Premier League

Liverpool’s best free transfers of all time

Joel Matip, Liverpool

Liverpool are the Premier League club that has perhaps been most noted for their excellent transfer policy in recent seasons.

Led by the shrewd management of Jurgen Klopp, who has been backed by an excellent team of scouting staff, the Reds have more often than not got things right in the market.

Perhaps the best recent example of this came in January 2022, when they signed Luis Diaz from Porto and the Colombia international winger instantly became a hit at Anfield.

But while Diaz arrived for millions of pounds, the Reds have also worked smartly in the free agent market, securing some players who have become mainstays of their team on a long-term basis for absolutely nothing.

Prior to Klopp’s arrival, Liverpool’s free transfer business was typically disappointing, but all that now looks like ancient history.

These are Liverpool’s top five free transfers of all time:

Joel Matip

Joel Matip took a while to settle in at Anfield, initially the fourth-choice centre-back behind Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren.

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Now, the Cameroon international has seen off the competition and partners Van Dijk in what is an exceptional defensive unit.

Indeed, Matip has had as good a 2021-22 campaign as his Dutch team-mate, and is likely to make the Premier League team of the season.

Already Liverpool’s best free transfer of all time, adding silverware to his collection in the remainder of this season will set him even further apart.

Fabio Aurelio

A fan favourite in his seven seasons at the Merseyside club, Aurelio won plaudits as a cultured modern left-back.

The only disappointment to this transfer was the lack of appearances (134) that he managed to accrue.

The Chilean defender suffered greatly with injuries in his time in the Premier League, and eventually made way for Jose Enrique.

Gary McAllister

Gary McAllister is an unlikely name to have made this list, signed as a 35-year-old from Coventry City.

However, Gerard Houllier’s decision to bring the Scotsman to Anfield turned out to be a fantastic one.

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He played 90 time across two seasons in a Reds’ shirt and was part of the side that won the 2001 UEFA Cup final against Spanish side Alaves.

James Milner

James Milner’s arrival created little excitement among the the Reds faithful, arriving on a free transfer from Manchester City in 2015.

Yet, the Englishman has defied expectations, making well over 200 appearances and earning a place in Liverpool folklore.

The do-it-all midfielder has proved his worth several times over years, with important goals, crucial tackles and inspiring leadership.

Bolo Zenden

Rafa Benitez signed Bolo Zenden in 2005, initially as a squad player before developing into an important figure.

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Zenden’s experience, intelligence and work rate, much like Milner, meant he was a key part of Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League title run.

Indeed, he played on the left and in the centre of midfield in the final in Athens, in which the Reds came out victors via a penalty shootout against AC Milan.

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