It might be hard to believe now, but Roberto Firmino wasn’t entirely seen as a sure thing when he joined Liverpool from Hoffenheim in 2015.
The Brazilian moved to Anfield during Brendan Rodgers’ final window as Reds manager – one of seven men to do so – and the prospect of a 23-year-old arriving from the eighth-best team in Germany having never stepped foot on a Premier League pitch was no guarantee of success.
Of course, that now feels like a very long time ago, given Firmino’s important role in Liverpool winning the league and Champions League during his time on Merseyside. Indeed, he’s made much more of an impact than some more ‘established’ signings from that summer.
We’ve taken a look at the other six players that joined Liverpool alongside Firmino in the summer of 2015.
The first signing of the window, Gomez arrived with a big reputation after making his Charlton Athletic debut at 17 and made a fast start as the Reds began the 2015-16 season with three successive clean sheets.
A serious injury right at the start of Jurgen Klopp’s tenure left some suspecting he would face a real challenge to work his way back into the first-team picture, whether at full-back – where he filled in under Rodgers – or in the central defensive role many expected him to eventually occupy.
The Englishman overcame that – and a number of other injury setbacks – to show his quality at Liverpool, coming off the bench in the 2019 Champions League final win and playing the bulk of Liverpool’s games as they won the league title in 2020.
Injuries have reduced him to a role on the periphery since then. He’s fallen down the pecking order behind Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate but retains Klopp’s trust. He signed a new five-year deal in the summer.
Liverpool have had a knack for picking up a real assortment of goalkeepers on free transfers over the years, and Bogdan is no exception.
The Hungary international had stayed with Bolton Wanderers after suffering relegation from the Premier League in 2012 and ironically moved to Anfield after losing his place to another future Liverpool backup in Andy Lonergan.
While he was technically on the Reds’ books for four years, he only played twice in the league.
The first of those two appearances will be the one that lives longest in the memory, with Bogdan gifting Watford a goal in a 3-0 defeat which would end up being Liverpool’s heaviest that season.
He’s now back in Hungary with Ferencvaros and was an unused member of his country’s squad at Euro 2020 while former Liverpool man Peter Gulacsi started between the sticks.
Clyne was one of a succession of players to make the move from Southampton to Liverpool – after Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren, but before Sadio Mane – but injuries ensured he was far from the most successful.
The right-back’s first season wasn’t too shabby, though, with 52 appearances in all competitions and a spot in England’s Euro 2016 squad at the end of the campaign. He also scored his one and only Premier League goal for the Reds that season, finding the net in a 6-0 victory away to Aston Villa.
Despite injuries restricting Clyne to just three Liverpool starts after 2017, he secured a move back to boyhood club Crystal Palace in 2020 and remains a Premier League player.
Speaking of injury woes, Ings is still thought of by some Liverpool fans as the great striker they might have had if it wasn’t for a run of poor fortune.
He scored three goals in nine games during his first season, including one at Goodison Park in Rodgers’ final game, only for an injury suffered before Klopp’s first game – and a further setback almost exactly a year later – to leave some wondering whether they’d ever see him play again, let alone see him at his best.
The former Burnley striker, who moved to Anfield after the Clarets’ 2015 relegation, scored his fourth and final Liverpool goal in a draw at West Brom in April 2018.
Since then, though, he has shown the Anfield faithful what they might have had, scoring nearly 50 goals for Southampton and completing a big-money move to Aston Villa in the summer of 2021.
As strange as it is to think now, the version of Milner signed by Liverpool in 2015 didn’t seem like a player who would still be playing at a high level seven years later.
The England international had been a steady presence for Manchester City, helping them win two league titles but never scoring more than five league goals in a single season, and it was fair to assume he would be a better fit and more regular player for a team which, at the time, wasn’t fighting for honours on multiple fronts.
Of course, Milner’s longevity and consistency has been a huge part of his value at Liverpool, not to mention fitness levels that most men in their mid-30s could only dream of. He’s now approaching 300 appearances for the Reds and continues to be a valued squad member at Anfield.
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If Firmino’s Liverpool career benefited immensely from the change of manager, the opposite is the case with Benteke, who had made such a memorable start with his bicycle kick at Old Trafford.
He continued to feature under Klopp, ending that debut season with nine league goals, but it soon emerged he was not the right profile of striker for the direction in which the new boss planned to take the club.
Liverpool cashed in, and Crystal Palace benefited immediately with a 15-goal season which included a winner for his new club away at Anfield.
After that, the Belgian forgot how to score. In a big way. He averaged just four goals a season in his last five years at Selhurst Park and has since moved on to Wayne Rooney’s DC United.
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The article The 6 players Liverpool signed with Roberto Firmino – & how they fared appeared first on Planetfootball.com.