Philippe Coutinho – 2013 (Inter Milan)
Coutinho joined Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers in the winter of 2013 for a fee of £8.5 million. The Brazilian scored his first goal for the Reds in his full debut at Anfield against Swansea, and he was off to the races from there.
He went on to total three goals and seven assists across 13 appearances in that first half-season on Merseyside. From there, the midfielder gained notoriety for his production and his ability to score from practically any range. Coutinho finished his time at Liverpool with 54 goals in 201 appearances in all competitions.
He had been particularly impressive in the Premier League, where he scored 41 of his goals – including a brilliant 2016-17 campaign within which he scored 13 goals, seeing Liverpool finish fourth in the table compared to eighth the prior season.
Coutinho’s name has become slightly marred in the minds of some Liverpool fans because of the way his time ended at the club, with the midfielder expressing his interest in leaving shortly after signing a long-term contract. Eventually, a winter 2018 deal sent him to Barcelona for £142 million, making him the second most expensive footballer at the time (now fourth) – a fee over seventeen times what Liverpool had paid.
He is now on loan at Aston Villa under the management of his former Liverpool teammate, Steven Gerrard.
Daniel Sturridge – 2013 (Chelsea)
Sturridge moved to the Reds from Chelsea for a fee thought to be about £12 million to create a formidable attacking force with Coutinho under Rodgers.
In hindsight, Liverpool fans may, unfortunately, remember Sturridge mostly for being extremely injury prone, especially towards his last handful of years with the club, but the attacker should be remembered for the amount he contributed in those first few years. In his first half-season with the Reds, Sturridge netted 10 goals in 14 league games. This turned out to be just a small precursor to his first full season on Merseyside, scoring 22 goals in 29 league appearances, pairing with Coutinho to lead Liverpool to a second-place table finish in that campaign.
His input unfortunately waned from there, facing injury after injury. Sturridge totaled 161 appearances for the Reds for 68 goals and 28 assists. He appeared a few times as a late-match substitute throughout Liverpool’s Champions League title-winning chase in 2018-19 and was on the bench in Madrid for the final against Tottenham after which the Reds lifted the trophy.
After six years under the club, the striker was signed on a free transfer to Trabzonspor in the summer of 2019.