Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned new arrival Mamadou Sakho he will have to earn his place on merit as an 18 million GBP transfer fee provides no guarantees.
Managing director Ian Ayre described the France international as the club's "marquee signing" of the summer following his move from Paris St-Germain on deadline day.
However, the well-regarded centre-back will not be given an easy route into the first team.
"It doesn't matter one iota. It is not me that puts the price on them," said Rodgers.
"You judge the player on what he is giving you every single day. That's why I think it was unfair on the likes of Jordan Henderson.
"Jordan didn't set the price tag (Â£16million) on his head - he came in for a lot of money as a young player.
"He's shown over time and with confidence that you can be a very good player.
"For me it doesn't matter whether it was Â£1, a free transfer or Â£50million.
"You want good players with strong mentalities, players that are willing to be brave on the ball and want to win games - irrespective of the price."
Competition in central defence is now especially fierce, highlighted by out-of-favour Martin Skrtel impressing last time out in the win over Manchester United on his first appearance of the season in place of the injured Kolo Toure, who himself had enjoyed a good start to his Reds career.