Ligue 1 has long been a breeding ground for exceptional talent and Liverpool did not hesitate to try their luck on the market.
With a World Cup victory in 1998 and a success at the Euro for France which launched the millennium, Gérard Houllier was particularly eager to reap the fruits of a domestic splendor on the continent.
But it’s safe to say that success has been very mixed for the Reds. We are looking at each actor to move from the French top tier since 2000 …
The Brazilian is already likely to be among the Reds’ best rookies of all time and is only in his third season with the club.
A Champions League in its first campaign was followed by the club’s first Premier League title in its second, and Klopp’s performance during his absence this season speaks volumes for his influence.
Liverpool fans will now pray for consistent fitness.
After impressing Belgium at the 2014 World Cup, Brendan Rodgers brought the striker to Anfield from Lille and he has since firmly secured his status as a cult hero, if not a club legend.
In his nearly seven years at Anfield, Origi has never clinched a spot, but his efficiency on the bench and when injuries strike have been exceptional.
He has 35 goals in 157 appearances for the Reds, including three in two games in the 2018-19 Champions League campaign; A brace against Barcelona in one of the greatest comebacks of all time at Anfield, and the second in the final against Spurs. Not bad.
The great Frenchman was a player at the back for Liverpool for three seasons after being bought out from PSG, before finally being shipped to Crystal Palace.
He made 80 appearances for the Reds during this time, scoring three goals, although he was certainly prone to weird howls from the back.
There weren’t too many disappointed fans when Virgil van Dijk came in to replace him in 2017.
There was a five-year gap between N’Gog’s arrival and Sakho’s arrival, although both left PSG.
In his three years with the club, N’Gog has struggled to assert himself in the first-team plans of Rafa Benitez, Roy Hodgson or Kenny Dalglish, but he contributed a few big goals against Manchester United and Arsenal. before leaving for Bolton in 2011.
#OnThisDay 🔟 years ago …
– Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 25, 2019
After impressing Lens in 170 Ligue 1 games, Itandje moved to Merseyside with Liverpool.
It’s about as thrilling as this story. In three seasons, the striker has made just seven appearances for the Reds, all in cup games in his debut campaign.
His time was almost over when he was suspended and forced to apologize for laughing at a memorial ceremony in Hillsborough in 2009, never to play a game again. A signature to forget.
The sniper arrived from Auxerre in the summer of 2004 for £ 14million (that was huge at the time, okay), after winning the Ligue 1 Golden Boot for a second consecutive year.
With the Reds, he won the Champions League in his first season, scoring a penalty in the iconic shootout against AC Milan.
In his next campaign, he opened the scoring in an equally spectacular FA Cup final against West Ham United, a final Benitez’s men won on penalties.
Despite numerous injury issues, he left in 2007 with a lot of love from Merseyside’s red half.
What a character. The hot-headed Senegal striker arrived at Anfield from Lens in 2002 and his time at the club has been… interesting.
Gerard Houlier had hoped Diouf would help Liverpool win their first Premier League title after their impressive performances at the 2002 World Cup.
But his strike rate was erratic and things started to deteriorate quickly after spitting at a Celtic fan in a UEFA Cup clash in 2003. He failed to score for the remainder of the season.
The following campaign saw him booked 13 times and kicked out once. He was loaned to Bolton in 2004 and that’s it.
The compatriot and teammate of Diouf from this 2002 World Cup campaign moved to Anfield just before the tournament,
But it was often used out of position by Houllier. A professional midfielder, the Frenchman often used him as a central defender or back when cover was needed and the arrival of Xabi Alonso did little to help him.
He left for good in 2006 with three goals in 61 appearances to his name. At least he left a slightly better impression than his compatriot.
Houllier nicknamed him the “new Zidane” when he arrived from Lille. So this was only going to end one way.
A four-goal streak in three games during the 2003-04 season offered a silver lining that he could realize his potential, but it wasn’t.
He was deemed to be in excess of needs in the summer of 2004 and joined Marseille on loan to finally move permanently to Rennes in 2006.
Luzi only made one first-team appearance for the Reds after signing for Ajaccio in 2002.
Jerzy Dudek and Chris Kirkland battled for the number one jersey ahead of him, and Luzi’s first-team chances all ended when Paul Jones was loaned out from Southampton.
But, during this appearance, he kept a clean sheet against Chelsea. So this is it.
John Arne Riise
The Norwegian has become a Liverpool legend during his seven years at Anfield.
Brought back from Monaco by Gerard Houllier in 2001, Riise made 348 appearances and scored 31 goals for the club – most of which broke the net.
He won the UEFA Super Cup in his debut against Bayern Munich and won a new League Cup, Champions League and FA Cup under the Frenchman then Rafa Benitez.
After losing his place to Fabio Aurelio in the second half of the 2007-08 season, Riise moved to Roma this summer.
When John Arne Riise hit them, they stayed hit 💥
– Premier League (@premierleague) March 31, 2019
It’s often easy to forget the Frenchman’s plight at Anfield, given the impact he has had at Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Bolton.
But, after signing for Real Madrid and then returning to PSG, Anelka was loaned to Liverpool in December 2001.
While he helped Houllier’s side finish second in the table with goals against Everton, Fulham, Blackburn and Ipswich, his compatriot opted not to sign him permanently, moving for Diouf instead.
Not the wisest moment in Houllier.
The first Ligue 1 player to settle in Liverpool this millennium was the Auxerre winger.
Having scored 30 goals in 176 top-level appearances in France, hopes were high when Houllier brought him in, but he failed to manage any goals in his three years with the club.
He did, however, have a kick over the head that wasn’t cruelly given on his debut against Sunderland. What could have been!
Planet Football stories