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Liverpool’s 10 most expensive transfers of all time

Cameron Smith
Darwin Nunez, Liverpool, 2023/24
© IMAGO

After buying the club in late 2010, the Fenway Sports Group set about changing the fortunes of Liverpool for the better and reached into their deep pockets to do so.

They struggled to make an impression initially, but they have found success in recent times, winning the Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League for the very first time in 2020.

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While they have been savvy with player sales, Liverpool have also spent heavily to ensure their place at the top of English football is cemented.

Many of the players on this list helped guide the club to the 2019 Champions League win and the 2020 Premier League title, but who are the 10 most expensive Liverpool signings in history?

10. Cody Gakpo – €42m (from PSV, 2023)

Liverpool faced an injury crisis in attack going into the new year of 2023 and moved quickly to sign PSV attacker Cody Gakpo for a fee of €42m.

In the process, Liverpool got one over rivals Manchester United, who had been expected to buy Gakpo themselves in January 2023.

Cody Gakpo
© ProShots – Cody Gakpo

Gakpo had emerged as one of Europe’s most exciting young attackers the previous year and he was one of the stars of the 2022 World Cup, scoring three times for a Netherlands team that reached the quarter-final.

The Dutchman ended up netting seven times in 21 Premier League games during his first half-season with Liverpool.

9. Diogo Jota – €44.7m (from Wolves, 2020)

Diogo Jota‘s €44.7m move from Wolves to Liverpool came out of nowhere in 2020, but the Portuguese star has proven to have been a rather smart signing.

After a promising first season, Jota then made 35 appearances during the 2021-22 Premier League season, scoring 15 goals and providing six assists.

He has been unable to nail down a regular starting berth since then, but Jota has been a reliable figure when called upon.

8. Fabinho – €45m (from Monaco, 2018)

Patrolling the pitch and protecting the back four, Fabinho was a formidable defensive midfielder and was crucial in Klopp’s rebuild of Liverpool.

He was recognised as one of the world’s best defensive midfielders for several years thanks to the base he provided for the Reds, and that €45m fee was quickly seen as a steal.

After five outstanding years at Anfield, Liverpool managed to turn a profit on Fabinho when he joined Al-Ittihad for €46.7m in the summer of 2023.

Fabinho at Liverpool
© ProShots – Fabinho at Liverpool

7. Christian Benteke – €46.5m (from Aston Villa, 2015)

Christian Benteke arrived at Anfield having scored 49 goals in a brilliant three-year stint at Aston Villa.

However, he spent just one season at Liverpool – netting 10 goals – after starting just 14 league games and was sold to Crystal Palace for €31.2m.

One memorable moment was his incredible acrobatic goal against Man Utd at Old Trafford, but overall, this move failed.

6. Luis Diaz – €47m (from Porto, 2022)

Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane provided many years of brilliant service for Liverpool.

However, as 2022 beckoned, it became apparent that Liverpool needed to find at least one new attacking superstar.

The Reds’ scouts hoped that player would be Porto winger Luis Diaz, who was signed in January 2022 for an initial fee of €47m.

After a brilliant start to his career at Anfield, Diaz picked up a knee injury which ruled him out for seven months, hampering his progress and causing him to miss the 2022 World Cup.

Luis Diaz joined Liverpool for €47m
© ProShots – Luis Diaz joined Liverpool for €47m

5. Naby Keita – €60m (from RB Leipzig, 2018)

After an impressive couple of seasons at RB Leipzig, Liverpool decided that Naby Keita was the ideal signing to bolster their midfield options, and splashed €60m to sign him.

In retrospect, that fee was far too much, and Keita was never able to pay it back with his performances. Klopp did not trust the Guinea international all that much, preferring Gini Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and the aforementioned Fabinho.

Keita also struggled with injuries, and missed far too many games.

He failed to make over 25 starts in all competitions in a single campaign at the club, and made just eight Premier League appearances in his final season at Anfield before leaving on a free transfer in 2023.

4. Alisson – €62.5m (from Roma, 2018)

Signed in the same summer as Keita, Alisson fared much better at Anfield than the Guinea midfielder, as he finally ended Liverpool’s goalkeeper woes.

First Simon Mignolet was a liability, then came Loris Karius, whose errors cost the Reds the 2017-18 Champions League final. Alisson was signed, and immediately fixed things at the back.

He kept 27 clean sheets in all competitions in his first year and it was his rock-solid base that helped Liverpool lift the Champions League trophy at the end of his debut campaign.

The Brazilian formed an excellent understanding with his back-four and that foundation led to the Premier League triumph in 2020. He is one of the best goalkeepers in Premier League history already and the €62.5m fee can certainly be regarded as a snip.

3. Dominik Szoboszlai – €70m (from RB Leipzig, 2023

Touted as ‘the ideal Jurgen Klopp player’, Liverpool pulled off the €70m signing of Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig during the summer of 2023 as they looked to restructure their midfield.

Dominik Szoboszlai joined Liverpool in 2023
© ProShots – Dominik Szoboszlai joined Liverpool in 2023

A player renowned for his technical ability, versatility and pressing, Liverpool met the 22-year-old’s release clause after he helped Leipzig to back-to-back DFB Pokal wins during his time at the club.

Despite strong interest from Newcastle, Szoboszlai admitted his admiration for both Klopp and Liverpool and was handed the number eight shirt upon his arrival, formerly worn by Reds legend Steven Gerrard, whom the playmaker had grown up watching.

A set-piece specialist and already the captain of his country at a young age, Liverpool were more than willing to splash the cash to make Szoboszlai their third-most expensive signing ever.

2. Virgil van Dijk – €84.7m (from Southampton, 2018)

Arguably the most important signing in Liverpool’s recent history, Virgil van Dijk changed the fortunes of the club for the better after his arrival from Southampton in January 2018.

Liverpool spent €84.7m to sign Virgil van Dijk
© ProShots – Liverpool spent €84.7m to sign Virgil van Dijk

He guided them to the Champions League final in his first six months, and followed that up by winning the competition the next year.

The Dutchman soon became the best centre-back in the world, and he finished second in the 2019 Ballon d’Or. Van Dijk’s leadership and distribution at the back was potentially the most important part of Liverpool’s title-winning team too.

It’s not often that a player signed for more than €80m is deemed a bargain, but Van Dijk has proven to be one since he swapped St Mary’s for Anfield.

1. Darwin Nunez – €85m (from Benfica, 2022)

Darwin Nunez became the most expensive player in Liverpool’s history when he signed from Benfica in 2022.

Liverpool agreed to pay an initial €80m, although that fee could rise higher in the future if certain add-ons are met.

Jurgen Klopp was searching for a world-class attacker to replace the outgoing Sadio Mane and turned to Nunez, who had shone for Benfica the year prior.

The Uruguayan’s first season saw him notch 15 goals in all competitions, but his misses arguably left more of an impression than his goals. His potential is sky-high, however.

The 10 most expensive Liverpool signings of all time

Player From Fee Year
1. Darwin Nunez Benfica €85m 2022
2. Virgil van Dijk Southampton €84.7m 2018
3. Dominik Szoboszlai RB Leipzig €70m 2023
4. Alisson Roma €62.5m 2018
5. Naby Keita RB Leipzig €60m 2018
6. Luis Diaz Porto €47m 2022
7. Cristian Benteke Aston Villa €46.5m 2015
8. Fabinho Monaco €45m 2018
9. Diogo Jota Wolves €44.7m 2020
10. Cody Gakpo PSV €42m 2023

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