This transfer window was clearly one of the most difficult ones in a long time as apart from big spenders PSG, almost all the top clubs, including Liverpool, felt the effects of the overpriced market.
While it was crystal clear from the start that the Reds will have to improve the squad depth this summer after watching their title challenge collapse in February last season, the recent emergence of youngsters like Ben Woodburn, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander Arnold had definitely assuaged the need of wholesale incomings.
The signing of Mohamed Salah has hugely decreased our over-reliance on Sadio Mane as the Egyptian’s extreme pace and goalscoring prowess provides the Reds with another match winner.
Dominic Solanke has not arrived at Liverpool with a big price tag but the England U-21 international appears to be a huge coup, given his young age and his confidence and ability to play as a centre-forward as well as a support striker. Chelsea were not at all happy to let the 19-year-old leave but a pull of developing his career under Jurgen Klopp made his decision to leave the Premier League champions easy.
Another player with not so big reputation, 23-year-old Andrew Robertson is a shrewd signing by Klopp. The Scotland international not only solves our long-running left-back issue but has also provided good competition to Alberto Moreno, which is evident in the Spaniard’s improved performances of late.
Liverpool completed the signings of Solanke, Salah and Robertson before the end of July but the Reds were expected to bring in some more players after entering the group stages of the Champions League, keeping in mind the Coutinho situation and a desperate need to improve our backline.
An agreement with RB Leipzig late in the window for the sale of Naby Keita, who will join the Reds next season, was a huge surprise as Leipzig never appeared to be doing business for the 22-year-old. Liverpool were prepared to spend more than £70m for Keita, but his clear unavailability this summer meant that the Reds would have had to compete for his signature next summer with the likes of Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain‘s arrival from Arsenal is another very good piece of business done by us this week. The Gunners were extremely reluctant to sell the 24-year-old, at least to the Reds, and even offered him a new bumper £180k-a-week contract to convince him to stay. But the England midfielder had his heart set on a move to Anfield and became our final acquisition of the summer after rejecting a very lucrative offer from Chelsea.
Philippe Coutinho‘s transfer request and his “back injury” antics could have forced the Reds to rethink about their transfer plans but the club stood firm over their “definitive stance” regarding the Brazilian and he remains a Liverpool player for now.
Perhaps the only disappointment of this summer for us should be the club’s inability to bring in a world class centre-back despite selling Mamadou Sakho to Crystal Palace on the deadline day. The Frenchman’s departure was imminent this summer as he could not establish himself back in Jurgen Klopp’s plans after falling out of favour last summer, but this leaves the Reds with only 4 recognised central defenders including young Joe Gomez and a not so reliable Ragnar Klavan.
Many expected Liverpool to make a big money move for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk late in the window, despite them releasing a public apology and ending their interest in the player after the embarrassing tapping-up saga. The club, though, did not backtrack from their statement and the Dutchman will remain at the south coast club at least for a few more months.
While it remains to be seen whether we will rekindle our interest in Van Dijk in January or next summer, Klopp will have to manage his centre-back options very carefully before he gets another chance to strengthen the backline.
Let us know your thoughts on our summer transfer business this year.