Here is a look at five regrettable sales in the transfer market by Liverpool over the past five years. One or two might split opinion, and it could be argued not all were avoidable.
Read on and let us know what you think, and if you disagree- let's hear your five. And just to nip it in the bud early, no Paul Konchesky is not on the list...
Xabi Alonso was arguably Liverpool's best midfielder of the last decade, and yes that includes Steven Gerrard. There is a view that Gerrard was able to have such a free license to be creative and go forward thanks to Alonso doing much of the leg work. Perhaps that's unfair on Gerrard, but there is no denying Alonso's impact on the club, just look at the way Liverpool instantly plummeted down the table in 2009-10 after he was sold in the preceding summer to Real Madrid. Rafa Benitez only had himself to blame too. Alonso revealed himself in 2011 that he felt undervalued and undermined after the manager's attempt to sign Gareth Barry in 2008 and their relationship never recovered, with the midfielder commenting he felt he had no option but to move on.
Could Liverpool have done anything to stop Mascherano leaving once Barcelona came calling? He left in 2010 once Rafa Benitez had been sacked and replaced by Roy Hodgson, and in many ways his departure was inevitable. But what if Liverpool had never sold Alonso? With the Spaniard gone, Liverpool's league form dropped off, leading to Benitez's dismissal, but had he stayed it is likely they would have retained a Champions League spot, and Mascherano could have stayed too. It was the hallmark of the break-up of so many near-successful or successful sides. Once one player leaves, the other star players decide to start looking elsewhere too, and the Argentine found himself a Champions League winner just one year later. He won't regret that decision, but Liverpool will regret the circumstances and drop off from challenging for honours which led to him wanting to leave. The fact Roy Hodgson replaced him with Christian Poulsen did not help.
Mikel San Jose
Mikel San Jose was a youth team player signed by Rafa Benitez in 2007 who left in 2010 without playing a first team game. Since then the central defender has gone onto shine for Athletic Bilbao, and was even linked with a switch to AC Milan in April. The Spaniard has played more than 100 games in three seasons for the club (he was loaned to them by Liverpool in 2009/10 before moving permanently) and also featured in their run to the Europa League Final. He is just 23 and could have featured in Spain's Olympic squad this summer before injury ruled him out, and will hope to step up to the senior ranks. He was a bit of a victim of circumstance at Liverpool, learning his craft and trying to break through into a settled Liverpool defence, before Benitez was sacked. You can't blame Liverpool for letting him go to play regularly elsewhere, it is only fair, but if he goes onto become a full international it may be a situation they begin to regret not managing a little bit better.
Let's face it, selling Fernando Torres for £50 million and replacing him with Carroll for £35 million helped nobody, with the Spaniard enduring a torrid time at Stamford Bridge for the first 18 months. He is finding his form now proving class truly is permanent, and the Reds can only watch on in frustration. Perhaps Liverpool can't be blamed for cashing in on a huge bid for a striker who had been off his best form during the 2010/11 season, but the bid came in so late on in the transfer window in January 2011, they only had to hold on an extra day and the situation would have been dealt with quickly. Luis Suarez had just been bought, and Kenny Dalglish had just been installed as boss, and despite his decision to leave, had he been forced to stay, the likelihood is he would have come around to it. Who knows how the Suarez-Torres partnership would have taken off, and where Liverpool would be now.
The son of former Liverpool player Paul Ince was released by Liverpool from their academy last summer. Thomas Ince signed with Blackpool and is now excelling in the Championship for the club, being called into the England under-21 set up. While he still has a lot more to do to truly convince fans the club were wrong to let him go, he has also shown he has plenty of talent, and clearly has a lot more to give. The midfielder has scored four goals in four Championship games this season and aged only 20, it is surely only a matter of time before he brings his talents to the Premier League, whether that is with Blackpool or should he be snapped up by another club. He will be determined to prove a point to Liverpool they were wrong to let him go. In the same disastrous summer Kenny Dalglish blew millions on the midfield 'talents' of Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam, a genuinely exciting prospect may too have been let go too prematurely. Even if playing regularly may just turn out to be the best thing to happen to Ince, Liverpool don't come out of this one looking like winners.
Which of these five do you agree Liverpool never should have sold? Could they have held out on Torres? Who would be your five?
image: © Nigel Wilson