Deadline Day is, like it or loathe it, one of the biggest events on the modern football calendar.
The countdown to 2023’s edition of the yellow-tied madness is on and, with the Reds’ rebuild not yet finished, there’s likely to be plenty of clamour for Liverpool arrivals right up until 23:00 on Friday 1 September.
But how often do Deadline Day deals actually work out?
Short answer: in Liverpool’s case, not often.
Taking into account only players who went on to make a first-team appearance for the club, the Reds have made nine summer Deadline Day signings since the start of the transfer window era.
Here are those nine players ranked by how successful they turned out to be.
9. Arthur Melo – Loan, 2022
After failing to secure top midfield target Aurelien Tchouameni, Liverpool decided they didn’t need a new midfielder at all. Then panicked. And then brought in Juventus cast-off Arthur on loan at the eleventh hour.
The Brazilian played 13 minutes of the dismal 4-1 Champions League defeat to Napoli and was never seen again, as he struggled with fitness issues.
It’s safe to say the €37.5m option to buy was not exercised.
An awful piece of business. There’s no getting around it.
8. Paul Konchesky – £4m, 2010
In 2010, Liverpool signed Paul Konchesky, Milan Jovanovic, Christian Poulsen, Joe Cole and Danny Wilson.
That’s a disappointing summer.
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) August 31, 2017
One of Roy Hodgson’s not-so-magnificent seven, Konchesky was signed in the summer of 2010 as part of the post-Rafa Benitez rebuild, having been a solid operator at Europa League finalists Fulham.
Like most of Hodgson’s signings, however, the step up to a club of Liverpool’s pedigree was higher than Konchesky’s talent ceiling and he became a lightning rod for fans’ frustrations during a dark time for the club – much to his mum’s anger.
Mrs Konchesky’s Facebook outbursts coupled with her son’s woeful defending meant it was never going to work out and the left back was loaned to Forest in January 2011.
7. Tiago Ilori – £7m, 2013
Deadline Day 2013 was a busy time to work at Liverpool FC with three players dotting i’s and crossing t’s on their Anfield transfers.
20-year-old Portuguese defender Ilori was the lowest profile of the trio, but the highly rated youngster still commanded a surprisingly high fee, reportedly around £7m.
Tipped for great things, in reality the centre back’s time at Liverpool was practically non-existent. He was loaned out to Granada four months after his arrival, then spent spells at Bordeaux and Aston Villa, before being sold to Reading for £3.75m.
His entire Liverpool playing career comprised three FA Cup outings in the 2015/16 season – one of which was an undignified 2-2 draw with League Two Exeter during Jurgen Klopp’s early days as manager.
6. Damien Plessis – £2.5m, 2007
Another hyped-up youngster, Plessis felt like a Gerard Houllier signing in the Benitez era.
Reportedly costing £2.5m from Lyon – producer of talents such as Karim Benzema, Alexandre Lacazette and Hatem Ben Arfa – Plessis was technically Liverpool’s first-ever Deadline Day arrival and went on to impress in Liverpool’s reserve team, before being thrown in at the deep end with a first-team debut against Arsenal at the beginning of the 2008/09 season.
Despite not embarrassing himself in the 1-1 draw, the French youngster was hardly seen again and made just eight outings in total before being sold to Panathinaikos in 2010. He has since spent much of his career in the French lower leagues.
5. Victor Moses – Loan, 2013
Pre-wing back redemption arc, Moses spent a largely forgettable season on loan at Liverpool following a surprise Deadline Day move.
The Nigeria international did, however, score against Swansea on his debut and was handy squad option for Brendan Rodgers during their 2013/14 title tilt – though the rise of Raheem Sterling limited his starting opportunities.
After returning to Chelsea, Moses would be sent out on loan five more times before leaving permanently for Spartak Moscow in 2021.
4. Albert Riera – £8m, 2008
The Spanish left winger arrived from Espanyol on Deadline Day 2008 and was a regular for the season that followed as Benitez’s side pushed Manchester United close for the Premier League crown.
Riera, a former Manchester City loanee, actually looked pretty well-suited to Liverpool, bagging five goals in his first season (including in the 5-0 win over Aston Villa above), but fell out of favour after an ill-advised interview with the Spanish press.
By 2010, he had moved to Olympiacos for considerably less than the Reds had paid a couple of years before.
3. Craig Bellamy – Free, 2011
After seeing his contract cancelled at Manchester City, everybody’s favourite golfer returned for a second stint at Liverpool, spurning interest from Spurs and Stoke to pen a deal at Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool on Deadline Day 2011.
The then 32-year-old was largely a bit-parter for Liverpool, behind Luis Suarez, Dirk Kuyt and even Andy Carroll in the pecking order of forwards.
He did have his moments though. The Welshman provided the assist for Carroll’s famous FA Cup semi-final winner over Everton and scored a not-too-shabby nine goals in all competitions (an identical total to his one previous season at Liverpool in 2006/07).
Though Dalglish was keen to keep him on, Bellamy moved to Cardiff City for personal reasons the next year.
2. Mamadou Sakho – £18m, 2013
Famously the youngest ever PSG captain, Sakho’s signing on Deadline Day 2013 was seen as something of a coup for Liverpool at the time.
Rodgers described his new centre back as a ‘beast’ while the young Frenchman impressed (when fit) during his first campaign at Anfield.
After that, things started to go off track… Sakho left the stadium after finding out he’d been left out of the team to face Everton during the 2014/15 season, while Klopp also struggled with the defender’s notorious ill-discipline and approach to time-keeping – even threatening to leave him on Alcatraz after interrupting a club interview.
Instead of imprisoning Sakho, however, Klopp made the much more shrewd decision to loan him out to Crystal Palace. who eventually paid £26m for the occasionally brilliant defender, making the Reds a tidy profit on a troublesome player.
Without that caveat, he’d be a lot lower down this list.
1. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – £35m, 2017
After some weeks of speculation, Liverpool landed ‘the Ox’ from Arsenal on 2017’s summer Deadline Day for a pricey £35m, despite the player entering the final year of his contract.
The England international left the Gunners due to frustrations regarding lack of game time in his preferred midfield position and he immediately found his groove at Liverpool, adding thrust and some key goals (see above) to the Reds’ engine room as they pushed on to the Champions League final in 2017/18.
Serious injury problems derailed the following season, but Oxlade-Chamberlain bounced back to be an important part of the title-winning campaign, contributing eight goals in all competitions in 2019/20.
More injuries stopped him having much of a meaningful impact since then, sadly. However, his list of honours and highlights reel of absolute bangers sees him remembered more than fondly on Merseyside.