Transfers within Premier League clubs are always tricky. It gets even more complicated when two rivals are involved.
19-time English champions Liverpool have rarely done business with their rivals, but there have been a few stars who have bravely jumped the fence.
Here are the top five Liverpool players who directly joined a rival in the Premier League era (1992-present):
#5 Yossi Benayoun – Chelsea
Former Israeli playmaker Yossi Benayoun joined Liverpool from West Ham United for €7.3m in July 2007. Rafa Benitez was aware of the qualities the player brought, but used him largely as an impact substitution.
In his first season, Benayoun was subbed-in a whopping 21 times across all competitions. He ended his first season with 11 goals, which included hat-tricks in the Champions League and the FA Cup.
His best season in a Liverpool shirt came in 2009-10. He had more opportunities in the second half of the season and rarely disappointed. His vision and work on the ball was extraordinary and helped clinch some clinical wins.
At the end of the season, he surprisingly joined the Reds’ Premier League rivals Chelsea for €7m, putting the blame on Benitez. The Israel international’s spell with Chelsea was rather insignificant as he featured in only 24 games for the Blues.
#4 Raul Meireles – Chelsea
When Liverpool went for Portugal international Raul Meireles in 2010, he was already a respectable midfielder in Europe. He had won four league titles with Porto and was a regular member of the Portuguese national team.
The industrious midfielder did not always grab headlines with goals and assists, but he was almost always instrumental to his teams.
Meireles was at Liverpool for a single season and it was a successful one. Sitting in the middle of the park, he barged from his box to his opponents’, pitching in with key passes and interceptions.
Meireles featured in 44 games for the Reds in the 2010-11 season, pitching in with six goals and seven assists.
The former Portugal international surprisingly joined Chelsea the following season and quickly became one of their key personnel. He appeared in 48 games for the Blues that season and won the Champions League and the FA Cup.
Unfortunately, he could not play in the final against Bayern Munich after picking up a booking in the semi-finals.
At the end of the 2011-12 campaign, he joined Fenerbahce SK and eventually retired there in 2016.