Transfer Activity Summer 2013

Keep up to date with Liverpool's transfer dealings this summer by regularly returning to this page.

In: Liverpool have bolstered their defence by moving quickly to sign Kolo Toure on free transfer from Premier League rivals Manchester City. The 32-year old, widely acknowledged as a replacement for the recently retired Jamie Carragher, becomes the first Ivory Coast international to sign for the Reds.

Toure's key attribute is his Premier League experience. The six foot centre back made 225 appearances for Arsenal under the leadership of Arsene Wenger, claiming a Premier League winners' medal and two FA Cup winners' medals. He then left in 2009 to join Manchester City for a reported fee of £16 million. Although Mark Hughes gave him the captaincy, Roberto Mancini stripped him of the skipper's armband and handed it to Carloz Tevez. Since then he was seen as more of a squad player, rather than a first team regular, making 20 appearances in the 2011/2012 season and three fewer last season. Nonetheless, he added another Premier League and FA Cup victory to his list of honours while at Eastlands.

Toure's Premier League experience is useful
On a free transfer, the signing of Toure represents wise business from Brendan Rodgers, although he is likely to be on substantial wages. As a highly experienced and successful player, the club will not have to wait for him to acclimatise and thus can expect instant performances from the Ivorian. Another younger centre back for the future is still needed, but Toure is a good signing who should benefit the Merseysiders' back four for at least a few years (1st June).

The Reds have agreed a deal in principle to sign striker Iago Aspas for approximately £7.7 million. I will comment further once the formalities have been completed (13th June).

Aspas is all but an Anfield man
Iago Aspas has been confirmed as the Reds' third signing of the summer after he put pen to paper on a long term contract. The 25-year old, who has spent his entire career at boyhood team Celta Vigo, is another exciting addition to Liverpool's growing attack. In 153 games for Celta Vigo he scored 50 goals, averaging approximately one in three games. He was particularly impressive in the 2011/2012 season, when his 25 goals in 38 games fired Os Celestes into La Liga, while he then managed 12 goals in 34 games to help Celta Vigo avoid an immediate return to the Segunda Division on the last day of the 2012/2013 season.

Although lacking international appearances, Aspas was a coveted talent, with Valencia and Swansea also interested in him. His agility and technical ability is matched fittingly with useful versatility and a fervent commitment to the cause. However, occasionally his passion bubbles over into stupidity, as evidenced by his four match ban for head-butting Deportivo rival Marchena in an important match last season. If he can keep his passion within the bounds of reason, though, he may be able to replace Luis Suarez as the fiery character every team needs should the Uruguayan head to Madrid this summer.  

Most importantly, he gives Brendan Rodgers more options in attack. Alongside Sturridge, Borini, Coutinho, Alberto and, hopefully, Suarez, Aspas represents another arrow in his quiver, which could be crucial if the Reds are to bag the goals necessary to finish in the top four and achieve Champions League qualification (23rd June).

Luis Alberto has completed his move to Liverpool from Spanish side Sevilla for a fee believed to be £6.8 million. The 20-year old forward, who has the ability to play in any attacking position, looks an exciting prospect both for next season and the duration of the long-term contract he has signed.

On loan at Barcelona B last season, Alberto netted a notable eleven goals and, even more impressively, managed 17 assists in 38 appearances. Creative, skilful and with an eye for goal, Alberto also seems able to deliver set pieces, which could make him an integral part of Brendan Rodgers' attack next season, especially if his namesake Suarez heads in the opposite direction back to Spain. 

While Luis Alberto may take time to adapt to the Premier League, which, admittedly, is a big step up from the Spanish second division, he certainly fits the profile of player that Liverpool need at the moment and appears to be another piece of the puzzle that Rodgers is trying to complete at Anfield (22nd June).

Simon Mignolet has become the first Belgian to sign for Liverpool after his highly-anticipated £9 million move from Sunderland was completed today. The 25-year old is a talented goalkeeper with Premier League experience, keeping an impressive 30 clean sheets during 90 matches for Sunderland, averaging one every three matches. Last season, he managed to keep 11 clean sheets in 40 appearances as he helped the Black Cats avoid relegation. Internationally, he has earned 13 caps for Belgium and may well be involved in  Brazil at the World Cup next summer. 

