After Virgil van Dijk became the latest player to take the much-travelled route from the south coast to Merseyside, you could be forgiven for thinking Southampton are a feeder club for Liverpool.
Liverpool made a statement before the January transfer window even opened, returning to their favourite shopping centre – St Mary’s – to prise Dutch centre-back Van Dijk to Anfield for a reported fee of £75million in a club-record move.
Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Rickie Lambert have also swapped Southampton for fellow Premier League outfit Liverpool since 2014.
Some of those transfers have worked out, while others have struggled. We take a look at those who have made the journey north from St Mary’s to Anfield.
RICKIE LAMBERT – in region £4million (2014)
The veteran striker was the first player to make the move from Southampton – returning to boyhood club Liverpool. It was supposed to be a fairytale move for Lambert, who had scored 13 and 15 Premier League goals in the two previous seasons. A back-up for Brendan Rodgers’ side, his stay in front of the Kop was short-lived. The Englishman lasted just one season with only three goals to his name, having struggled following the departure of Luis Suarez and the arrival of Mario Balotelli.
ADAM LALLANA – £25m (2014)
Lallana followed Lambert to Liverpool the following month – the Reds raiding Southampton for their captain after another impressive season in the Premier League. The fee initially raised eyebrows and while he struggled to settle early on with Rodgers still at the helm, England international Lallana has flourished in midfield when fit under Jurgen Klopp. With more than 100 appearances and 20 goals, the 29-year-old has justified his fee.
DEJAN LOVREN – £20m (2014)
The Croatia international appeared to be the answer to Liverpool’s defensive woes when he became the third Southampton player to don the Reds’ shirt in 2014, having impressed at St Mary’s. There have been glimpses of his quality but Lovren has largely disappointed on Merseyside. From death threats from frustrated fans to Klopp sensationally substituting the 28-year-old centre-back after just half-an-hour against Tottenham in October, it has been a difficult spell for Lovren and the arrival of Van Dijk casts further doubt over his future.
NATHANIEL CLYNE – £12.5m (2015)
Not deterred by Lambert and Lovren, Liverpool returned to Southampton a year later for Clyne. The Reds spent sensibly in an inflated market to lure the full-back and he has proven to be solid on the right. While there have been question marks over his effectiveness going forward and his ability to defend, at 26 years of age and considering the fee, it appears to be money well spent by Liverpool on the England international.
SADIO MANE – £30m (2016)
The 25-year-old Senegalese forward has been Liverpool’s best signing from Southampton. Mane scored the fastest Premier League hat-trick in history against Aston Villa in 2015, completing the three-goal haul in just two minutes, 56 seconds, before netting twice against Liverpool in March 2016 to set the wheels in motion for a transfer to Merseyside. He rejected the advances of Louis van Gaal and Manchester United, and he has not looked back with 13 goals in his debut season and seven this term. His pace in a Klopp side built to press and play on the counter-attack has proven invaluable.
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