As calamity keeper Loris Karius looks set to finally bid farewell to Liverpool after a nightmare spell, who joins him, Milan Jovanovic and Mario Balotelli in Anfield’s all-time Premier League flop XI?
- Loris Karius could leave Liverpool as soon as the January transfer window
- The German goalkeeper has endured a difficult time since arriving at Anfield
- Here, Sportsmail picks the all-time Anfield Premier League flop XI
Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius could finally be ending his nightmare at Anfield amid reports that they could let him leave for free in January.
Karius hasn’t played for Liverpool since his horrific 2018 Champions League final appearance but is still on the club’s books.
And as the curtain looks set to come down on what has been a torrid chapter for all concerned, Sportsmail takes a look at Liverpool’s worst ever Premier League-era XI, which, sadly, has a clear choice for its No 1.
Loris Karius could leave Liverpool as soon as January, bringing a torrid time to an end
GOALKEEPER: LORIS KARIUS
There was immense excitement at Karius arriving in a £5.5million deal from Mainz in the summer of 2016. Liverpool fans had long hoped for a new No 1, having been unconvinced by Simon Mignolet.
His debut was delayed by injury but when he finally replaced Mignolet as Klopp’s apparent No 1, Karius very quickly appeared not to be the commanding presence Liverpool craved between the sticks. He soon made way for Mingolet’s return.
The following season, Klopp persisted with him and Karius made 33 appearances across the campaign, but the last is the one which will go down in history, as he gifted Karim Benzema one of the most bizarre goals in Champions League history before letting a Gareth Bale shot squirm past him to hand the trophy to Real Madrid.
Karius, pictured in Liverpool training last week, has no prospect of an Anfield future
RIGHT-BACK: JAN KROMKAMP
An honourable mention for his appearance in Liverpool’s 2006 FA Cup final victory but otherwise Jan Kromkamp’s time in red was largely forgettable.
The Dutchman arrived at Anfield in the summer of 2006 as part of a swap deal with Josemi, who headed to Villarreal.
He made 14 appearances, the last of those being a substitute for Xabi Alonso at Cardiff, but at the end of the transfer window that summer headed back to Holland after failing to settle on Merseyside.
Jan Kromkamp was only at Anfield a matter of months before heading back to Holland
CENTRE-BACK: BJORN TORE KVARME
The Norwegian arrived at Anfield in 1997 but his two years are not fondly remembered.
He made 54 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions but never convinced, with notoriously poor displays against rivals such as Manchester United and Everton. ‘Danny Cadamarteri made him look like an amatuer,’ says the Liverpool fan website LFChistory.
When Gerard Houllier took command at Liverpool, he quickly paired Stephane Henchoz with Sami Hyypia and Kvarme departed at the beginning of the 1999-00 season.
Bjorn Tore Kvarme struggled to impose himself and lost his place under Gerard Houllier
CENTRE-BACK: SEBASTIAN COATES
Coates arrived in an eye-catching deal in 2011 from Nacional, having played a part in Uruguay’s Copa America win as a 20-year-old.
There was excitement that Liverpool had unearthed a gem and that amid interest from teams such as Man City and PSG, he chose Liverpool due to the influence of compatriot Luis Suarez.
But Coates’ potential was never fulfilled at Anfield. In two years he only played 24 times as he struggled to adapt to the pace of intensity of life in the Premier League.
A knee injury kept him out of the 2013-14 season and at the start of the following campaign, he moved to Sunderland on loan before the move eventually turned permanent. He now plays for Sporting Lisbon.
Sebastian Coates struggled to adapt after joining Liverpool from Nacional in 2011
LEFT-BACK: PAUL KONCHESKY
A signing from the miserable days of Roy Hodgson’s Anfield tenure – Paul Konchesky followed Hodgson from Craven Cottage to Anfield.
But the left-back never won over the fans with his performances and admitted struggling to settle in the city and the weight of expectation of playing for the club.
‘It’s so small in Liverpool. Being from London you’re not used to how small it is,’ Konchesky later told Planet Football. ‘You walk around in Liverpool and everybody knows you because they all love football.
‘That was the hardest part, moving, because I didn’t realise how small it is and how in control all the football fans are.”