Mignolet poses for a picture after penning a long term contract
The news of Mignolet's arrival is bitter-sweet because it will almost certainly herald the departure of Kop favourite Pepe Reina. Although the official line remains that Mignolet has been signed to provide Pepe and Brad Jones with competition, Liverpool clearly haven't spent a sizeable sum simply to have Simon Mignolet sitting on the bench. During a busy summer of restructuring, £9 million expenditure on a second choice stopper could surely not be justified. Moreover, Mignolet obviously expects first team football and Reina appears to desire a move back to his beloved Barcelona. 

Consequently, I cannot envisage Reina appearing at Anfield next season. Although it may be wise to sell the 30-year old at his peak value, it is difficult to avoid the feeling that Liverpool are trading down in the goalkeeping department, swapping a quality goalkeeper with an unproven upstart who could turn out to be a worthy replacement, but could equally prove to be a waste of money. 

Despite all his admirable qualities, Simon Mignolet is the one summer signing I have the most doubts about. Only time will tell whether he'll make the grade on Merseyside (25th June)

Brendan Rodgers has moved to bolster his backline by completing the signing of left back Aly Cissokho from Valencia on a season-long loan. The 25-year old French footballer becomes the Reds' fifth summer signing and will provide vital competition for the current incumbent of the left back spot Jose Enrique. 

Speedy and with good stamina, Cissokho is stylistically similar to Enrique, although his height and accompanying aerial ability differentiate him from the Spaniard and could prove an invaluable asset to Liverpool's relatively small squad. 

With Champions League experience at former clubs Porto, Lyon and Valencia, including two performances against the Reds for the French club, and one French cap, Cissokho has proven his ability at the highest level and should add welcome depth to the Merseysiders' defence (20th August)

Cissokho in action for Valencia
Liverpool have been busy dotting the i's and crossing the t's on three much anticipated transfers on the morning of deadline day. In response to injuries to Aly Cissokho, Kolo Toure, Sebastian Coates and Glen Johnson, as well as the widespread understanding that the Reds' back line is the one area of the squad requiring the most strengthening, Brendan Rodgers has signed two young centre backs for a combined sum of approximately £25 million.

Marquee signing Mamadou Sakho is Rodgers' most expensive summer signing, arriving from French side PSG for £18 million. The 23-year old appears to possess a useful versatility, with an ability to play at both centre back and left back. With 14 French caps and Champions League experience, it is hoped Sakho will fill the void created by the retirement of Jamie Carragher and form a successful centre back partnership with vice-captain Daniel Agger, who resisted the calls of Barcelona to remain at Anfield. 

Sakho is Rodgers' promised marquee signing according to Ian Ayre

Ilori in action at Anfield in the NextGen series
Meanwhile, Tiago Ilori has completed a move to Liverpool from Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon. The 20-year old centre back clearly impressed the Reds' scouts when he played at Anfield for Sporting Lisbon in the 2011/2012 NextGen Series, as they advised Rodgers to spend roughly £7 million on the London-born Ilori. With appearances for Portugal at U18, U19 and U20 level, Ilori, who remains eligible for England at international level, is clearly a highly-rated centre back. Hopefully he manages to fulfill his potential on Merseyside. 

In attack, Victor Moses has arrived on a season long loan from Chelsea for £1 million, only a year after leaving Wigan to join the Londoners in a deal worth nearly £10 million. The forward was a favourite of former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez when the Spaniard was in charge at Stamford Bridge, and scored 10 goals in 42 appearances as he helped the Blues reach the Europa League final, where they beat Benfica. However, he appeared unlikely to feature in new boss Jose Mourinho's plans and hence was allowed to leave on loan.

Moses battles for the ball with Sterling last season
Moses provides another attacking option up front and should be more effective then the soon-to-depart Fabio Borini, who is currently having a medical at Sunderland ahead of a loan move to the Black Cats.

We welcome Sakho, Ilori and Moses to Anfield and hope that the rumours linking Liverpool with a dramatic late move for Moses' Chelsea teammate Juan Mata are true (2nd September).

Out: There has been significant speculation regarding the future of Luis Suarez over recent days after he conducted an interview with a radio station in Uruguay in which he stated that he was unsure of where he would be playing football next season and claimed that it would be difficult to say no if Real Madrid came calling in the summer. He also bizarrely blamed his desire to leave England on the media.

The club responded with a short statement declaring that they expected the number seven to honour his contract and had no intentions of selling Suarez. However, very few remain optimistic enough to assume Suarez will start next season at Anfield. Thankfully, the Reds remain in a strong bargaining position due to the length of Suarez's contract and should be able to demand at least £50 million for the talented yet mad striker.

