Soccer

Last 10 players Liverpool signed from relegated clubs as Lewis transfer eyed

When it comes to making new signings, Liverpool have never been afraid to think outside of the box.

Or outside of the Premier League.

Over the years the Reds have frequently snapped up players in the summer following one of the worst experiences footballers can ever have, that of relegation.

Norwich City's left-back Jamal Lewis could become the latest player to swap going down for joining Liverpool, with a deal for the 22-year-old Northern Ireland international still in the offing despite Liverpool's first offer being rejected.

If Lewis does sign he'll make 2020 the sixth consecutive summer in which Liverpool have signed a relegated player, with some of them going on to become hugely important members of the Premier League champions' squad.

Here's a look back at the last 10 players who swapped relegation for the Reds.

Stephane Henchoz – £3.5m from Blackburn Rovers, June 1999

Gerard Houllier had seen enough in the Swiss centre-back in his two seasons at Ewood Park to bring him to Anfield in the summer of 1999, when Blackburn had been relegated a season after finishing sixth.

Henchoz went on to form a rock-solid partnership with Sami Hyypia at the back, and was integral to Liverpool's 2001 cup treble of League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup.

Chris Kirkland – £6m from Coventry City, August 2001

Liverpool remarkably signed two goalkeepers on the same day at the beginning of the 2001/02 season in the wake of Sander Westerveld's poor form, with Kirkland's £6million arrival making him the most expensive British goalkeeper in the game.

Fellow arrival Jerzy Dudek was the new No.1 though, with the younger Kirkland seen as one for the future.

He had his moments, and played on the road to Champions League glory in Istanbul, but sadly injuries took their toll on his career.

Peter Crouch – £7m from Southampton, July 2005

Seen as an unconventional arrival in the summer after the Reds had become European champions, Crouch endured a difficult and scoreless start to his Liverpool career, but his endeavour ensured that the fans never turned on him.

He ended up staying for three seasons, scoring 42 goals, before he left in 2008 perhaps a season or two too early.

Jermaine Pennant – £6.7m from Birmingham City, July 2006

Rafael Benitez had wanted Dani Alves from Sevilla in the summer of 2006, but with money increasingly becoming an issue at the club he ended up moving for the cheaper Pennant, who had just had an impressive season at Birmingham in which he'd played every game.

His discipline was an issue though, and he once played in a match with an electronic tag after committing a driving offence.

He'd go on to play 81 times for the Reds, and while he did have his moments he was never able to truly convince supporters.

Charlie Adam – £6.75m from Blackpool, July 2011

The Scot's left foot had been the driving force behind Blackpool's Premier League campaign in 2010/11, and Liverpool had tried to sign him halfway through that season.

They completed the move after the Tangerines went down, but Adam never quite looked suited to playing for the Reds and he was to last just one season before leaving for Stoke shortly after the appointment of Brendan Rodgers.

Danny Ings – £6.5m (after tribunal) from Burnley, June 2015

Eleven goals in a relegated Burnley side, plus 21 in the Championship the previous season to help them to promotion, was enough to convince Rodgers of Ings' potential.

Sadly his time at Anfield was a tale of two serious cruciate knee ligament injuries though, the first of which coming in his first training session under Jurgen Klopp.

He played just 25 times for the Reds, scoring four goals, but he's now fully fit and showing his obvious ability at Southampton.

Gini Wijnaldum – £23m from Newcastle United, July 2016

The Dutchman shone from attacking midfield in a Newcastle side that really shouldn't have gone down in 2015/16 given the players at their disposal, but there was still an element of surprise when Liverpool moved for him.

Four years on he's one of Klopp's most trusted players and someone plenty of fans want to see signed up to a new contract.

Andy Robertson – £8m from Hull City, July 2017

The unheralded arrival of the Scot in the summer of 2017 came in what was essentially a swap deal for squad man Kevin Stewart. It became one of the best pieces of business Liverpool have ever done.

These days Robertson is a Premier League and Champions League winner, and widely seen as one of the best left-backs on the planet.

Xherdan Shaqiri – £13.5m from Stoke City, July 2018

A surprise signing in the summer where the additions of Alisson, Fabinho and Naby Keita caught more of the headlines, the Swiss has had some big moments at Liverpool but injuries have also restricted him.

Goals in wins over Manchester United and Everton, an assist on the epic night against Barcelona and Champions League and Premier League winners' medals aren't too bad of a haul in two seasons though.

Harvey Elliott – Undisclosed (set for tribunal) from Fulham, July 2019

You can't put Fulham's 2018/19 relegation down to anything teenager Elliott did, but he did appear twice for them at the end of that season – becoming the Premier League's youngest ever player (16 years, 30 days) as he did so.

He's already played eight times for Liverpool's first-team, and with fans hugely impressed by him already it promises to be fascinating to see just how far he can go.

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