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Power ranking Liverpool's pre-season signings from best to worst

Mario Balotelli, Emre Can and others are ranked based on how well they’ve performed this season.

N.B. This list is ranked from best to worst, hence 7 is very good and 1 is very bad.

WITH THEIR FA Cup dream ended by Aston Villa last weekend, and their hopes of a top-four spot looking increasingly unlikely, now seems as good a time as any to reflect on Liverpool’s season.

Many people have blamed the inadequacy of their summer spending for the Reds’ failure to emulate the heights of last year, and with that in mind, we’ve decided to assess the individuals in question.

While most players have disappointed, it is worth noting that the majority are still quite young and may still come good — after all, Jordan Henderson was written off initially, but has since developed into a key player for the club, as illustrated by his new 100,000-a-week contract signed today.

8. Emre Can (£10million from Bayer Leverkusen)

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Liverpool v Chelsea - Anfield Source: Peter Byrne

THE BEST OF a not-great bunch, Can seemed regarded as one for the future, given that he’s still only 21. Nevertheless, with 17 starts and four substitute appearances in the league, as well as two Champions League appearances, Brendan Rodgers hasn’t seemed too reluctant to give him first-team action. Whether it’s at full-back or midfield, the German U21 international has often caught the eye, and all considered, he’s looking like their most astute purchase currently.

7. Lazar Markovic (£20million from Benfica)

Soccer - FA Cup - Fourth Round - Replay - Bolton Wanderers v Liverpool - Macron Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport

Another player who’s still considered hugely promising at 21, the winger has scored two goals in 17 league appearances for the club, six of which have been from the bench. His displays have been inconsistent and ineffectual at times, but it’s hardly a surprise, given that the Serbian international has been in and out of the first team and tends to be deployed in a variety of different positions. However, many Liverpool fans remain hopeful that Markovic can rediscover the type of form that had him rated as one of Europe’s top young talents until recently.

6. Javier Manquillo (loan from Atletico Madrid)

Soccer - Pre Season Friendly - Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund - Anfield Source: EMPICS Sport

Hard to judge, given that the 20-year-old full-back has only had 10 appearances in the league, Manquillo has been solid if not spectacular and his lack of game time is probably due to Liverpool’s struggles to accommodate the starlet into their re-jigged formation. Unfortunately therefore, his most notable achievement at Anfield so far has been winning a table tennis competition.

5. Adam Lallana (£25million from Southampton)

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Liverpool v Manchester United - Anfield Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Another who’s impressed sporadically, Lallana overall must be considered a disappointment. The 26-year-old has failed to emulate the type of brilliant form he showed for Southampton last season. Liverpool’s most expensive signing of all their buys, Lallana clearly expected to be one of the club’s main men this year, but injuries and inconsistent form means he hasn’t yet justified his considerable price tag.

4. Alberto Moreno (£12million from Sevilla)

Soccer - FA Cup - Semi Final - Aston Villa v Liverpool - Villa Park Source: EMPICS Sport

If this list were based purely on attacking qualities, Moreno would be a much higher number. However, defensively, he has regularly looked suspect, particularly in the 4-1 loss to Arsenal. That said, the 22-year-old will inevitably learn to improve on the defensive part of his game, so don’t expect Liverpool to cast him aside just yet.

3. Rickie Lambert (£4million from Southampton)

Britain Soccer Premier League Source: AP/Press Association Images

It’s hard to heap too much blame on the big striker. The Kirkby native has made just five starts in the league this season, in addition to coming on 12 times as a sub. Consequently, it’s no surprise that he has managed just two goals, in comparison with 13 in 37 for Southampton last year.

2. Dejan Lovren (£20million from Southampton)

Turkey Soccer Europa League Source: AP/Press Association Images

Liverpool’s joint-second highest signing of the summer, Lovren has arguably been the club’s most disappointing purchase. While Balotelli was always a gamble, Lovren looked far more likely to succeed, given the excellent campaign he enjoyed with Southampton in 2013-14. The 25-year-old, however, has failed to substantially improve Liverpool’s leaky defence and has started just 17 of their 32 Premier League matches as a result.

1. Mario Balotelli (£16million from Milan)

Soccer - FA Cup - Semi Final - Aston Villa v Liverpool - Villa Park Source: EMPICS Sport

Acknowledged as a risk at the time of the purchase, barring a significant improvement between now and the end of the season, it’s hard to see Balotelli not leaving Liverpool in the summer. While often if a striker is struggling for goals (Balotelli has scored just once in the league since joining Liverpool), they’re still working hard and doing some good off-the-ball work, even that can hardly be said of the Italian striker, who has seemed a disinterested bystander more often than not this season.

*Divock Origi has yet to play for Liverpool and is therefore deemed ineligible for this list

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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