perfectly. He’s an exciting player who is very good in one-versus-one situations and I think he’s a player who will excite the crowd. I’ll look forward to helping his development and I hope he’ll become a very good part of this club.”
What went wrong? – He was a player that very much didn’t see eye to eye with Rodgers, who in turn was probably a little underwhelmed with his signing’s lack of strong performances. Assaidi’s parting shot, detailed by the Echo, saw him say: “They buy big names for big money and then they have to play them. I came from a small club in Holland and I took a big step to go to Liverpool because they said I was a good player and would get a chance, but I didn’t get the chance.”
Where are they now? – Assaidi had two spells on loan with Stoke before joining Al Ahli Club in the UAE.
Nuri Sahin – Loan from Real Madrid
How highly did Rodgers rate him? – Rodgers was delighted to secure what looked the coup of the summer, saying (via our official website): “We are delighted to welcome him to Liverpool and also to say thank you for loaning us such an exciting talent. He is a player with great technique and motivation and someone who will fit in smoothly to our playing model.”
What went wrong? – The biggest issue appeared to be a personality clash between the midfielder and Brendan Rodgers. The Turkey international has since said of his time on Merseyside (via the Daily Mail): “After scoring a few goals the manager started playing me behind the striker which does not suit my game. Despite my love for the club and the fans, I had to leave due to the managers insistence on playing me in that role.”
Where are they now? – Sahin rejoined former club Borussia Dortmund and made the deal permanent in 2014.
Samed Yesil – £1m from Bayer Leverkusen (via BBC Sport)
How highly did Rodgers rate him? – Rodgers, like many Liverpool fans, was excited that he’d secured a deal for one of Europe’s hottest properties, with many supporters tipping him to have an instant impact.
What went wrong? – The then teenager ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament mid-way through his first season with us. Cruelly, he then suffered the same injury shortly after his comeback, meaning he’s missed virtually two years of his time at Liverpool – something which has understandably slowed his development.
Where are they now? – Yesil has recently joined Swiss club FC Luzern on loan.