With the ongoing speculation surrounding the future of Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho, we take a look at some of the big players who have left Liverpool over the past 20 years and how their careers have fared in the aftermath.
It still remains to be seen whether Liverpool will be able to hold onto Coutinho during this transfer window and if they do manage to keep the Brazilian, it may well be a positive outcome for both the club and the player.
Fowler was a local lad who burst onto the scene at just 18 years of age during the 1993/94 season scoring 18 goals across all competitions.
Fowler quickly established himself as a firm fan’s favourite due to his natural finishing ability, earning himself the nickname “God” amongst the crowd. He scored more than 30 goals for three consecutive seasons between ’94 and ’97 before this run was cut short due to a cruciate ligament injury picked up during the 1997/98 season.
The emergence of Michael Owen as well as the signing of Emile Heskey combined to signal the end of Fowler’s time at Anfield and Leeds United signed him for £12 million in 2001.
A combination of injuries and poor form meant that Fowler never rediscovered the same form which had seen him become a Liverpool legend during the 90’s. Fowler did make a brief return to the club in 2006 and cemented his legendary reputation with the fans in doing so.
Owen was another exciting young talent who immediately looked at home in the Liverpool shirt by scoring on his debut against Wimbledon in 1996.
He went on to win the Golden Boot for two seasons running in 1997/98 and 1998/99 and picked up the award for European Footballer of the Year in 2001.
Owen left for an unsuccessful spell with Real Madrid in August 2004 and went on to play for Newcastle, Manchester United and Stoke City.
Given the way that the young striker first came into our consciousness, his career took an unexpected nosedive after leaving Liverpool and a consistent run of injuries meant that he never reached the lofty heights expected of him after leaving the Anfield club.
Torres signed for Liverpool from Athletico Madrid in 2007 for a reported fee of £25 million.
The Spanish international had an incredible debut season with the club, scoring an impressive 29 goals in all competitions. He continued to score consistently for Liverpool until he was sold to Chelsea in January 2011 for a reported fee of £50 million.
The move turned out to be disastrous for Torres who looked to be completely lacking in confidence before he was eventually sold back to his boyhood club, Athletico Madrid in 2015.
His form has improved since returning to Spain but Torres has certainly never rediscovered the form which made him such a star at Liverpool.
The ever controversial Luis Suarez signed for Liverpool in 2011 for £22 million and made an immediate impression with his energy and dynamism.
His form appeared to get better and better for the club as each year went by and he finished his final season with the club in 2014 with 31 goals in just 37 games.
His time at the club was certainly not without controversy as he was suspended for racial abuse towards Patrice Evra in 2011 as well as a biting incident (one of three in his career) which involved Branislav Ivanovic in 2013.
Suarez signed for Barcelona in the summer of 2014 for a reported fee of £65 million. The Uruguayan has gone to have great success with Barca, winning the Champions League in his first season as well as scoring an impressive 121 goals in 147 games over three seasons with the club.
Sterling had a big reputation as soon as he broke into the Liverpool first team in 2012 at the tender age of 17 and showed huge potential during his time with the club due to his incredible pace and dribbling ability.
Sterling’s time at the club ended sourly due to the manner of his departure to Manchester City and his refusal to sign a new contract. City eventually got their man in July 2015 for a hefty price tag of £44 million.
Given the potential shown and the obvious quality that the youngster possesses, it would be fair to say that he has not quite reached the heights expected since joining City.
Pep Guardiola has made it known that he is a big fan of Sterling however it remains to be seen whether the Spaniard can get the best out of Sterling and help him to become the star that many expected.
Kieran McCarthy, Pundit Arena
Check out the latest episode of The Mixer, Pundit Arena’s Irish football podcast, where we spoke with former Bray Wanderers media officer, Jillian Godsil.
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