Damien Comolli insists that it made financial sense for Liverpool to break the British transfer record to purchase Andy Carroll in 2011, even though the striker failed to star for the side in his two and a half years at Merseyside.

Carroll was a last minute deal on deadline day in January 2011 by Kenny Dalglish and Comolli, with the former becoming acting manager in the same month and the latter taking the role as director of football.

The deal cost Liverpool around £35m, a fee which has become synonymous with talking about Carroll and his abilities. Yet, despite the club parting company with the England international this summer for £15m, Comolli insists that with the sale of Ryan Babel and Fernando Torres in the same January transfer window, the Carroll deal was still viable.

He told the Daily Mirror: "At Liverpool, and I would include myself in this because I was there, you have to manage expectations. But I would not say that has ­anything to do with Andy Carroll's fee.

"There was an inflated price on Fernando Torres and we got ­unbelievable money for him. We looked at it not as a two-player deal, but as a four-player deal.

"We also sold Ryan Babel at that time and we signed Luis Suarez, and we made a profit. That is the way we looked at it at the time.

"I said we were overpaying by £15m for Carroll, but that if the player is not successful we will still get £20m back on him.

"And since then Liverpool have had a big loan fee from West Ham - they paid his wages for a year, and Liverpool have now sold him ­permanently to them.

"People have forgotten that and they shouldn't."

Comolli is also widely credited with being the man to see the talent in Gareth Bale, who this summer sealed a record-breaking move to Real Madrid from the Frenchman's former workplace Tottenham.

And he believes there is a huge difference between scouting players now and back when Bale made the move to Spurs in 2007.

"When I a­rrived at Spurs in 2005 the level of the Premier League was nowhere near where it is now," he explained. "Players are better technically and the bar has been raised.

"At Spurs our team finished fifth in 2005-06 - but that team would probably be top 10 now. The ­difference is massive.

"You need to have players more technically gifted than 10 years ago.

"In terms of the transfer market there are not many top English or British players around and that is why you pay a premium.

"When we signed Gareth Bale at Tottenham people could not believe the fee we were paying for a 17-year-old who had never played in the Premier League. But that is not bad business now!"