Finally the transfer window is over and now managers, players and fans can focus on football. Liverpool fans will be looking forward to the first full season under Jurgen Klopp. For now, however, let’s take a look at the how the Reds did this summer in the transfer market.
When it comes to arrivals, Klopp and the transfer committee did the business pretty early, signing all of their new arrivals before the beginning of August. This simply meant that Klopp had his new arrivals training with the rest of the squad to prepare for the season. Klopp brought in six new players this summer to go along with his January signing of Marko Grujic. Of the newly signed players, the most noticeable are Sadio Mané (£30m) – a genuine attacker with pace and quality from Southampton, Loris Karius (£4.7m) – one of the best young goal keeping talents from Mainz 05 in Germany, Georginio Wijnadum (£25m) – a Dutch attacking-midfielder from Newcastle United and Joel Matip (Free) – a ball-playing centre-back. The Estonian centre-back Ragnar Klavan (£4.2m) from Schalke 04 and the 39-year-old Austrian goalkeeper Alex Manninger (Free) from FC Augsburg, along with a few other fringe signings, rounded off Liverpool’s signings to approximately £70 million spent.
Thirteen players went the other way, inclusive of Mario Balotelli who left the club on a free to Nice. His contract was terminated in the process which saved Liverpool from any financial complications. Also departed is Christian “Big Ben” Benteke (£32m) to Crystal Palace, who didn’t fit Klopp’s system. Its hard not to imagine that Liverpool felt great delight in potentially recovering all of the £32 million that was spent to bring him in. However, fans may be sad to see the likes of Joe Allen (£13m), the “Welsh Pirlo”, leave to Stoke City. The Welshman had been slowly building a cult following among the Reds and he had came off the back of a standout performance in Euro 2016. Others who departed were the likes of Jordon Ibe (£15m) to Bournemouth, Luis Alberto (£6m) to Lazio, Brad Smith (£6m) to Bournemouth, Martin Skrtel (£5.5m) to Fenerbahce and Sergi Canos (£4.5m) to Norwich City. Most of these transfers included add-ons. Along with the compensation gained from free transfers from players under the ages of 21 and add-ons from senior player sales, Liverpool are looking to gain approximately £87 million from departures.
Liverpool fans who have hopes of their club finishing in the top four this season will look at the signings of their rivals and compare. A feeling of inadequacy may develop as their own club’s signings pale in comparison to their top four rivals. Also, Liverpool has not address longstanding issues of signing a quality left-back and defensive-midfielder. Lack of coverage is also an issue with Nathaniel Clyne being the only experienced right-back in the squad. Klopp will likely have to resort to calling on 20-year-old Conor Randall, who almost went through the door on a loan to Preston North End had it not been for a last minute block of the transfer by Klopp himself, to fill in for Clyne if he becomes unavailable.
This is the first window in for a long time where Liverpool can say that they haven’t lost any of their key players. Having maintained their core, Liverpool can only hope to improve from their eighth place finish last season with the addition of six new signings. Mané has been quality so far this season and if he continues his early form, £30 million will be a great piece of business for the club. Also, the return of Karius (a more commanding keeper as to Simon Mignolet) from injury, along with the signing of Matip, should help Liverpool to better defensive performances throughout this season.
Liverpool receives a 3 out of 5 rating for this transfer window. Yes, there weren’t any world class signings as the fans would have liked but considering Jurgen Klopp’s long term plans, this will be a step in the process. It is likely that his target is getting into Europe while further making a mark on Liverpool F.C. with the hope of returning them to glory. Liverpool made a profit of approximately £17m this transfer window.
Goalkeepers: Loris Karius, Simon Mignolet, Alex Manninger
Defenders: Nathaniel Clyne, Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan, Mamadou Sakho, Joe Gomez, Alberto Moreno, James Milner
Midfielders: Emre Can, Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva, Kevin Stewart, Marko Grujić Georginio Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho, Sheyi Ojo, Sadio Mane
Forwards: Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings