No Van Dijk: What Next?

No Van Dijk: What Next?

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Only a few days ago I, like many Liverpool fans, was both happy and assured knowing that next season Virgil Van Dijk would be lining up alongside Joel Matip for Liverpool in the Champions League. How wrong we were.

The approach was too good to believe. Liverpool had stumped up £50 million, for a centre-back? Utter madness. But pleasing madness nonetheless. A little haranguing over the contract had concerns bubbling, but that tension was soon eased when reports came in that the deal was a certainty.

The less said about the proceeding developments the better.

What really matters is what Liverpool FC do now.

The club clearly has the money available, and seems to have the ambition to match it. The club can either let this failure define and determine the coming season, or instead, dust itself down and steam 0n, finalising the deal for Mohamed Salah, and finding a new top quality centre-back.

This was nothing but an embarrassment for the club, but the club has to put it behind them. If Van Dijk was to be the marquee, talisman signing, the club must now find a new one.

However, before this, the club has some serious introspection to do. This story is all too familiar to the normal Liverpool fan. No other top Premier League club has these issues. Regardless of whether the club apologised to save face, or if this was the fault of Southampton, it is inescapable that the club have missed out on players such as Sanchez, Eriksen, Götze, Costa, Alli, Mkhitaryan, Konoplyanka, Teixeira, Dahoud and more. The transfer strategy needs an overhaul and a head must roll, after all, Liverpool FC’s reputation has been damaged. This reputation was one which Klopp has tried to build across his two season tenure, a club on the rise, a club which will soon challenge for titles, a club which wants to be at the top end of the table, and wants the best players. There is no telling the damage this farce has done for prospective transfer targets.

This stems from the club being far too complacent and lax; when we look at the efficiency and pace of Manchester City’s dealings for example, we can see Liverpool FC is leagues behind in comparison. The club did not even make a formal bid, despite engaging with the player. I doubt the failure of the whole deal was entirely the club’s fault, but I, like many other Liverpool fans have given the club the benefit of the doubt in transfer failings for too long. There should be no excuses at all by now, the club is finally in the Champions League, and finally has a big-name manager. There is little room for error in such a competitive league, yet Liverpool seem intent on stretching their luck and the supporters’ patience as far as it can possibly go.

Salah or Martins’ deal must be finalised over the next few days, and a new centre-back should be brought in as soon as possible. The club, unless it was totally complacent, would have identified contingency plans for another centre-back in case the Van Dijk deal fell through, but the club should also realise that this does not mean a lower quality player is now acceptable. For Liverpool to become a top team, it must appear as one too, missing out on a primary target and then purchasing a lower quality one does not feed into the image of a top team at all. With Pepe heading to PSG, Liverpool should look to poach one of their current starting centre-backs for the sort of fee the club was willing to pay for Van Dijk. A setback like this will only be a setback if the club does not push onwards.

The window is yet to open, so the club has time to redeem itself after an utterly disastrous few days, but if the club truly is serious in regards to its ambitions, it must plough forward, and restore the positivity around Liverpool FC. It’s stunning how the positivity after achieving top four quickly deteriorated into a toxic, fickle and reactive mess – but the club must bear responsibility for that, and correct it too.

The club can still make this window a success and a stepping stone for future glories, or instead it could shrink back, and let all of the good work so far this season go to waste.

Over to you, Liverpool FC.

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Comments

5 responses to “No Van Dijk: What Next?”

  1. ANTONIO HENRY says:

    SIGN RANOCCHIA

  2. Yunus says:

    The soap opera continues year after year , we botch-up top transfers previously and this one makes no difference, clearly a lack of vision , we have a world class Manager who would take us to the next level and yet again our owners FSG behave like amateurs, they have no clue whatsoever about football, is said before and i will say it again they are content in buying youth players so that they can sell for a profit , they must sell the club quickly otherwise we will be a middle table team amongst the toffees,saints & stokers etc and eventually we will vanish into obscurity

  3. Hobnob Legend says:

    I agree that this has been a monumental farce; I still hold a sliver of hope that Van Dijk will push through a move as it really does appear he had his heart set on Anfield.
    Looking further afield, we need to look at the good and bad FSG have done:
    Good:
    Brought in a world class manager.
    Extended the stadium with a possible view to further expansion.
    Smashed our (admittedly small nevertheless) transfer record.
    Readying plans for a complete overhaul of Melwood and the training facility.
    Bonus credit for the legendary ‘what are they smoking over there at the Emirates’ tweet.

    Bad:
    Have absolutely no idea how to negotiate transfers.
    Inability to keep up with the modern day running of a football club.
    Profit over success.
    Backing Luis Suarez to the hills because we knew he was too good to be at Liverpool in the first place.

    So, what do we take from this?
    A team of owners Who, admittedly, have taken the club both forwards and backwards at the same time.
    Personally, I believe if they got their transfer business done quickly and professionally in a manner which reflects the ‘big boys’ we’d be fine.

  4. ernest says:

    FSG are the cause of our problems…..they must sell the club to serious and competent owners

  5. Uranus says:

    To say I am disappointed is an understatement, every season it’s the same old same old. The club is linked with scores of players and not one contract has crossed the line.

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Published by Anfield Index
Updated: 2017-06-09 05:06:10
6,028 Views

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