Gérard Houllier’s 40 Liverpool signings ranked and rated – who’s the worst?

Liverpool, Gerard Houllier, Florent Sinama Pongolle, Harry Kewell. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Liverpool, Gerard Houllier, Florent Sinama Pongolle, Harry Kewell. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) /
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Nick Barmby, Liverpool.
Nick Barmby, Liverpool. (Ben Radford /Allsport) /

Nick Barmby //Everton // £6,000,000

Nick Barmby had a bit of a weird Liverpool career. He hit the ground running beautifully with a goal against Everton – who made their displeasure known at Barmby jumping ship from Blue to Red. He was the first player to move across since Dave Hickson in 1959.

The midfielder joined at the start of the triple cup winning side, although he missed out on the European final and the FA Cup final after previously being an important member of both outfits.

But he struggled to make an impression during his second season with Liverpool and nearly moved to Sunderland, but wanted to stay and fight for his place in the side. This struggle against authority didn’t last long, however, and Barmby was forced out to Leeds in October 2001.

He played 46 games in his debut campaign, but just 12 in the second as he fell out of fashion with Houllier.

Rating: 4/10

Liverpool, Djibril Cisse.
Liverpool, Djibril Cisse. (PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images) /

Djibril Cissé // Auxerre //£14,500,000

After dazzling the footballing world at Auxerre, Djibril Cisse became Liverpool’s record signing as Gerard Houllier bought him in for £14 million. However, Houllier would be sacked before he ever got the chance to manage the French forward.

As Cisse was adjusting to life in the Premier League, disaster struck. On October 30, 2004, the Frenchman broke both the tibia and fibula in his left leg. Cisse stated that his leg could have been amputated if it weren’t for the swift action of the Liverpool medical team.

Miraculously, Cisse returned later that season in April in a Champions League clash against Juventus. He even got the chance to appear in the famous 2005 final against AC Milan where he scored the Reds’ second penalty.

Hopes were relatively high heading into the Frenchman’s second season as he fully recovered from the freak injury. However, Cisse failed to replicate his success at Auxerre and was often pushed to the wings by Rafa Benitez. Still, the forward managed to score a couple of important goals leading to cup triumph in the FA and UEFA Super Cup.

Another broken leg would drive Cisse to Marseille after only two seasons with the Reds.

Rating: 5/10. Words by Minh Nguyen.