Liverpool’s £200 million ‘war chest’ proves just a dream for supporters
Qualifying for the Champions League was supposed to allow Liverpool to spend big this summer. But after missing out on key targets, fans have been left in the familiar position of feeling underwhelmed by another disappointing window. Will Liverpool regret another missed opportunity? By Kris Gourlay
As the summer transfer window slams shut, most Liverpool fans have been left disappointed. At the start of the window, a £200 million budget was promised by respected journalists and the fans were overwhelmed at the prospect of finally spending big on their targets, but this was not the case in what was a considerably below-par transfer window.
With just four new signings drafted in and one secured for next season, it is easy to see why Liverpool supporters have been left angry and disappointed by the club’s dealings. Dominic Solanke, Andrew Robertson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mohamed Salah are four fresh faces coming into Jurgen Klopp’s squad this season, with Red Bull Leipzig’s Naby Keita joining next summer. Although the Keita deal is an extraordinary piece of business by the Reds, it only numbs the pain and embarrassment of not securing our main targets such as Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk.
At the start of the transfer window, a few things were clear from the fans perspective: a commanding centre back was an absolute priority, a new left back was needed and a winger to support Sadio Mane was also a necessity. These priorities have been given a half-hearted attempt to be solved. Mohamed Salah was a great bargain buy having signed for only £36m, previously being one of Roma’s main assets. Salah has started his Liverpool career in style, scoring twice in the opening three Premier League games and notching against Hoffenheim in the Champions League qualifier.
Left back Andrew Robertson was a minimal risk, low fee transfer for £8m which most fans accepted as they simply wanted Alberto Moreno as far away from the starting XI as possible, but Robertson has only started one game for Liverpool so far this season. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s arrival on deadline day raised a few eyebrows as he looked likely to sign for Chelsea, having agreed a fee, but it seems that the player was more attracted to Klopp’s style of play.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is an underwhelming transfer as he was never a ‘top target’ for Liverpool, but with time running out they had to settle for his services. With a severe injury to Adam Lallana and the feud surrounding Philippe Coutinho, the midfield was seriously lacking in creativity. On a plus note, he is quick, versatile and has accepted a considerably lower wage package than Arsenal and Chelsea were offering.
The first player brought in by Jurgen Klopp, and perhaps the most underrated, was 19-year-old Dominic Solanke. Signed from Chelsea, Klopp has high hopes for Solanke who had an impressive pre-season and has seemingly forced Divock Origi out of the team. At just £3m, he certainly seems one for the future.
With the club’s top two targets, Van Dijk and Keita looking a lost cause, fans were stunned by the news that the club had agreed a deal with RB Leipzig to sign Keita for the 2018/19 season, paying his £48m release clause. The signing of Van Dijk was always going to be a big ask after the club had to publicly apologise to Southampton over an apparent illegal approach to lure the player to Anfield and therefore could not bid unless invited to do so.
Another saga that irked the fans throughout the window was that of Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian’s sudden unhappiness with his position at the club resolved in him handing in a transfer request to land his dream move to Barcelona. But to be fair to the owners, they stuck by their stance that he will 100% not be sold this summer, no matter what Barcelona offered.The Catalan club were willing to pay up to 136 million euros for the Brazilian. Now, Klopp is faced with the problem of reintegrating Coutinho back into the team with the midfield missing his creative spark.
So, in a summer of broken promises, missed targets and false hope, it is hard to give the overall transfer window anything more than a 6/10. Liverpool are a top centre back away from challenging for the league and for one not to be signed or even bid for is ridiculous.
The positives are certainly Salah and the signing of Keita for next year but Liverpool fans have been left disappointed at the lack of signature signings that were promised three months ago. The squad will more than likely struggle with injuries with competing in the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup. This summer has been a wasted opportunity to improve the squad depth.