Jean Michel Ferri
Birthdate: 7 February 1969
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Other clubs: Nantes (1985-98), Istanbulspor (1998), Sochaux (1999-2000)
Bought from: Istanbulspor
Signed for LFC: £1.5m, 28.11.1998
International debut: 22.03.1994 vs. Chile
International caps: 5/0 - 18.01.1995
Liverpool debut: 27.02.1999
Last appearance: 08.05.1999
Contract expiry: 14.07.1999
Win ratio: 0% W: 0 D: 0 L: 2
LFC league games/goals: 2 / 0
Total LFC games/goals: 2 / 0
Ferri spent the majority of his career at Nantes where he played 288 league games, winning the French Championship in 1995. Ferri was Houllier's first signing, arriving only two weeks after he was left in sole charge of the team following the departure of Roy Evans. Ferri had endured a nightmare spell in Turkey after signing a pay-as-you-play deal with Istanbulspor a few months earlier. The president of the club told the coach to leave Ferri out of the squad, no matter if he had performed well or not, simply to avoid paying him so Ferri was happy when Houllier came calling. "In Turkey players get big money for appearances. We were still allowed to train but because we were not playing we didn't have the same motivation," Ferri told British media on his arrival. The defensive midfielder was called "The Machine" because of his work-rate. 'Ferri Across the Mersey' the headlines read as he arrived injured as cover for Paul Ince in midfield.
Ferri finally made his debut three months later in a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea replacing Ince early on in second half. His second substitute appearance came in the penultimate game of the season, another defeat, this time at Sheffield Wednesday. Ferri played roughly 50 minutes for Liverpool in eight months but left for a similar fee to second division Sochaux so no harm done.