After arriving in 2010, Konchesky left Liverpool in January 2011, coinciding with Kenny Dalglish replacing Hodgson as manager.
Paul Konchesky struggled to meet the expectations of playing at a club such as Liverpool
CENTRE-MIDFIELD: CHARLIE ADAM
Scotland international Charlie Adam arrived on the back of a formidable season with Blackpool. He notably impressed Sir Alex Ferguson so much in a display against Manchester United that the iconic manager said ‘his corner kicks are worth £10m’ in his post-match quotes.
But Liverpool never saw any form like that at Anfield the following year. He played regularly enough under Dalglish but never reproduced any of the form that had made him Blackpool’s key man.
Dalglish departed the following summer, in 2012, and Brendan Rodgers came in. Adam promptly departed for Stoke after being used in two Europa League matches.
Charlie Adam failed to recapture the Blackpool form that persuaded Liverpool to buy him
CENTRE-MIDFIELD: ALBERTO AQUILANI
Much was expected of the Italy midfielder when he arrived to fill Xabi Alonso’s void in a £20m deal from Roma in 2009.
He arrived injured, having not played since March of that year due to an ankle problem. While Rafa Benitez insisted Liverpool would be able to oversee his return to full fitness, Aquilani was never able to recapture the form that showed fans why he was identified to replace a player of Alonso’s calibre.
Taking the No 4 shirt, Aquilani’s debut eventually came in late October but his campaign was so poor that it proved to be his only one at Anfield. He made two appearances early in the 2010-11 season before moving to Juventus.
Alberto Aquilani arrived injured and struggled to reclaim his finest form in Liverpool red
CENTRE-MIDFIELD: CHRISTIAN POULSEN
Another Roy Hodgson signing. Poulsen looked to have the hallmarks of a solid addition – a regular on the international scene with Denmark and a semi-regular with Juventus.
But Daniel Agger, Poulsen’s fellow Dane, sounded a word of warning: ‘Maybe he will find the pace of here a bit of a culture shock; he will have to get used to the extra-high tempo and he won’t be able to drink cafe lattes like he does in Italy.’
Whether it was the lattes, only Poulsen knows but his name is another on the list of players to only last a season at the club before heading on to pastures new. He joined French side Evian in the summer of 2011.
Christian Poulsen was another flop who Liverpool signed when Hodgson was manager
FORWARD: MILAN JOVANOVIC
In fairness to Jovanovic, he agreed to join Liverpool when Benitez was manager and was greeted by his replacement, Roy Hodgson, when the deal was completed in 2010.
Like messers Poulsen and Konchesky, Jovanovic was off after one season and his last appearance was in February 2011.
He scored twice for Liverpool in 18 games – once in a Europa League match and another in the embarrassing League Cup defeat to Northampton.
Forward Milan Jovanovic arrived amid a difficult period in Liverpool’s recent history
FORWARD: MARIO BALOTELLI
The Italian’s £16m arrival best summarises the chaos that followed Liverpool’s transfer strategy following the departure of Luis Suarez.
Balotelli had shown his talent in fits and starts with Manchester City and manager Brendan Rodgers was forced to take a chance with him after Suarez left in 2014.
But Rodgers was unable to get the forward to knuckle down and Balotelli toiled at Liverpool, scoring just four times in 28 appearances in all competitions.
He signed a four-year deal when he arrived in 2014 but by 2015 was back at old club AC Milan and that was best for all concerned.
Mario Balotelli scored just four goals in 28 appearances after his surprise Liverpool move
FORWARD: EL HADJI DIOUF
Signed after a brilliant World Cup with Senegal in 2002, El Hadji Diouf arrived at Anfield surrounded by excitement.
But he was a monumental flop on Merseyside, failing to find that form from the international stage, becoming embroiled in a spitting row in a cup clash with Celtic and, to further endear himself to Liverpool fans, frequently hitting out at Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.
After two years, 80 games and just six goals, Diouf joined Bolton on loan in a move that eventually turned permanent.
El Hadji Diouf arrived amid a flurry of excitement but was a major Anfield disappointment
An all-time XI of Liverpool’s biggest flops in the Premier League era at Anfield
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