It is not long now until the transfer window reopens and we embroil ourselves in the latest transfer gossip surrounding our beloved clubs. All football fans are quick to look up their new signing on YouTube and Football Manager waiting for the moment when we see them holding up the shirt and signing the contract. However, no sooner after their arrival they are out the exit door, thrown to the wayside and labelled as a flop faster than you can say, ‘What a waste of money.’
Many Premier League clubs operate something of a revolving door and it is fair to say that fans with Liverpool tickets have seen their fair share of flops over the years. For every Philippe Coutinho there has been a Bruno Cheyrou and for every Luis Suarez, there is a Iago Aspas.
Football Ticket Pad has selected six 'Kop Flops' who have been impressing across the continent this season. They may not have set pulses racing in the Premier League at Anfield, but they are certainly proving the doubters wrong with some eye-catching displays for their current clubs.
Iago Aspas: Having rejoined Celta Vigo after a brief stop in Sevilla, Aspas is loving life back in his homeland. Fourteen La Liga goals last season have been followed by six more already this season. The forward also marked his senior Spain debut with a goal at Wembley against England last month.
On Merseyside it was a different story for Aspas. He left Anfield after making just five appearances in the starting lineup, having rarely been given the chance to prove himself. A famous duffed corner against Chelsea in 2014 was perhaps his most telling moment in a red shirt. The £9 million signing scored his only competitive goal for the club against Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup at Anfield.
The Spaniard had to settle with playing second fiddle to Philippe Coutinho, Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling and was no sooner frozen out at Anfield before returning back to Spain on loan after one season.
Suso: First and foremost, it would be harsh to label Suso a flop. Many Liverpool fans believe the Spaniard had so much to offer on Merseyside, but ultimately failed to live up to the lofty expectations.
Signed by Rafael Benitez as a 16-year-old prodigy, the little Spaniard was hot property on Merseyside and later propelled to the first team in 2012 under Brendan Rodgers. Having struggled to break into the first team ahead of Raheem Sterling, Jordon Ibe and Philippe Coutinho, the midfielder was loaned out to Genoa, before sealing a permanent move to AC Milan.
Suso has become an integral part of the squad at San Siro and only one outfielder has played more Serie A minutes for the club this season. A match-winning brace in the Milan derby was followed up with another goal and two assists against Empoli. The playmaker was restricted to just fourteen senior appearances at Anfield but he finally seems to be fulfilling his potential in Milan.
Peter Gulacsi: Once the man they never rated is having an incredible time in the Bundesliga with Red Bull Leipzig. Gulacsi has only conceded 10 goals in 12 matches for the newly promoted Bundesliga side, who remain unbeaten and sit top of the table ahead of Bayern Munich.
The Hungarian goalkeeper arrived at Liverpool from MTK Budapest in 2007 but failed to make a senior appearance at Anfield in his six years at the club.Following uninspiring loan moves to Hereford United, Tranmere Rovers and Hull City, he was sold to Red Bull Salzburg before moving to Red Bull Leipzig in 2015 and is undoubtledly in the form of his life for the Bundesliga leaders.
Mario Balotelli: The Italian was a big name arrival on Merseyside and something of a surprise addition under the management of Brendan Rodgers. The former Manchester City man had an apparent ‘bad boy’ reputation and Liverpool fans struggled to warm to the striker in his turbulent two seasons at the club. Balotelli was loaned to AC Milan after only one goal in sixteen games for The Reds.
The arrival of Jurgen Klopp at Anfield all but sealed his fate and the striker was shipped out to Nice on a free transfer where he has rediscovered his goalscoring touch. Balotelli has scored six times for Nice and has helped them reach the top of Ligue 1 as he looks to rebuild his career in France.
Nabil El Zhar: The French-born Moroccan winger was highly regarded by Rafael Benitez at Anfield. The winger made 21 appearances for The Reds scoring one goal in the League Cup against Cardiff City before being released in 2011. Following spells at both PAOK and Levante, El Zhar joined La Liga side Las Palmas on a two-year deal in 2015. He has impressed at the Gran Canarian club and has scored four goals in 32 matches for the side who currently sit 10th in the table.
Gabriel Paletta: Signed for Liverpool from Banfield in 2006 by Rafael Benitez for £2 million, but failed to make the grade on Merseyside. The defender made eight appearances for the Reds scoring one goal before he was sold to Boca Juniors the following season.
Since then, Paletta has established himself as an Italy international having had successful spells at Parma and AC Milan. Paletta was part of the Italy 2014 World Cup squad and has found himself on a season-long loan from Milan at high-flying Atalanta in Serie A. Surprisingly, he is still only 30 years of age.