9) Dejan Lovren – €25.3m
The former Southampton centre-back arrived at Liverpool in the summer of 2014 following days of protracted negotiations with the Saints. Then manager Brendan Rodgers praised Lovren’s leadership and defensive abilities and justified the enormous outlay on another centre-back following Mamadou Sakho’s arrival from PSG only the previous summer.
During his first season with Liverpool, Lovren was far from the confident leader and protector of the defence. In fact, his errors cost Liverpool several goals and games; before the season was out, he was on the list of players that fans wanted sold by the club.
The Croatian’s fortunes, however, saw a massive upturn with the appointment of a new manager mid-way through his second campaign for the Reds. His performances improved drastically as he shored up the defence with centre-back partner Sakho, as Liverpool reached two Cup finals in Klopp’s first managerial season.
In due course, Lovren established himself as a regular in the first team and his popularity among the Liverpool fans scaled up as he scored the crucial winner against Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League semi-final in the dying minutes.