A torturous three months have finally come to an end.
I think I can speak on behalf of most Liverpool supporters and Liverpool journalists, this has got to go down as one of the most painful and longest transfers window to endure.
After securing Champions League football and being promised so much at the start of the transfer window, Liverpool have once again been rather deflating, now I am not knocking the signings the club has made, as they have all instantly made an impact to the team, but the supporters were expecting much, much more.
Signings of Solanke, Salah, Robertson and Chamberlain give reason to be excited going into the season.
The transfer window started off with the club signing Dominic Solanke on a free and his performances during pre-season have shown that the club have signed a gem. His movement and goals have not gone unnoticed and have actually forced Divock Origi out the club who has joined Wofsburg on loan. That is how much of an impact Solanke has made. Mohamed Salah then came in from Roma for £34 million and has been absolutely unbelievable. Could not have asked for a better start with 3 goals and 1 assists already. Unfortunately our ONLY first team starter brought in by the club. Madness. Andrew Robertson was our third signing, hallelujah a left back. Liverpool paid £8 million and in today’s market was a steal. Robertson made his debut against Crystal Palace and you can say our left back position, for now, is sorted. Our fourth and final signing was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, I must admit like many other supporters I was not sold by the signing and still feel Chamberlain has a lot to prove considering the club were linked to other players although, after rejecting a contract extension at Arsenal and rejecting a chance to join Chelsea but instead join Liverpool I am willing to give him a chance and fair play to Chamberlain who joined the club accepting lower wages than both other clubs were willing to give him. Liverpool overall have spent around £77 million after being promised a ‘£200 million war chest”. Now, all four signings are welcome ones and have 100% strengthened the club, but we all know there is one player, or at least one position Liverpool have missed out on; Van Dijk or bringing in a center back of his caliber. I, and others are shocked that Liverpool have not brought in someone to sure up the defence.
It all went horribly wrong when Southampton reported Liverpool to Premier League over allegedly making an illegal approach to Virgil van Dijk. Liverpool were accused of “tapping up” Van Dijk in June and from there it was always going to be tough to resurrect any potential deal in the future as relationships with Southampton were ruined. FSG then issued an apology and that was that. What confuses many is that Liverpool never had any alternatives to Van Dijk, not one defender was mentioned throughout the three months, a position Liverpool desperately needed to fix. We know this because Liverpool were reportedly willing to pay a world-record sum for the defender – expected to be around £60m and offer Van Dijk a contract worth around £200,000 a week. Van Dijk would then become Liverpool’s record signing and highest-paid player should the deal go ahead. There were many defenders available for Klopp, a few names would be Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Roma’s Kostas Manolas who was on the verge of moving to Zenit St Peterseburg but ended up staying for personal reasons, and finally, maybe a bit too ambitious, Toby Alderweireld who is entering his last year at Spurs, why not test Tottenham’s nerve with a high bid? Liverpool’s defending options are not sticking out with big names, Matip who is the only one to cover himself with any glory is one of four, these include Lovren, Klavan and the young Gomez who I think should start alongside Matip. You look at that, and you have to admit to yourself, is not good enough to challenge for four competitions this season, it is just simply not.
Moving onto Thomas Lemar, who came as a surprise to be totally honest. After a brilliant season at Monaco helping them win Ligue 1 scoring 14 goals and getting 17 assists last season. Supporters were over the moon to finally be linked to a player of Lemar’s quality. Now bringing him into the club would deem to be difficult with Monaco demanding over £90 million. After being promised £175 million to be spent on the day by various journalists, finally FSG will be spending big sums of money. The deal which went to the last day of the transfer window had confused everyone, especially with Arsenal having a £92 million bid accepted. Many supporters were furious that Liverpool could not match the bid BUT Lemar did not want to join Arsenal instead wanted Liverpool and Klopp. Finally, after all these years of settling for second best every single transfer window, players want to join Liverpool! Liverpool had club representatives in France and were confident of agreeing a deal for the midfielder, but just did not end up agreeing on the fee. A player wants to join Liverpool but Liverpool like always could not see the deal over the line. Frustrating. The only “good” to come out of it is that Coutinho is still a Liverpool player and I say good lightly as Coutinho has treated the club disgustingly and whatever he gets from the Liverpool supporters will be deserved.
Liverpool have four competitions this season and will be looking to take the Premier League and Champions League seriously, with a possible cup run on the way. With the squad right now I reckon Liverpool could challenge but just miss out. The squad is lacking depth, especially defensively. A couple injuries to key players such as Joel Matip who is the clubs best defender and you are left with either Klavan or Gomez partnering Lovren. Not ideal. With Coutinho staying, I am not sure how the Klopp will handle the situation, he is obviously one of our best players and has to perform with the World Cup in the summer, so I am sure Liverpool will get one more good season out Philippe before he eventually joins Barcelona next summer. The way he has acted has been a disgrace, let us not forget that.
If I had to rate the summer transfer window I would give it a 5/10. It has not been a disaster as the club have brought in Salah who has been a perfect fit and our left back situation has been sorted thanks to Robertson. Solanke gives us something different and Chamberlain is versatile and will play anywhere. Although let’s not paper over the cracks. Salah is the only player who has cemented a place in the starting eleven and is the only player the Reds have bought in to come straight into the first team. Liverpool have not addressed the key area where supporters have been pleading the club to. The club did not even make a single bid for a defender in three whole months?! Is that good enough? No way. Who is to blame for transfers being leaked and causing us not to be able to sign Van Dijk? Did we really have money to spend on players? So many questions that need to be answered for Liverpool supporters.
I am confident in the club doing well this season, but have Liverpool done all they could this transfer window to take the club to the next level? No.
Written by Vilson Beiqi