Meanwhile, Pepe Reina has also stated that it would be difficult to turn down a move back to his boyhood team Barcelona. Many expect him to leave for around £10 million, with the club reportedly lining up Stoke stopper Asmir Begovic as a replacement (1st June).

West Ham have completed the signing of Andy Carroll from Liverpool for £15 million. The tall English striker spent last season on loan at the Hammers after new boss Brendan Rodgers made it abundantly clear that he was on the margins at Anfield. Despite costing the Merseysiders £35 million to sign from home town team Newcastle United in 2011, Carroll became a square peg in a round hole after the introduction of the passing style of football advocated by Rodgers, which didn't suit Carroll's physical approach or exploit his aerial prowess. On loan, Carroll bagged seven goals in 24 appearances as he helped the Hammers comfortably avoid relegation.

Sam Allardyce, the London team's manager, is risking a significant chunk of West Ham's transfer budget on their marquee signing Carroll. The 24-year old's considerable wage packet extending across a six-year contract could cause the total cost of acquiring Andy Carroll to rise to £40 million, a huge sum considering Carroll's injury record and the Hammers' recent financial difficulties.

Gamble- West Ham have invested a lot of money in Carroll
On the other side of the deal, Liverpool should be pleased with the transfer. Not only have they reduced their wage bill by offloading a player obviously surplus to requirements, they now have £15 million to potentially invest in bolstering their own strike force, possibly through the much rumoured signing of Armenian attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Of course, it's always disappointing to make such a sizeable loss on a player who failed to fulfil his potential at Anfield but, considering the unfavourable circumstances, Liverpool should be pleased with the deal they managed to strike with West Ham. 

We wish Carroll all the best for his future career (19th June).

Jonjo Shelvey has swapped Merseyside for South Wales, joining Martin Laudrup's up and coming Swansea City side for an initial fee of £5 million, which could rise by an additional £1 million if Shelvey accomplishes stipulated achievements during the course of his four-year contract. The League Cup winners displayed their desire to land the London-born midfielder by outbidding Crystal Palace.

Although widely lauded as a potential future star, Shelvey managed a mere 17 Premier League starts during his three years at Anfield, and failed to become a first team regular last season under Brendan Rodgers. In total he appeared 69 times for the Reds, scoring seven goals.

It's always disappointing to see another youngster fail to make the grade at Liverpool, but the transfer is probably for the best for all concerned. Shelvey needs regular first team football if he is to develop as a player and add to his solitary England cap, while Liverpool will benefit by offloading a player who, for all his promise, never really made his mark on Merseyside. The decent transfer fee received for Shelvey can also be used to reinvest in the squad.

Shelvey at Swansea's Liberty Stadium

We thank Jonjo for his service to the club and wish him all the best for the rest of his career (3rd July).

Spanish youngster Suso has returned to his homeland on loan for the 2013/2014 season. The silky skilled creative midfielder, who excited Kopites with some impressive performances at the start of last season after making his first team debut versus Young Boys in the Europa League, will play in La Liga for newly promoted Almeria.

After breaking into Brendan Rodgers' first team squad and making an early impact, Suso struggled to hold down a regular place in the starting eleven and was left on the periphery, despite making a reasonable total of 19 appearances.

More playing time on loan elsewhere can only be a good thing for Suso, although a loan spell at another English club may have helped him adapt to life in the Premier League more than a return to Spain. We wish him all the best at Almeria and hope he returns a better player, with a greater chance of making his name at Anfield (12th July).

Suso in action against Norwich last season
Pepe Reina's much anticipated move to Napoli has been confirmed by the club today. The highly-regarded Spanish stopper, who made 395 appearances for Liverpool since signing in 2005 and won the hearts of Kopites with his dedication to the Reds, will spend the 2013/2014 season on loan at Rafael Benitez's Italian side. 

In a heartfelt letter on his personal website, Reina said goodbye to the Liverpool fans he so evidently has affection for and revealed that he wanted to stay on at Anfield and fight for his place against new signing Simon Mignolet, however the decision to loan him to Napoli had already been made. 

Although Reina did suffer a drop in form last season and Mignolet appears a promising young goalkeeper, it remains difficult to escape the feeling that Liverpool have traded down in the goalkeeping department this summer, swapping arguably one of the greatest goalkeepers in the club's history for a 25-year old upstart who may or may not make it on Merseyside. 

