Philippe Coutinho was a “KFC bargain bucket” for Liverpool, says Daniel Sturridge, with the Brazil international signed from Inter for £8 million ($11m) and offloaded to Barcelona for £105m ($139m).
The Reds moved to snap up the South American playmaker from Inter during the January transfer window of 2013.
He would go on to spend five years at Anfield, scoring 54 goals in 201 appearances, before heading off to chase the dream at Camp Nou.
Sturridge was acquired in the same winter as Coutinho, with the England frontman lured away from Chelsea.
He also enjoyed initial success on Merseyside, hitting 67 goals in total for Liverpool, and considers himself to have been a “snip”.
Sturridge is, however, prepared to admit that Coutinho provided considerably more value, with those behind the scenes starting a trend that has continued in deals for the likes of Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.
Discussing his own switch to Liverpool, Sturridge – who remains without a club at present after severing ties with Trabzonspor – told The Beautiful Game Podcast: “It was the perfect place for me, which is mad.
“My sister dreamt it. She said: 'I think you are going to play for Liverpool one day' - and I was like, 'What are you on about, you are talking foolishness.'
“She was like, 'I see you playing in red' - and I was like, 'What is she on about? I play for Chelsea.'
“To say the team was missing someone like me was how they sold it. We got Luis Suarez over here, unbelievable player, Stevie G [Steven Gerrard], who I trained with at England.
“They had a young Raheem [Sterling] and they also had ambitions as well. They said they were going to sign players. They then brought Coutinho in who was a bargain bucket. Bargain bucket man, a KFC bargain bucket!
“It was a snip and we were cheap. £12m for myself and £8m for Coutinho. I don’t know how much they earned from Coutinho.
“For myself, I was there a long time and signed another deal and saw the length of my contract out.
“But they just make great signings at the club. They know what they are doing. Michael Edwards and the team behind the scenes, they just know what they are doing.”
Sturridge slipped down the pecking order at Liverpool and eventually left in 2019, but he has fond memories of his time with a Premier League heavyweight.
The 31-year-old added: “The fans were just different. You play at Anfield – you’re getting the goosies.
“You’re walking through the tunnel getting the goosies; like the goosebumps and the hairs on your arm are standing up.
“You see the sign – some of the players are tapping the [This is] Anfield sign – and you’re thinking: [it’s] different over here!”