It was an eventful summer transfer window that slams shut on 31st August 2016. Every manager had put forth their respective strategies in place and this being Jürgen Klopp’s first one as manager of Liverpool FC, the onus was on him to make or break a few significant changes to the squad. To understand Liverpool’s performance in the transfer window, one must analyze the signings pulled off by Liverpool and the players who left Merseyside for greener pastures according to the players and their agents.
Analyzing the transfer window of Liverpool FC
Unarguably Liverpool’s biggest success in the transfer window was Sadio Mané. Towards the end of last season, the fans, the club officials, and Klopp agreed in unison that there was a need to have a winger in the team; a winger who is quick, impulsive, and a clinical finisher. Mané was the answer to their needs and indeed he did turn out good in the pre-season friendlies and the opening games. His main concern at his previous club was consistency and once he works on it, he can turn out to be an extremely potent winger with the ability to play as a makeshift striker as well.
Another positive signing was that of Loris Karius. Even though he is inexperienced and hasn’t played at the highest level, he surely has skills to establish himself as a top keeper in the coming years. Besides, he can prove to be a good competition for Simon Mignolet, who has looked a bit shaky of late.
Other signings who look good are that of Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan, and Georginio Wijnaldum. While Matip can turn out to be the bargain of the season since he was a free transfer, the other signings also look enthusiastic about playing for Liverpool. As many sports pundits have admitted, the role of Wijnaldum is still unclear. He is an attacking player and is brilliant going forward. It is still a mystery why Klopp would hand him a slightly defensive role. Klopp could have gone for defensive midfielders because that’s a role in the team that needed a new player and that’s the same role he is handing over to an attack-minded player. One has to wait and see what Klopp is planning to do and how he would handle this situation.
Coming to the players who left Liverpool, Christian Benteke’s sale to Crystal Palace eclipses all others. He had a less than decent season in Liverpool and he doesn’t fit Klopp’s style of football. It was fortunate that Liverpool got nearly the same amount that they paid to attain his services last season.
And the misses
Alberto Moreno is a name that most of the fans don’t want to hear at the moment especially after his poor display in the Europa League final last season and a less than impressive start to the current campaign. He is a decent attacker but to say that his defensive skills and work rate need to be improved is an understatement. Towards the end of the transfer window, Klopp defended Moreno and claimed that if there were better players available; Liverpool would have gone for them. Besides, he has now put a wide midfielder, James Milner, as a makeshift Left Back. To see a club of Liverpool’s credentials, looking to get into the top four or even higher, to play with a makeshift Left Back is unfathomable. What is not conceivable is the fact that Liverpool’s net revenue in this transfer window was negative and they must have had their own funds. This basically meant that Liverpool could throw the kitchen sink at a deal for a classy Left Back. Jonas Hector and Ricardo Rodriguez are just a couple of names that pop up. This is probably the most questionable decision taken by Liverpool, this summer.
What may also aggravate their problems is the fact that there is no established defensive midfielder in the team. This means that players who are suited to slightly advanced roles like Jordan Henderson and Wijnaldum have to fill the positional holes and may not end up efficient enough, which in turn could negate the good work by the forward line with a weak defense conceding easy goals.
For all one could sit and think, Liverpool had a bittersweet summer transfer window, where a few signings do look good to take Liverpool to the next level. But then, there are a few decisions that can’t be understood by anyone but Klopp himself. How the signings would fare this campaign is a thing to watch out for as the Premier League promises another exciting season ahead.
Column: What’s hurting Arsenal, again
Amidst the chaos that erupted at the away end of the Vitality Stadium late in the game, a cruel sense…
The Curious Case of James Rodriguez
For one last time in UEFA Champions league, the stoppage time began as fans rose to their knees, some clutching…
English clubs and their European eulogies
Calling England a superpower in football seems to be a highly unjust statement, owing to their slump over the last…
Of Captaincy and Football
There are few words which tend to get associated with the term ‘captain’ as soon as we think, or speak…