Loaning out Reina is a risky move by Rodgers
Had the club received a bid of £12-15 million from FC Barcelona, Reina's boyhood team, then it would have made sense to sell him and reinvest the money in developing other areas of the squad, but it remains difficult to rationalise allowing him to leave on loan, especially when he was happy to provide competition for Mignolet, which would have kept the new keeper on his toes and hopefully raised goalkeeping standards in the squad.

We thank Reina for his dedication to Liverpool and wish him all the best at Napoli and in his future career (29th July)

The much-expected departure of Jay Spearing has been confirmed after the 24-year old joined Bolton Wanderers on a permanent transfer following an impressive loan spell at the Championship club last season, which culminiated in him being named as their player of the season.

Spearing graduated from the Reds' Academy and performed sufficiently well to achieve 55 appearances in Liverpool's first team. Liverpool legened Kenny Dalglish was clearly impressed by the young midfielder, handing him the vast majority of those appearances. Unfortunately, though, Spearing is just another example of young Academy graduates getting so close to regular first team action at Anfield, yet remaining so far from making a serious long term impact at the club.

We are glad that he has been transferred to Bolton rather than Blackburn though because, although Liverpool had previously agreed a £1.75 million fee with Rovers, Spearing understandably didn't think his career prospects could be advanced as effectively at a club who struggled to remain in the Championship last season.

Spearing just couldn't make it at Anfield
We thank him for his commitment to the club while at Anfield and wish him all the best at the Reebok and in the future (9th August).

Stewart Downing has become the second player to leave Liverpool for West Ham United this summer, joining former teammate Andy Carroll at Upton Park. The £6 million transfer represents a sizeable loss for Liverpool, who signed the winger from Aston Villa for £20 million only two seasons ago.

To be honest, Downing failed to make an impact during his 91 appearances for the club, a fact hinted at by his measly return of only seven goals. Lauded as one of the best wingers in the Premier League and hailed as the solution to the Reds' long-term problems on the left wing, many expected Downing, who had plenty of top flight experience and was at the peak of his career, to hit the ground running and provide a swift return on Liverpool's significant investment.

Frustratingly, though, his performances were disappointingly ineffectual. In his first season he delivered no goals and no assists from his 36 Premier League appearances, which is pitifully bad for a creative player even taking into account poor finishing from forwards. From that point on, Downing was fighting a losing battle to prove himself to both the supporters and the manager. Although he improved during the second half of last season after being told by boss Brendan Rodgers he was free to leave, few fans will be sad to see the back of a player who promised so much but delivered so little.

Most Kopites would have been happy to drive Downing to London
We wish him all the best at West Ham (13th August).

As expected, Oussama Assaidi has left Liverpool on loan, joining Stoke City for the 2013/2014 season. The former Heerenveen winger seemed out of favour at Anfield almost from the moment of his arrival last summer, managing to make only 12 appearances overall, a mere four coming in the Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers will now presumably look to bring in a replacement on the left wing, possibly Victor Moses from Chelsea.

Assaidi is now a Stoke player
We wish Assaidi all the best at the Potters (27th August).

Perennial loanee Dani Pacheco has finally left Liverpool on a permanent transfer, joining the spectacularly named Spanish second division side AD Alcorcon. The diminutive attacker arrived at Anfield in 2007 and was hailed as a potential future star but never really made his mark on Merseyside, managing a meagre 17 senior appearances.

Since 2011 it has been clear that he wouldn't make the grade at Liverpool and, as a result, he has repeatedly been allowed to leave on loan, seemingly because the club have been unable to offload him on a permanent basis rather than to get him some game time. Pacheco must have felt particularly unloved when Athletico Madrid took him on loan in the summer of 2011 but immediately loaned him on to fellow Spaniards Rayo Vallecano. The 22-year old Barcelona Academy graduate has also had temporary spells at Norwich City and Huesca.

Pacheco has finally found a permanent home
We wish him every success throughout the rest of his career (2nd September).

Fabio Borini's loan move to Sunderland has been completed. The Italian forward will spend the duration of the 2013/2014 season at the eccentric Paolo Di Canio's Black Cats. Borini has struggled to find both form and fitness since joining Liverpool from AS Roma last summer. Two goals in 20 games is simply not good enough and, with Victor Moses arriving to provide more attacking options up front, Rodgers obviously felt he was able to let him go out on loan.

His departure is perhaps an admission from the Northern Irish manager that his first signing for Liverpool has not turned out to be a success. We wish Borini all the best in the North East (2nd September).

Borini has failed to live up to expectations at Liverpool 

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