From Virgil Van Dijk To Peter Crouch: Rating Every Southampton To Liverpool Transfer In The Premier League Era
Seven players have made the move from Southampton to Liverpool in the Premier League era at a cost of £173.5million, six of which have taken place in the last five years.
Saints shot-stopper Paul Jones spent a month on-loan at Liverpool in the early days of 2004, but for the purpose of this article we are only focusing on the permanent moves; rating each of the seven switches out of 10.
Peter Crouch (July 2005, £7m)
Peter Crouch can lay claim to starting the craze after he opted to swap relegated Southampton for Champions League winners Liverpool in the summer of 2005, for £7m.
The 6ft 7in striker took a while to find his stride, 19 games in fact, but come the end of his first season he’d bagged his first - and only - major trophy, the FA Cup. He would go on to add the FA Community Shield while Liverpool finished runners-up in both the Champions League and FIFA Club World Championship during his three-season spell.
Crouchy scored a number of stunning acrobatic goals during his time on Merseyside, along with the first hat-trick of his club career, against Arsenal. It happened to be a perfect hat-trick too.
Rickie Lambert (June 2014, £4m)
A firm fan favourite at Southampton, but no Saints fans begrudged their star man when he decided to join boyhood club Liverpool after five stunning seasons on the south coast. His arrival sparked further moves - featured below - and appeared to be a shrewd purchase for £4m.
It’s fair to say that his sole season at Liverpool didn’t go to plan. He was very much a squad player as he failed to force his way into Brendan Rodgers’ concrete plans and when he was given a chance he struggled to make an impact, scoring only three goals in 36 appearances, coming on as a substitute a whopping 24 times.
Adam Lallana (July 2014, £25m)
Adam Lallana followed teammate Lambert out of the St Mary’s door up north for a fee of £25m.
In five seasons Lallana has shown glimpses of his undoubted talent, but too often he’s been plagued by injuries, which have often ruptured any chance of a consistent run out in the team, meaning he’s yet to completely replicate his Saints form.
One memorable moment was bagging the winner in that enthralling 5-4 victory over Norwich, while he has three runners-up medals in the Champions League, Europa League, and the League Cup. Can he finally get his hands on a trophy this season?
Dejan Lovren (July 2014, £20m)
Too often the brunt of many jokes, but while he’s certainly been guilty of a number of errors and bizarre choices at crunch moments, it’s worth noting that he’s played a pivotal run in both club and country voyages through to World Cup, Champions League, and Europa League finals.
Lovren has raised his game since the arrival of Virgil van Dijk, with the duo forming an effective partnership last season, although injury means he’s only made 13 appearances this term.
Lovren’s most famous Liverpool moment came three years ago when he headed home a dramatic injury-time winner in a 4-3 Europa League triumph over Borussia Dortmund.
Nathaniel Clyne (July 2015, £12.5m)
A year later Liverpool came knocking at Southampton’s door in pursuit of another defender, Nathaniel Clyne, who was snapped up for £12.5m. The right-back had caught the eye following three consistently high-quality seasons at the Saints, and would go on to make a combined 93 appearances for Liverpool in a solid two campaigns.
However, a severe back injury restricted the player to just five displays in 2017/18, then after losing his spot to Trent Alexander-Arnold he could only muster five more displays this term, before being shipped off on loan to Bournemouth in January.
Sadio Mane (June 2016, £30m)
The pacy yet unpredictable winger enjoyed a couple of cracking campaigns at Southampton before making the well-trodden path from St Mary’s to Anfield where, under the tutorship of Klopp, he has since revamped into one of the best wingers in the league.
He bagged 13 goals in his debut season, 20 last term, and already has 20 this season including 17 in the league meaning he’s right in the mix for Golden Boot glory. The Senegalese is one section of Liverpool’s fabled front three - Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino - and has been the star performer since Christmas, putting in a number of superb displays, which could prove to be fundamental if the Reds do go on to achieve domestic and/or European glory.
Virgil Van Dijk (January 2018, £75m)
A shoe-in for Player of the Season?
Liverpool splashed the cash on Virgil van Dijk during the January 2018 transfer window, and while question marks were raised at the time, the Dutchman has since swatted away any critics, of which there are now zero.
The physically imposing colossus is an absolute tour de force in the middle of Liverpool’s defence, which he’s transformed from error-prone to immense in 18 months. He’s one of the main reasons Liverpool are bang in the mix for success in the Premier League and Champions League, and will now be bidding to back up his dominant displays by winning silverware in the next couple of months.