All 20 Michael Edwards signings as Liverpool sporting director - Ranked

Here's every signing Michael Edwards made as Liverpool sporting director - and how we rank them.

Michael Edwards is re-joining Liverpool in a senior role as part of the post-Jurgen Klopp shakeup at Anfield.

The 44-year-old won't return as sporting director, but appears set to take over all football operations as part of the new era at the club, while Bournemouth's Richard Hughes will be the man to take over from Jorg Schmadtke.

Edwards' return is a particularly popular one among fans, with the former transfer chief earning a reputation for identifying the best talent and getting the best deals during his first spell at Liverpool.

While he spent a decade at Anfield in a variety of roles, Edwards was officially sporting director from 2016 until 2022, when Julian Ward took over.

There were 20 incoming first-team transfers in that time. We've ranked them all.

20. Ben Davies (£500k)

Not really any question that Ben Davies is last. He arrived as a last resort during an injury crisis in January 2021, but never played a competitive minute for Liverpool. While he's not the only person without minutes on this list, he is the only one the Reds paid money for. Amazingly, however, Liverpool did turn a profit on the defender selling him for up to £4m.

19. Ozan Kabak (£1.5m loan)

Now, Ozan Kabak was only a loan deal but an ill-fated one. It also means Liverpool recouped nothing when he left after they opted not to trigger an £18m option to buy. Kabak also arrived in January 2021 but like Davies, often found himself out of favour behind pre-existing options Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams.

18. Andy Lonergan (Free)

Andy Lonergan was only at Liverpool for one season and never played a minute. Essentially, he was there as a third/fourth-choice goalkeeper who played a role in training. He did exactly that, so little to complain about, really.

17. Adrian (Free)

A free transfer who may not feature at all anymore, but Adrian can still claim to have won Liverpool a trophy. His heroics in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup earned him that right. Let's try not to focus on what happened in subsequent outings.

16. Sepp van den Berg (£1.3m - £4.4m)

It's coming up on five years since Liverpool signed Sepp van den Berg. He's only played four times, however, and the vast majority of his time with the Reds has been out on loan. Those loans have been successful, but not yet translated into a place at Liverpool. He could shoot up these rankings eventually, though, either by earning a role with the team or leaving for profit.

15. Naby Keita (£52m)

Naby Keita

Football - 2022 / 2023 Emirates FA Cup - Round Three - Replay - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Liverpool - Molineux - Tuesday 17th January 2023. Naby Keita of Liverpool

This is a controversial one and everyone will have Naby Keita in a different position on their list. There are solid arguments that he's far too low at 16 and equally solid arguments that he should be rock bottom. After all, Keita cost £52m, played 84 Premier League games in five years (and scored fewer combined goals in those years than he did in his first Bundesliga season) and then left on a free. He never lived up to his potential and is the sole major failure of Michael Edwards. Yes, he had his moments but Liverpool never got close to their money's worth

14. Dominic Solanke (Free)

Liverpool got a single goal out of Dominic Solanke - he scored on his very last appearance for the Reds. But in hindsight, this was actually an overwhelmingly positive transfer. The Reds paid nothing but sold Solanke for £19m to Bournemouth. He's since proven to be exactly as good as Liverpool thought he was with 14 Premier League goals already this season. Signed and sold for the right reasons.

13. Takumi Minamino (£7.25m)

Takumi Minamino certainly had his moments and contributed greatly to both cup wins in 2022. In fact, that creates a solid argument that he should be higher on this list - it's just that the success stories are coming thick and fast. Minamino just didn't work out as well as he could have and was a disappointment in the end. But that really just goes to show the standards here.

12. Xherdan Shaqiri (£13m)

Xherdan Shaqiri arrived as a useful squad player and filled that role wonderfully - or at least, would have if not for the injuries. But despite time missed, the Swiss playmaker still provided some incredible moments. The brace against Manchester United and his cross for Gini Wijnaldum against Barcelona were worth treble his fee on their own.

11. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£35m)

This is a difficult one to judge. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was brilliant in his first season - his display in the UEFA Champions League against Manchester City was sensational. But a horrible injury slowed him down and Oxlade-Chamberlain struggled to recover his form. We saw it in bursts, particularly in the title-winning campaign, but never consistently. Ultimately, he hit a high enough level at Liverpool to finish high on this list - but it's a debatable one.

