Liverpool's best summer transfer windows — ranked

The summer transfer window was officially brought into effect by UEFA ahead of the 2002/03 season and has become one of the most discussed areas of football.

Little did the governing bodies know back then that restricting new signings to a specific time period would inadvertently spawn a whole new world of yellow ties, ITKs, sex toys in ears and Peter Odemwingie in car parks.

While nothing is as anticipated in modern football as a new signing, things don't always go to plan. Case in point: Liverpool used the first official window to bring in El-Hadji Diouf, Salif Diao and Bruno Cheyrou. Yikes. However, the Reds have had plenty of good windows too.

Here are Liverpool's best summer windows ranked:

8. 2020/21

© ProShots - Thiago Alcantara

Ins: Diogo Jota (£45m, Wolves), Thiago Alcantara (£20m, Bayern Munich), Kostas Tsimikas (£11.7m, Olympiacos)

Outs: Dejan Lovren (£11m, Zenit), Adam Lallana (Free), Nathaniel Clyne (Free)

The Reds may not have spent big amid the Covid hit, but all three of the first-team signings made in the summer after their first title in 30 years have gone on to become successes in one way or another.

The reason this doesn't rank higher is due to the lack of recruitment at centre back following the departure of Lovren, which would go on to cause major issues that season following serious injuries to just about everyone wearing a Liverpool shirt.

7. 2007/08

Ins: Fernando Torres (£20m, Atletico Madrid), Ryan Babel (£11.5m, Ajax), Lucas Leiva (£6m, Gremio), Yossi Benayoun (£5m, West Ham), Sebastian Leto (£1.8m, Lanus), Krisztian Nemeth (£1m, MTK Budapest), Charles Itandje (Undisclosed, Lens), Damien Plessis (Undisclosed, Lyon), Andriy Voronin (Free)

Outs: Craig Bellamy (£7.5m, West Ham), Mohamed Sissoko (£7m, Juventus), Djibril Cisse (Undisclosed, Marseille), Mark Gonzalez (£3m, Real Betis), Luis Garcia (£3.5m, Atletico Madrid), Florent Sinama-Pongolle (£3.5m, Recreativo), Gabriel Paletta (Undisclosed, Boca Juniors)

A summer of upheaval in 2007, no fewer than nine fresh faces came in the front door at Anfield as Rafa Benitez implemented a somewhat scattergun approach in seeking to take the next step to domestic success. Record signing Torres was the marquee arrival — and boy did it paid off for the Reds. Lucas, too, was ultimately more than worth his fee.

The rest? Mixed. Very mixed.

6. 2004/05

Ins: Dijbril Cisse (£14m, Auxerre), Xabi Alonso (£10.7m, Real Sociedad), Luis Garcia (£6m, Barcelona), Josemi (£2m, Malaga), Antonio Nuñez (£1.5m)

Outs: Michael Owen (£8m, Real Madrid), Emile Heskey (£3.5m, Birmingham), Danny Murphy (£2.5m, Charlton), Markus Babbel (Free), Stephane Henchoz (Free)

Benitez's first summer saw the beginning of the Spanish revolution with the arrivals of club legends in the making Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia (as well as less fondly remembered pair Josemi and Nuñez). Cisse's move had already been agreed by Benitez's predecessor Gerard Houllier, while homegrown stars Owen and Murphy moved on a year before the Miracle of Istanbul.

5. 2015/16

Ins: Christian Benteke (£32.5m, Aston Villa), Roberto Firmino (£29m, Hoffenheim), Nathaniel Clyne (£12.5m, Southampton), Danny Ings (£8m, Burnley), Joe Gomez (£3m, Charlton), James Milner (Free), Adam Bogdan (Free)

Outs: Raheem Sterling (£50m, Manchester City), Fabio Borini (£5m, Sunderland), Iago Aspas (£5m, Sevilla), Rickie Lambert (£3m, West Brom), Sebastian Coates (£4m, Sunderland), Steven Gerrard (Free), Glen Johnson (Free), Brad Jones (Free)

Unquestionably a mixed bag in Brendan Rodgers' final summer but the trio of Firmino, Milner and Gomez — who all went on to become Premier League and Champions League winners — more than made up for the club's poor judgement in Benteke.

The summer of 2015 was also about clearing house with Borini, Aspas, Lambert and Coates all bringing in cash.

4. 1999/00

Ins: Didi Hamann (£8m, Newcastle), Sander Westerveld (£4m, Vitesse), Stephane Henchoz (£3.5m, Blackburn Rovers), Vladimir Smicer (£3.5m, Lens), Titi Camara (£2.6m, Marseille), Sami Hyypia (£2.5m, Willem II), Erik Meijer (Free)

Outs: Steve McManaman (Free), Rob Jones (Free), Paul Ince (£1m, Middlesbrough), Bjorn Tore Kvarme (£750k, Saint-Etienne), David James (£1.8m, Aston Villa)

Three years before the advent of the official transfer window, the last summer of the millennium saw the arrival of the man whose substitution would help save Liverpool's Champions League final in 2005, while I challenge you to find any better value on a centre back pairing than a combined £7m for Hyypia and Henchoz.

The bad part? McManaman left on a free.

3. 2016/17

© Proshots - Sadio Mane

Ins: Sadio Mane (£30m, Southampton), Gini Wijnaldum (£25m, Newcastle), Loris Karius (£4.5m, Mainz), Ragnar Klavan (£4.2m, Augsburg), Joel Matip (Free), Alex Manninger (Free)

Outs: Christian Benteke (£27m, Crystal Palace), Jordon Ibe (£15m, Bournemouth), Joe Allen (£13m, Stoke), Martin Skrtel (£5.5m, Fenerbahce), Jerome Sinclair (£4m, Watford), Luis Alberto (£3m, Lazio), Brad Smith (£3m, Bournemouth), Mario Balotelli (Free), Jose Enrique (Free), Kolo Toure (Free)

Klopp's first summer as Liverpool boss was a clear success. An initially eyebrow-raising fee for Mane has since been made to look like peanuts, while fan favourites Wijnaldum and Matip also joined the band.

Perhaps most impressively, the Reds more than covered their costs with some unfathomably good sales — including stinging Bournemouth for Ibe and Smith.

2. 2018/19

Ins: Alisson Becker (£65m, Roma), Fabinho (£43.7m, Monaco), Naby Keita (£52.75m, RB Leipzig), Xherdan Shaqiri (£13.5m, Stoke)

Outs: Ragnar Klavan (£2m, Cagliari), Danny Ward (£12.5m, Leicester), Emre Can (Free)

Often cited as the summer where Liverpool took it to the next level — thanks, in part, to the famous Philippe Coutinho money. The Reds spent very shrewdly and made collosal upgrades in goal and midfield, while Shaqiri proved a useful squad option in key moments.

No-one of real consequence left the team either, with Klopp ensuring his side were done with being a selling club.

1. 2017/18

© Proshots - Andy Robertson

Ins: Mohamed Salah (£43.9m, Roma), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£35m, Arsenal), Andy Robertson (£8m, Hull City), Dominic Solanke (Free)Outs: Lucas Leiva (£5m, Lazio), Mamadou Sakho (£26m, Crystal Palace), Kevin Stewart (£8m, Hull City), Andre Wisdom (£2m, Derby)

Few back in 2017 would have predicted that Salah's transfer would go down as one of the greatest in Liverpool's history — but it certainly will. Robertson and Stewart swapping places at Hull for more or less the same money feels almost illegal, while even Solanke would later be sold for huge profit.

Michael Edwards even managed to get big money for the totally outcast Sakho.

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