Transfer Activity Summer 2014

Return here regularly to find out who Rodgers has signed and sold as he attempts to prepare a squad ready to achieve success on the domestic and European stage next season.

In: In a surprise move, Liverpool have signed Rickie Lambert from Southampton for a reported £4 million fee. The transfer allows the 32-year old striker to complete an emotional return home to the team that he supported and played for at youth level as a youngster.

Lambert arrives for a medical
After being released by the Reds as a 15-year old, Lambert famously worked at a beetroot factory for a while before forging out a respectable career in the lower leagues with the likes of Blackpool, Macclesfield Town, Stockport County, Rochdale, Bristol Rovers and Southampton, scoring 233 goals in 619 career appearances.

Lambert played a pivotal role in Southampton's successful first season back in the Premier League during the last campaign, firing in 13 goals to help the Saints record a highly impressive eighth placed finish. His club form, plus the fact that he scored with his first touch in international football, earned him a call-up to Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad, where he'll hope to have an impact before reporting to Melwood for pre-season training.

Although he'll probably find himself behind Suarez and Sturridge in the pecking order at Anfield, Lambert should get plenty of game time because Liverpool's involvement in the Champions League requires squad rotation. Posing a formidable aerial threat, but also good with the ball at his feet and with a keen eye for goal, Lambert is a terrific first signing of the summer and should provide much better back-up for Suarez and Sturridge than Aspas and Moses (2nd June).

Liverpool are acting quickly to secure their priority signings in this summer transfer window, as 20-year old Emre Can became their second signing in only four days, the Reds agreeing in principle a £9.7 million deal with Bayer Leverkusen for what German legend Karl-Heinz Rummenigge called "one of the biggest talents in German football".

Perhaps Can's most valuable trait is his versatility. Able to play in an attacking or defensive role in the centre or the left hand side of midfield, Can can also fill in at left back and centre back. With games coming thick and fast next season due to the Merseysiders' participation in the Champions League, Can seems exactly the type of utility player that Rodgers requires.

Can contests an aerial battle with Manchester United's Fellaini in last season's Champions League
The fact that Bayern Munich, who sold Can to Leverkusen last August to aid his development and speed his progression into first team football, inserted a buy-back clause in his contract that complicated the deal is also encouraging. If Pep Guardiola's side see potential in the German youth international then he must be an exciting prospect (5th June).

Adam Lallana has become Liverpool's second summer signing from Premier League rivals Southampton, joining teammate Rickie Lambert after signing for approximately £25 million.

The 26-year old, who is entering the prime of his career, has been club captain for the Saints over the last two years and earned a place in the PFA's Premier League team of the Year following his impressive performances for Mauricio Pochettino's men last season, in which he scored nine goals and provided six assists.

He also travelled with Roy Hodgson's England squad to Brazil for the World Cup this summer, suffering disappointment on a collective and personal level, as the Three Lions crashed out at the group stages and he only started once, against Costa Rica when England were already out of the tournament.

Lallana's underwhelming World Cup was a blessing in disguise for Liverpool, though, as it prevented arousing the interest of competitors for his signature and allowed them to complete the signing that they had wished to make before the tournament.

Lallana is Liverpool's second summer signing from Southampton
Creative, versatile and exciting, Lallana should be an excellent addition to the Reds' midfield, complementing the likes of Coutinho, Henderson and Sterling nicely and providing much needed depth, which will be vital as Rodgers' men compete on all four fronts next season. I bet Liverpool's new number 20 can't wait to get his first taste of action in a Red shirt, which could coincidentally come against his former employers at Anfield on the opening day of the new season! (1st July). 

Liverpool have completed the £20 million signing of Benfica winger Lazar Markovic, as Brendan Rodgers sets about the task of restructuring and revitalising the Reds' attack following the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona. Talented at dribbling, Markovic is a pacy and versatile young forward who will compete with the likes of Coutinho, Sterling and Lallana for a supporting role behind main striker Daniel Sturridge.

Despite being only 20 years old, Markovic has already achieved a lot in his short career, claiming a title winners' medal in each of his four seasons as a professional. He also has crucial experience of playing at the highest level of European football, with five of his 49 Benfica appearances last season coming in the Champions League, which should see him in good stead for the Merseysiders' European campaign next season.

Markovic at Melwood
Only the second Serbian to sign for Liverpool, Markovic will hope to perform better than his compatriot Milan Jovanovic, who failed to impress during his sole season at the club in 2010/2011. Although he's young and still has much to prove, signing for Liverpool might just be the move that defines his career. We can only hope that, like Suarez seamlessly replaced Torres, Markovic will compensate for the departure of the controversial Uruguayan (15th July).

