Ever wondered where some of your favourite or even most disliked Liverpool players ended up?
Following on from articles on former Manchester United and Arsenal players, Josh McLoughlin now looks at memorable Liverpool players and what happened to them after they left Anfield.
There have been a few dodgy signings in the last few years at Liverpool. Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez liked to make a fair few foreign signings in their time, often obscure players who could never cut the mustard at the club.
I’ll start off with a striker who never quite found his feet in England but went on to have a decent career in Spain.
Florent Sinama-Pongolle – 2001-2006
After having impressed at a youth level internationally for France, Florent Sinama-Pongolle joined Liverpool in 2001, but continued to progress at Le Havre for another two years. When he returned from France he appeared mainly from the bench for Liverpool. He scored an important goal in a Champions League match against Olympiakos in 2004. In a must win match he came off the bench to score an equaliser before Steven Gerrard and Neil Mellor scored to ensure Liverpool progressed. Liverpool would go on to win the competition of course. He moved to Recreativo de Huelva in 2006 in La Liga and was their top goalscorer in successive campaigns. This led to an £8 million move to Atletico Madrid. After four goals in his first five games, Florent won his first cap for France. Atletico then started to play him on the right-wing. He was sold to Sporting Lisbon though in January 2010. After barely featuring he was loaned to Real Zaragoza and St Etienne scoring four goals for each. He now plays for FC Rostov in Russia, a former club of David Bentley.
Anthony Le Tallec – 2001-2008
Le Tallec arrived at Liverpool at the same time as his cousin Sinama Pongolle. Unfortunately he also struggled to make much of an impact, and spent the majority of his time out on loan. In a loan spell with Sunderland in the 2005-2006 season, he was the club’s top goalscorer. However, he only had to score six goals to become this, and it was a rather disastrous season for the club that ended in relegation from the Premier League. Other loan spells followed at Sochaux and Le Mans before he joined the latter permanently. He scored 19 goals in three years for the club before they were relegated in 2010 and he joined Auxerre. Last year he joined another French club Valenciennes.
Igor Biscan – 2000-2005
The Croatian versatile player joined Liverpool from Dinamo Zagreb. After being courted by Barcelona, Juventus and AC Milan, Gerard Houllier managed to sign him for a fee of £5.5 million. In his first few seasons at the club he was played in a variety of positions; centre-back, wing-back as well as the more favourable centre-midfield. Due to an injury crisis in 2003-2004 Biscan played the majority of the season at centre-back covering for Stephane Henchoz and Jamie Carragher. The Croatian is particularly remembered by Liverpool fans for his role in their successful Champions League campaign in 2004-2005. He gave some outstanding performances in the middle of the park leading up to the final which he was unfortunately left out of. He left Liverpool after that season and joined Panathinaikos for two years. He then joined Dinamo Zagreb again and became the club’s captain as they won two domestic titles. He retired in 2012.
Sander Westerveld – 1999-2001
After establishing himself at Vitesse Arnhem, Sander Westerveld joined Liverpool for £4 million becoming the most expensive goalkeeper in British football at the time (Now David De Gea, £18m). In his first season he took over from David James in the Liverpool goal and conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League. The next season he played his part in the treble winning side, as they won the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup in 2001. The Dutchman started to receive a lot of criticism from the media and then made a major error against Bolton Wanderers when he allowed a Dean Holdsworth shot to squirm under his body. Liverpool subsequently signed Jerzy Dudek and Chris Kirkland, and Sander was sold to Real Sociedad. In his first full season there, the club finished second in La Liga. He later returned to England with Portsmouth and was also loaned out to Everton. He then helped Almeria gain promotion to La Liga before spells at Sparta Rotterdam and Ajax Cape Town. He is now goalkeeping coach for the latter.
Djimi Traore – 1999-2006
After spending his early years mainly in the reserves for Liverpool and also on loan at Lens in 2001-200, he started to feature more regularly in 2004-2005 under Rafa Benitez. Despite a calamitous own-goal against Burnley which knocked his side out of the FA Cup, his season finished on a high and Traore went on to play the full Champions League Final victory over AC Milan. In 2006 Djimi joined Charlton but only lasted half a season before joining Portsmouth. After 13 appearances in a year he joined Rennes and then Birmingham City on loan. He then spent the next three years in Ligue 1 first with Monaco and then Marseille, featuring in 47 league games over those three years. Djimi now plays in the MLS with Seattle Sounders and his first goal for the club was a beauty. Check it out below.