After examples like Joe Allen in 2012, Iago Aspas in 2013 and Dejan Lovren in 2014 – combined outlay £42 million – it seems to be universally accepted that the current Liverpool regime aren’t too hot at the player-purchasing game.
However, it shouldn’t be too overlooked that, while selling clubs lick their lips when they see the Reds and their chequebook bound into view, they are actually far more adept at the business of getting top dollar when rehousing their own squad members.
Perhaps empowered by the monstrous £50 million fee that they pocketed from Chelsea for an already-on-the-decline Fernando Torres just months after arriving at Anfield, John Henry and his underlings have been pretty effective at selling high.
They reclaimed £15.5 million of the £35 million that they unadvisedly paid Newcastle for Andy Carroll out of their Torres windfall when handing him over to West Ham, despite him spending far more time injured on Merseyside than he did scoring, then took £6 million for a 29-year-old Stewart Downing off the same team weeks later.
Liverpool salvaged £7.6 million when getting shot of Alberto Aquilani, earned back almost two-thirds of what they invested in Charlie Adam in sending him to Stoke for £4 million and made a profit on Jonjo Shelvey when granting him to Swansea in exchange for £5 million.
By far their most commendable dealing came in handling Luis Suarez’s departure over the past two summers, dubiously resisting a £40,000,001 offer from Arsenal which met his release clause in 2013, then cashing in for a reported £75 million a year later.
What made this even more impressive was that it occurred in the immediate aftermath of the Uruguayan biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, an incident which resulted in a four-month ban and should have diminished his value as he was widely portrayed as a complete liability.
This series of successful sales is significant in assessing the future of Raheem Sterling. The Betfair Exchange market deems his exit in this window a near certainty at [1.41] regardless of Liverpool snubbing Manchester City’s opening bid of £25 million. The 20-year-old is a plump [2.8] to stay.
The Merseysiders have supposedly informed the many interested parties that they expect to receive £50 million and, though it is unlikely that they will trouser quite that enormous a sum, history suggests that the auction will conclude closer to their price tag than the Citizens’.