On the day that Loic Remy's proposed £8.5 million move to Liverpool fell through as the Frenchman failed his medical, there was some good news for the Reds on the transfer front, as Dejan Lovren became the third player to swap St Mary's for Anfield, putting pen to paper on a long-term contract at Liverpool.

The 25-year old's arrival for a reported £20 million fee is a sign that Rodgers is switching his attention to bolstering the Reds' weak defence, as the Northern Irish manager looks to plug the noticeable and sizeable gaps in the back line that conceded 50 League goals last season, ultimately costing the Merseysiders their first Premier League title.

Lovren eyes up Liverpool's Champions League trophy
It also casts doubt over the futures of Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger. The latter, in particular, looks seemingly close to the Anfield exit door after sitting out large spells of last season on the substitute's bench.

Lovren's Champions League experience with Lyon and international experience with Croatia are encouraging, as are his clear leadership capabilities, but I just hope he has a better first season at Liverpool than Sakho. The French centre back arrived at Anfield for a similar fee last summer but failed to impress, although hopefully he'll be able to strike up a productive partnership with Lovren and replicate his World Cup performances.

Between them, it's imperative that they somehow sort out Liverpool's defensive problems. A new left back is next on Rodgers' wish list (27th July).

Just days after the transfer of Loic Remy collapsed, Rodgers has made an addition to his attack in the form of 19-year old Belgian striker Divock Origi, who arrives for a reported £10 million fee from Lille. However, he won't be able to fill the gap left by Luis Suarez because he has been immediately loaned back to the French side for the 2014/2015 season.

Origi burst onto the global footballing scene with an impressive World Cup in Brazil, where he was a surprise addition to Marc Wilmots' squad after Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke was ruled out of the competition with an Achilles injury. Scoring the winning goal against Russia in the second group stage fixture, Origi featured in every match as the Belgians progressed to the quarter-finals, where they were knocked out by eventual runners-up Argentina.

Origi made a name for himself in Brazil
Although the Reds have been tracking his progress since his days playing for Belgium U15s, the signing of Divock Origi seems to worryingly have the potential to be a rushed and rash transfer based on only a few admittedly exceptional performances. As much potential as he may have, his scoring record is not one to write home about; Origi netted only six times in 40 appearances for Lille.

The fact that he will have an extra season away from the limelight and thus won't be expected to replace Suarez is positive and hopefully he'll be able to use the 2014/2015 campaign to improve and mature as a player.

However, I cannot get rid of the horrible feeling that he might turn out to be the next El Hadji Diouf, whose performances at the 2002 World Cup with Senegal convinced Gerard Houiller to part with £10 million to secure his services but turned out to be the peak of his career. Let's hope Origi proves me wrong (29th July).

Liverpool have signed Javier Manquillo from Spanish side Atletico Madrid on an unusually long loan lasting two years, with an option to make the deal permanent next summer for approximately six million euros. The highly-rated 20-year old right back will compete with Glen Johnson and Jon Flanagan for a starting berth in Brendan Rodgers' revamped back line.

Although an exciting talent, Manquillo is by no means the finished article, as demonstrated by the fact that he only made six appearances for Atletico Madrid's first team. However, he did make over 40 appearances for the La Liga winners' B team and the fact that the likes of Barcelona and Arsenal were rumoured to be interested in capturing his signature shows how highly he is regarded by some of the heavyweights in world football.

Manquillo completes his medical
Seemingly strong defensively and with a willingness to bomb on going forward, Manquillo is hopefully one for the future, who will develop his game primarily in the cup fixtures and keep Johnson on his toes in the short term by finally providing the England right back with some competition, which the number two has been lacking for so long (6th August).

Liverpool have completed the signing of Spanish left back Alberto Moreno from Sevilla for approximately £12 million, although it is believed that the fee could rise with add-ons. Brendan Rodgers will hope that Moreno, who has made three appearances for Spain and narrowly missed out on going to the World Cup, can solve Liverpool's long-standing problem at left back.

Athletic and pacey, the 22-year old Moreno moves to Merseyside after spending 10 years at home town team Sevilla. Moreno broke into Sevilla's first team a year and a half ago, making 45 appearances from 2012-2014, in which he scored three goals. He also managed an impressive three assists in ten appearances to help Sevilla win last year's Europa League.

