Liverpool have signed seven players in last nine years who have never played for them

Liverpool have always been known for their sensible spending. The Reds' transfer policy is defined by patience in the market and a keen focus on the retention of their key players. But it hasn't always worked out that way. In the last nine years, there have been as many as seven players who were brought into the fold only to never play for the club. Here, Express Sport takes a closer look at the former Reds rejects and their stories.

He may be tearing it up for Nottingham Forest in the Premier League right now but Taiwo Awoniyi never earned himself a first-team appearance with the Merseyside outfit - although it had nothing to do with his footballing ability. Work permit issues meant he would spend the majority of his six years at the club out on loan before eventually being sold to Union Berlin in 2021 for £6.5million. 

Following an impressive campaign with Berlin he was sold to Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2022 where he has gone on to become a key player in Steve Cooper's system.

Ben Davies

Not to be mistaken for the Tottenham left-back of the same name, Ben Davies' move to Liverpool will go down as one of the most bizarre transfers in Premier League history. The Reds signed Davies from Preston North End in February 2021 to slot in at centre-back after losing Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip to long-term injuries. However, Davies never got a chance to show what he was made of with Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams getting in ahead of him down the home stretch. He was sold to Rangers 18 months later having never played for Liverpool in a competitive match. 

Allan Rodrigues de Souza
Like Awoniyi, work permit issues stopped Allan Rodrigues de Souza from making his Liverpool debut. Allan spent five years out on loan in Finland, Belgium, Germany, Cyprus and his native Brazil while waiting for his British Visa to be approved. But he never received a green light. He was eventually sold to Atletico Minero in 2020 where he won a domestic double with the club in his last season before securing a move to Flamengo this summer. 

Andy Lonergan
English shot-stopper Andy Lonergan has played for three Premier League clubs - Liverpool, West Brom and Everton - without making a single appearance for any of them. In fact, Lonergan hasn't played a competitive game of first-team football since December 2020 when he made his sole appearance for Stoke City during a 3-1 EFL Cup quarterfinal defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Lonergan is still on the books with the Toffees but much like his time at Liverpool, he has spent the majority of it dwelling in the reserves. 

Alexander Manninger
Another Liverpool goalkeeper who never got a first-team game is Alexander Manninger. The Austrian was a decent player in his day and was David Seaman's backup during Arsenal's double-winning 1997-1998 campaign. But by the time he joined Liverpool in 2016, he was nearing 40 and was only brought on board as an emergency backup.

Lawrence Vigouroux
Completing the trio of goalkeepers on the list is Lawrence Vigouroux. Vigourox was signed by Liverpool from Tottenham in 2014 following a successful trial. He quickly established himself as a starter for Liverpool's Under-21 side ahead of Danny Ward but unlike his associate, he never played for the first-team.

Anderson Arroyo

Columbian centre-back Anderson Arroyo is the only name on the list still playing for the Reds. The 24-year-old has yet to make a first-team appearance for Liverpool due to work permit problems since joining the club in 2018. During that time he has been loaned out seven times and is currently plying his trade with second-tier Spanish side Andorra.


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