10. Thiago (£20m)

Thiago has brought incredible quality to Liverpool and is in terms of reputation, one of the biggest signings the club has ever made. It's not hard to imagine he'd be flying near the top of this list if not for the injuries. Thiago was one of the Reds star players in their 2022 campaign that came so close to delivering four trophies. His highs have been high, but there haven't been nearly enough and his final season at the club has been disastrous.

9. Kostas Tsimikas (£11.75m)

Considering Kostas Tsimikas was signed purely as a squad player, his contributions have been immense. The winning penalty in the FA Cup final, providing the cross for the winning goal in the Carabao Cup final - and that's on top of Man of the Match displays. A bargain.

8. Harvey Elliott (£4.3m)

Harvey Elliott

Football - Football League Cup - Final - Chelsea FC v Liverpool FC LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 25, 2024: Liverpool s Harvey Elliott celebrates after the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0 after extra-time. Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda LONDON Wembley Stadium GREATER LONDON ENGLAND Copyright: xDavidxRawcliffex

Less than £5m for Harvey Elliott is an extraordinary steal and the only reason he's not higher on this list is that he's still developing. By the end of it all, he could be in the top five. A massive talent who should remain at Anfield for as long as he wants.

7. Diogo Jota (£41m)

Diogo Jota has played above pretty much everyone's expectations. He arrived as something of a surprise signing but has since gone on to become one of the most dangerous forwards in the Premier League. Across his four seasons, Jota has averaged 0.73 goals + assists per 90 in his first season, 0.72 in his second, 0.88 in his third and an incredible 1.03 this season. An incredible signing.

6. Ibrahima Konaté (£36m)

Liverpool didn't spend a lot on centre-backs under Michael Edwards but when they did, it went incredibly well. Ibrahima Konaté was a player the Reds decided to wait for in 2021 and he was well worth it. By the end of his debut campaign, he was playing in a starring role in the run to the Champions League final. Konaté is still only 24 and well on his way to becoming one of the world's best.

5. Fabinho (£39m)

Liverpool went into the 2018 summer transfer window having lost the Champions League final. One of the signings they simply needed was a defensive midfielder and out of nowhere, they grabbed Fabinho. By the time he'd left five years later, the Brazilian had won everything. A key player in one of Liverpool's greatest-ever teams. £39m felt like nothing.

4. Andy Robertson (£8m)

And now we're firmly in the realm of the best signings. There's a solid argument for Andy Robertson being the best given he cost £10m and became the world's best in his position. The Scot has won everything, with more to come, and will almost certainly climb above the likes of Alan Kennedy as the Reds' best-ever left-back. Picking him up from relegated Hull City on the cheap is quite ridiculous in this day and age.

3. Alisson Becker (£62m)

Again, Alisson Becker could easily top this list. Liverpool paid a world-record fee for a goalkeeper to get him and that decision was inspired. Every Red would consider him to be the best in the world, one of the best we've ever seen, and a true club legend. Michael Edwards rarely paid record fees to secure players but here's an example of knowing when it's time to do so.

2. Mohamed Salah (£34m)

Mohamed Salah

Brentford v Liverpool, London, UK - 17 Feb 2024 Goal celebrations for Mohamed Salah of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Brentford and Liverpool at The GTech Community Stadium, London on 17 February 2024 London The GTech Community Stadium London England Copyright: xMicahxCrook/PPAUKx PPA-089862

One of the greatest signings in Liverpool's history - but there's no way anyone thought he'd be this good. The Reds signed Mohamed Salah in 2017 because they needed to upgrade on the right wing. What they actually got was one of their greatest-ever goalscorers and the player who would lead their attack to the top of world football. A sensational signing. Salah could have cost three times this and still feel like a bargain.

1. Virgil van Dijk (£75m)

Virgil van Dijk is in the discussion for Liverpool's greatest transfer, let alone by Michael Edwards. Yes, it was a world record for a defender but the Reds were willing to take that chance when no one else would. To say it paid off is an understatement. They were Champions League finalists five months later, won it the year after that, won the title the year after that and have challenged for everything ever since. One of the greatest centre-backs, and Liverpool players, of all time. Transformative.

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