Moreno can hopefully make the left back position his own
With Enrique arguably out of favour and frequently dogged by injuries, Moreno will have every chance to stake his place for a regular spot in the starting eleven. Hopefully, he can make a significant contribution towards improving the Reds' often leaky defence (16th August).

Mario Balotelli has completed his £16 million move to Liverpool from Italian side AC Milan. The firebrand forward is a world class talent who adds to the Reds' attacking options and could be the player who provides an important element of unpredictability to Liverpool's play. However, he comes with plenty of off-field baggage. Read more about my opinion on the signing of Super Mario here (25th August).

Balotelli signs a contract full of clauses to encourage good behaviour
Out: Liverpool's Luis Alberto has completed a season-long loan switch to Spanish side Malaga The 21-year old arrived at Anfield from Sevilla for just under £7 million last summer, but struggled to have an impact on the first team, making only 12 first team appearances, ten of which were from the bench.

Alberto will benefit from a year away from Anfield
He showed enough to suggest that he might have a long-term future on Merseyside, but it's good that he will have a year out of the limelight to continue to develop as a player at Malaga. We wish him all the best (26th June).

The much-anticipated sale of Luis Suarez has been officially confirmed by Liverpool. The 27-year old will join Barcelona for £75 million.

Suarez repeatedly dazzled the Anfield faithful with his mesmerising talent during three years at and 133 appearances for the club, in which he scored 82 times. Following his third biting scandal at the World Cup with Uruguay, Liverpool decided that they weren't willing to defend their star striker anymore and promptly opened negotiations with Barcelona.

Goodbye Luis. 
The resulting deal is probably best for all concerned. Read more about the Suarez sale here (11th July).

Liverpool have confirmed that Spanish striker Iago Aspas has returned to his homeland, joining Sevilla on a season-long loan, with the further option of the transfer then becoming permanent. The 26-year old signed from boyhood team  Celta Vigo last summer for a sizeable £8 million but never settled on Merseyside, failing to impress the Kop faithful. He managed only one goal- against Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup- in 15 appearances.

Aspas only scored once for Liverpool
We wish him all the best, but he won't be missed (21st July).

Andre Wisdom will spend the 2014/2015 season on loan at Midlanders West Bromwich Albion. The 21-year old, who can play at right back or centre back, was at Championship club Derby County last season, helping the Rams reach the play-off final, where they were beaten by Harry Redknapp's QPR at Wembley.

Wisdom in pre-season action for Liverpool
Despite featuring in both of the Merseysiders' pre-season fixtures so far, Rodgers made it abundantly clear that he thought a loan move was best for the player. We hope he is successful at West Brom, although he appears unlikely to add to his 22 appearances for Liverpool (22nd July)

21-year old Conor Coady, who only managed two first team appearances for Liverpool, has moved to Huddersfield Town in a permanent deal. The Academy graduate, who spent last season on loan at Sheffield United, will join up with fellow former Liverpool players Adam Hammill and Lee Peltier at the Championship club. 

Coady on the Reds' US tour
We wish him all the best at Huddersfield (6th August)

Brad Smith has left Liverpool to join Swindon Town on a season-long youth loan. The 20-year old left back made his senior debut for the Reds at the end of December 2013, when he was thrown on in midfield at Stamford Bridge in place of the injured Joe Allen, which was a damning indictment on £7 million signing Luis Alberto at the time, who remained on the bench. 

Smith's senior debut versus Chelsea said more about Alberto's future than his
We wish Smith all the best at Swindon (7th August)

Much-loved goalkeeper Pepe Reina has finally ended his nine-year spell at Liverpool on a permanent basis, joining German giants Bayern Munich, where he will provide competition for Pep Guardiola's first choice stopper Manuel Neuer. The Reds received a modest £2 million for the Spaniard's services, although they also benefit from a reduced wage bill, as Reina was a high-earner at Anfield.

Reina joined the Reds from Villarreal in the summer of 2005, replacing the hero of Istanbul Jerzy Dudek between the sticks. He went on to become undoubtedly the best Liverpool goalkeeper of my lifetime, winning the FA Cup and the League Cup and claiming the Barclays Golden Glove in three consecutive campaigns as he made an incredibly 394 appearances for the Merseysiders and kept countless clean sheets. 

