BARCELONA and Liverpool have gone in different directions since the Catalan side shelled out £135million for Philippe Coutinho back in January 2018.
The LaLiga giants thought they had secured the signature of one of the world's best players, and a potential long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta – who would depart for Vissel Kobe six months later.
But it has instead been Jurgen Klopp's Reds that have flourished, as the German was able to revitalise his squad following the sale of the Brazilian.
Liverpool were able to sell Elvis and buy The Beatles, and his side quickly reaped the benefits.
They reached the Champions League final by the end of that season, before beating Spurs a year later to win their sixth European Cup crown.
A historic Premier League title was to follow… with a number of players bought after the Coutinho sale playing key roles.
As for the 29-year-old himself, he has struggled to make any sort of impact at all at his dream home – being shunted out to Bayern on loan two seasons ago and struggling with injuries.
What's more, it has emerged that Barca haven't even finished paying for the expensive flop, still owing Liverpool £35m.
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In light of this, SunSport ranks the five players bought by the Reds in the wake of the genius-looking Coutinho sale, nearly four years on.
5. XHERDAN SHAQIRI – £13m
Xherdan Shaqiri arrived in a cut-price, low risk deal from relegated Stoke City at the end of the 2017-18 season.
The winger struggled for game time during his three seasons at Anfield – but did come up with the odd important moment.
Most notably he netted twice against Manchester United in a 3-1 win in December 2018, and also bagged in a memorable 5-2 win over rivals Everton a year later.
After 63 appearances and eight goals, the Swiss departed for Lyon last summer in a £9.5m deal.
4. NABY KEITA – £54m
Naby Keita arrived at Anfield as a favourite of the stats boffins, expected to revolutionise Liverpool's midfield.
But frequent injuries have often thwarted the Guinean from doing so.
He did help them win the title in 2019, but didn't play a key role like Jordan Henderson or Gini Wijnaldum.
The 26-year-old has made 86 appearances to date, scoring ten goals and laying on five assists.
3. ALISSON – £56m
The Reds had struggled for a consistent goalkeeper for years prior to the Brazilian's arrival, blundering between Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius.
After the latter's disastrous display in the 2018 Champions League final, the Reds decided to shell out on Alisson, who had played against them for Roma in the semi-finals.
While not immune to making the odd rick, the 29-year-old has been a far more solid presence than his predecessors.
Alisson has now made 144 appearances for Liverpool, keeping an impressive 65 clean sheets.
2. FABINHO – £40m
Brazilian Fabinho transformed Liverpool's midfield, providing an incredible shield in front of the back four.
Klopp's early years at the club were blighted by a poor defensive record, which has largely been cleaned up by the 28-year-old's arrival.
The former Monaco star was forced to cover at centre-back for large spells last season, with the team suffering without his presence in the middle of the park.
But he's back where he belongs this term, and will add plenty more to his 133 appearances for the club.
1. VIRGIL VAN DIJK – £75m
While Fabinho played a big role in turning Liverpool's defensive fortunes around, Virgil van Dijk was the key missing piece.
Eyebrows were raised when the Reds splashed out £75m for the Dutchman from Southampton in January 2018, but he has proved to be worth every penny.
Within months he propelled them to a Champions League final, before playing a pivotal role in their trophy wins of the last few years.
They were left devastated by his awful knee injury last season, but he has been back in action this term.
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