An XI of Liverpool's biggest flops in Premier League history


When Liverpool spent £20 million on Lazar Markovic back in the summer of 2014, they thought they were getting a wonderkid.

The 20-year-old had just helped Benfica win a domestic treble, while they also reached the Europa League final.

But the transfer hasn’t quite gone to plan.

Some 1370 days since his last Liverpool appearance, Markovic has finally left the club for Fulham.

His final appearance came back in May 2015, his 34th and final game for the Reds.

He’s since been made to train with the Under-23s after seemingly refusing a move to join Anderlecht last summer.

But after earning almost £10 million since he last played a game, the 24-year-old has now joined relegation-threatened Fulham.

It’s been a very expensive mistake for Liverpool.

Tranmere Rovers v Liverpool - Pre Season Friendly

However, it’s far from being the only transfer mistake the Merseyside club have made in the transfer window.

As a result, we’ve comped an XI of the biggest flops to have signed for Liverpool in Premier League history.



Goalkeeper: Charles Itandje - Free

How bad do you have to be to be considered a flop after arriving on a free transfer?

Well, Itandje managed it. The Frenchman was signed to be cover for Pepe Reina making seven appearances in the cup competitions.

But he makes this list purely because of his actions during the Hillsborough memorial service in 2009, the twentieth anniversary of the tragedy.

Cameras caught the goalkeeper laughing and joking around and he didn’t fail a single game for the club at any level.

Shocking behaviour, shocking goalkeeper.

Chelsea v Liverpool - Carling Cup Quarter Final

Right-Back: Philipp Degen - Free

Another free transfer but another big flop.

Rafa Benitez signed Degan from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2008 but it was a bit of disaster from start to finish.

He broke two of his ribs and punctured his lung in a collision with teammate Sami Hyypia during his competitive debut in the League Cup against Crewe and was sidelined for two months.

On his first-team comeback, he broke his metatarsal. After returning from injury for a second time, he broke his metatarsal once again, effectively ending a nightmare debut season at Anfield without playing a league game.

His second season wasn’t much better and he left after two seasons, making just 13 appearances in all competitions.

Fulham v Liverpool - Premier League

Left-back: Paul Konchesky - £3.5m

You know you’re struggling when you need your mother to come out and defend you.

Carol Konchesky took to Facebook to blast the “Liverpool scouse scum” for criticising her son.

It didn’t help because he was soon being sarcastically cheered off the pitch when he was substituted in a home defeat to Wolves.

Konchesky managed 18 appearances during the 2010/11 season and can now be found playing for East Thurrock United in the National League South.

Everton v Liverpool - Premier League

Centre-back: Danny Wilson - £5m

Perhaps a bit harsh on the Scot, who was signed as an 18-year-old from Rangers by Roy Hodgson.

But it was quickly apparent that he would never be good enough for Liverpool and only lasted three seasons, playing just nine times.

He’s now back at Rangers playing under Steven Gerrard.

West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool - Premier League

Centre-back: Torben Piechnik - £500,000


The Danish defender is a regular in “worst XIs to have ever played for Liverpool” so who are we to disagree?

Graeme Souness signed Piechnik just weeks before the inception of the Premier League and he managed 16 league appearances in the 1992/93 campaign.

Liverpool fans did have a chant for him that went “Torben Piechnik, Teddy Bears' Picnic” but he made just one appearance in his second campaign and he will go down as one of the worst players to have ever played for the club.


Midfield: Alberto Aquilani - £20m

After impressing in Italy for Roma, Benitez’s signing of Aquilani looked very astute.

But the Italian was constantly injured and, 28 appearances later, was back playing in Italy with loan spells at Juventus and Milan before joining Fiorentina.

Liverpool v Sunderland - Premier League

Midfield: Lazar Markovic - £20m

Markovic very much belongs in this XI - and he could even be the captain based on just how terrible his spell at Liverpool has been.

Markovic’s 34 appearances have ultimately cost Liverpool around £332,000-per-game.



Midfield: Stewart Downing - £18.5m

It’s remarkable to think Downing missed just two league matches during his first season at Liverpool.

However, he failed to score a goal in those 36 games. That pretty much sums up his Liverpool career.

After two seasons, Downing finished with seven goals in 91 matches. Not the figures you’d expect from a winger.

Liverpool v Fulham - Premier League

Striker: Mario Balotelli - £16m

The definition of a panic buy.

Liverpool needed to replace Luis Suarez, who left for Barcelona, and turned to the controversial Balotelli.

Brendan Rodgers simply wasn’t capable of taming the Italian and he left the club after just one season.

During that 2014/15 campaign, he scored one league goal in 16 matches.

Hull City v Liverpool - Premier League

Striker: Andy Carroll - £35m

Speaking of panic buys…

While January’s transfer deadline day didn’t provide us with any big moves, the deadline day in 2011 was rather incredible.

Fernando Torres moved to Chelsea for £50 million, leaving the Reds in desperate search of a replacement.

Every club knew that Liverpool now had plenty of money to spend and Newcastle took full advantage of that.

Carroll lasted one-and-a-half seasons at Anfield, finishing with 11 goals in 58 games with his style really not suiting the way Liverpool played.

Liverpool v Everton - Premier League

Striker: Christian Benteke - £32.5m

£32.5 million. Let’s just let that sink in.

For a player to last just one season after spending that amount of money on him is just terrible.

But that’s what happened with Benteke.

Ten goals in 42 appearances was the end result with the incoming Jurgen Klopp having no intention of using Benteke in his gegenpressing tactics.

Remarkably, Crystal Palace then paid £32 million for Benteke, who is having to make do with a place on the bench at Selhurst Park.

Liverpool FC v FC Girondins de Bordeaux - UEFA Europa League
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