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Liverpool spent the Luis Suarez money (and a bit more) on two decent players and a load of flops

Brendan Rodgers tried to replace the Uruguayan goalscorer with Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli

Liverpool have £145million to spend after selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

Even in today’s bonkers market, that’s a serious wedge.

Fans will be hoping the club invest the money more wisely than they did in 2014 when Brendan Rodgers spunked the Luis Suarez money (and then some) of two decent players and a load of flops…

1 Mario Balotelli (£16million)

Not so super…

PA:Empics Sport
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Not so super…

The Maverick forward was signed as a direct replacement for Suarez.

Tasked with scoring the weight of goals the Anfield faithful had come to expect from their centre-forward, Balotelli crumpled under the pressure.

Capable of matching Suarez only in the controversy stakes, Balotelli scored just one league goal for the club before being sold to Nice in 2016.

2 Lazar Markovic (£20million)

Practically a myth

Action Images - Reuters
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Practically a myth

It may come as a shock to you that the Serbian winger is still a Liverpool player.

He’s been loaned out to Fenerbahce, Sporting CP and Hull City following an underwhelming 2014/15 season at Anfield.

Touted as one of European football’s most exciting talents while at Benfica, he’s now the Premier League’s forgotten man.

3 Emre Can (£10million)

On his way out

PA:Press Association
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On his way out

One of the two aforementioned decent players.

In fact, he’s become better than decent in the last year or so, much to the frustration of the fans who expect him to join Juventus on a free when his contract expires at the end of the season.

This slice of the Suarez money was wisely reinvested, but allowing a 23-year-old German international to leave on a free negates the initial shrewdness.

4 Dejan Lovren (£20million)

Something of a punchline these days

Arfa Griffiths - The Sun
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Something of a punchline these days

The road from Southampton to Liverpool is heavily congested.

With the Reds crying out for a quality defender, Rodgers thought he’d solved a long-term problem with the recruitment of a Croatian centre-back.

Plenty of costly errors and unconvincing showings later, Liverpool have had to sign another centre-back from Southampton to replace him, costing them another £75m…

5 Adam Lallana (£25million)

Rodgers got this one right at least

Getty Images - Getty
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Rodgers got this one right at least

The biggest percentage of the Suarez cash was spent on the player who has been the biggest success at Liverpool — so that’s something to cheer.

A talented, technical playmaker, Lallana has improved immeasurably under Jurgen Klopp.

England’s Player of the Year for 2016, his progression was halted by a bad injury but many fans are hoping he can step up and fill Coutinho’s boots as the creative magician behind the front three.

Another Southampton lad, of course.

6 Alberto Moreno (£12million)

What is there left to say about this lovable liability?

PA:Press Association
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What is there left to say about this lovable liability?

A cult hero to some in Merseyside, Moreno has enjoyed spells of good form in the last three and a half years.

Unfortunately for the Spanish left-back, he’s also been at fault for more goals than he’d care to mention.

His bizarre decision-making and lack of composure made him a liability and when Klopp made it clear he preferred centre-midfielder James Milner at left-back last season, Moreno’s career hit something of an all-time low.

7 Divock Origi (£10million)

The jury’s still out

Arfa Griffiths - The Sun
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The jury’s still out

Still just 22-years-old, the Belgian forward may yet prove to be an astute recruit.

It’s only fair to give him more time to develop before we condemn him to the category of ‘flop’ or bestow him the honour of being labelled ‘decent.’

8 Rickie Lambert (£4million)

Oh Rickie you’re not so fine, you’re not so fine, our mind’s just fine, oh Rickie…

Arfa Griffiths - The Sun
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Oh Rickie you’re not so fine, you’re not so fine, our mind’s just fine, oh Rickie…

Last and most definitely least.

A Liverpool fan as a child, Lambert’s dream came true at the age of 32 when he signed for his beloved club having made a name for himself as a clinical goalscorer with, you guessed it, Southampton.

But the step up to a top six club proved too large a hurdle as he limped to just three goals in his 36 games for Liverpool — one of which came in a 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace, and one of which came in a 2-2 draw to Ludogorets in the Champions League.

Irreplaceable

PA:Press Association
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Irreplaceable

Suarez had finished the 2013/14 season with 31 goals from Premier League 33 games.

The season after, with Liverpool having spent £117million on new talent including not one, but two centre-forwards, the club’s top scorer in the league was… Steven Gerrard, with nine goals.

Will Liverpool spend the Coutinho money more wisely? You’d like to think so…


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