Reina enjoying happier times at Anfield
A fans' favourite, Reina's distribution was unrivalled and his penalty saving prowess peerless, although he fell out with Rodgers when the  Northern Irish manager arrived in 2012. Wary of Reina's reported desire to join Barcelona, Rodgers made contingency plans which culminated in the capture of Simon Mignolet from Sunderland last summer. Consequently, Reina was sent out on loan to Napoli and at that point, regardless of how well he performed under Rafael Benitez in Italy, Reina's time at Liverpool was effectively over.

It's the right time for him to move on, but it's sad to see him go and we wish him all the best (8th August)

Martin Kelly has left Liverpool, completing a £1.5 million move to Crystal Palace, who have also just sacked manager Tony Pulis, perhaps immediately putting Kelly in a difficult position, unless, of course, he signed knowing that a managerial change was imminent.

An Academy graduate, Kelly has spent his entire career at Liverpool, with the exception of a brief loan spell at Huddersfield Town towards the end of the 2008/2009 season. Possessing plenty of potential but dogged by injuries, Kelly's Liverpool career was best summed up by his first competitive start, which came in the Reds' 2-1 defeat to Lyon at Anfield in the 2009/2010 Champions League group stages. 

Kelly could have made it an Anfield, but was frustrated by injuries
In for the injured Glen Johnson, Kelly put in an impressive display at right back, being named man of the match by the club's official website. Unfortunately, however, he had to be replaced with a quarter of an hour left after picking up an injury that kept him out of action for four months. 

Promising so much but being routinely frustrated by injuries and a lack of first team opportunities, Kelly eked out 62 appearances for the Reds but never nailed down a position in the first team, and full back Alberto Moreno's arrival from Sevilla finally signalled the end of Kelly's Liverpool career.

We wish the 24-year old all the best at Palace (14th August)

21-year old Joao Carlos Teixeira has joined Brighton on loan for the season. Teixeira, who made his first team debut as a substitute at Craven Cottage last season and made quite an impact, will continue his development under the tutelage of Liverpool legend Sami Hyypia, who was recently appointed manager of the Championship outfit.
Teixeira is on his way to Brighton
We wish him all the best at Brighton (18th August).

Liverpool have let talented youngster Jordon Ibe join Championship side Derby County on a year long loan. The 18-year old has made three first team appearances and particularly impressed during the Reds' pre-season tour to America, earning a place in Brendan Rodgers' squad for the opening day of the season at home to Southampton.

Ibe is a great young player
Ibe has bags of potential and could hopefully flourish to become the next Raheem Sterling. Let's hope this move to Derby furthers his development and that he moves back to Merseyside after the loan has expired a better player with a more realistic chance of beating Lallana and Markovic into a place in the starting eleven (29th August).  

Daniel Agger has returned to Denmark, re-joining former team Brondby after almost nine years at Anfield. The much-loved centre back made 232 appearances for Liverpool, scoring 14 goals and winning one medal after helping the Reds to win the League Cup in 2012. 

After being first choice centre back for several seasons, Agger has struggled to adapt to playing second fiddle to the likes of Skrtel, Sakho and, now, Lovren. With a seeming lack of first team opportunities, Rodgers granted Agger his wish to leave, and a romantic return to the Superliga side that he spent a decade with at the start of his career is probably best for all concerned. 

Agger says goodbye to the fans at the end of last season
We thank Agger for all the happy memories and wish him all the best at Brondby (30th August). 

Sebastian Coates has followed fellow centre back Daniel Agger out of the Anfield exit door, joining Premier League rivals Sunderland on loan until the end of the season. Coates has managed 24 appearances and found the net twice for Liverpool after joining from Uruguyuan side Nacional three years ago. 

However, his Reds' career has been hampered by both intense competition for places and injuries, with a knee injury picked up in a friendly against Japan in the summer of 2013 ruling him out for most of last season. 

Coates in action against Michael Essien in America
The 23-year old performed fairly well on tour in America but, following Lovren's arrival, his first team opportunities were always going to be restricted, and a loan move is best for all concerned. We wish him all the best at Sunderland (1st September).

Oussama Assaidi has re-joined Stoke City for another season on loan at the Britannia Stadium. In 2013/2014 Assaidi was much more useful out on loan than he would have been at Liverpool, netting important goals against the Reds' rivals, including spectacular efforts against Chelsea, Everton and Newcastle United.

Assaidi celebrates scoring the winner in a 3-2 victory over Chelsea
We wish him the best in Mark Hughes' Stoke side, but don't expect to see the Moroccan 26-year old add to the 12 outings he had made for Liverpool since signing from Dutch outfit Heerenveen in 2012 (1st September)

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