The new Premier League season is finally upon us, and after last season’s changes, the transfer window slamming shut comes with it.
Liverpool were the biggest spenders in England this summer, and fans and pundits alike are touting Klopp’s men for a big season. But just how good was their transfer window?
Following the Champions League final on the 26th May Reds fans weren’t in the highest spirits. Salah’s injury coupled with Karius’ blunders (no matter what caused them), had left an extremely sour taste in our mouths.
What better way to raise the fans spirits than by announcing the club’s first proper holding midfielder than Javier Mascherano? That’s just what happened when Fabinho was announced two days after the Champions League final. What made this signing so brilliant was just how silent the whole thing was, no one knew until about Liverpool’s interest until 8pm and by 10pm he was a Red.
That’s how you do transfers.
Fans already knew about Naby Keita joining, but it was made even better because Leipzig only finished in a Europa League place. Meaning he joined Klopp and co for a cheaper fee. Speaking of cheap fees, Xherdan Shaqiri for £13m. His bicycle kick against United over in the States was worth that alone. The Swiss international has plenty of experience both in European competition and the Premier League, and he adds yet another option to Klopp’s dynamic front three. Finally some depth up front.
Last, but surely not least is the signing of Alisson Becker. It’s been a good few years since Reds fans have seen a top class keeper in goal. It’s about time the club replaced Pepe Reina. Some might query the fee, but when you consider Van Dijk cost a world record fee for a defender, and the Reds haven’t conceded a goal at home in the league since February, he was more than worth it. You have to pay seemingly extortionate figures when you sign a player who will have such a positive effect on the rest of the team.
Of course, the transfer window came with negatives. Nabil Fekir is a name that is sure to perk the ears of Reds fans for some time. The French international had completed his interview and was pictured in a Liverpool shirt at Melwood. All that was left was the medical. I think we all know how that panned out.
Liverpool identified the World Champion’s knee as a potential issue, particularly given how demanding Klopp’s brand of football is. It started with an ACL rupture back in 2015/16, and in the two seasons since Fekir has suffered two further injuries to his knee, which has resulted in him missing 10 games in that time. Therein lies the issue that caused Liverpool and Lyon to end negotiations.
One outgoing player stands out from the rest, Emre Can. He was arguably one of the clubs most frustrating players in recent years but was also capable of moments of brilliance. He was undoubtedly talented and losing him on a free transfer hurts further, but the German’s departure has been instantly numbed by the arrivals of Fabinho and Keita.
Other than Can, Danny Ward was the next most senior player to depart Anfield for pastures new. Given the fact that his only real experience has been in Scotland and one successful season in the Championship, Michael Edwards has done very well to get £12.5m for him.
The other permanent departures were youth players who simply aren’t ready to make the step up to Premier League football, Jon Flanagan and Jordan Williams.
Some of the youngsters went away for a much-needed loan spell, the likes of Ben Woodburn, Harry Wilson, Ryan Kent and Ovie Ejaria will benefit from first-team football. Danny Ings has also gone away on loan and unless he returns with around 20 league goals to his name, it is unlikely his long-term future is at Anfield.
However, there remains some dead wood at the club that Klopp will want to sell before the transfer window closes for the rest of Europe, including Lazar Marković, Simon Mignolet and Divock Origi who are all likely to be shown the exit door.
Although still technically a Liverpool player, Adam Bogdan’s contract at the club ends next summer and thanks to a loan at Hibernian, we won’t have to see him in a Liverpool shirt ever again.
Taking everything into account, this has probably been the club’s best summer in my lifetime. The Reds have finally signed a top class keeper, bolstered their midfield, and added some quality depth to the bench. With all this going on, Daniel Sturridge returned from his loan spell at The Hawthorns a new man. His performances during pre-season convinced Klopp to keep him at the club, and he responded with a goal 24 seconds after coming off the bench in the first game of the season.
Had it not been for the Fekir situation, and the dead-wood that is still at the club, the transfer window would be a perfect 10/10. Having missed out on the Lyon captain, and with a few unnecessary players still taking large wages from the club, this transfer window goes down as an 8.5/10.