Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has praised the success the club have had in the transfer market this summer, claiming that the seven new additions we’ve made to our squad should ensure a positive season at Anfield.
Brendan Rodgers spent big to purchase Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino, while Adam Bogdan, Nathaniel Clyne, Joe Gomez, James Milner and Danny Ings have also come in to help freshen up the squad.
Werner admitted that it was vitally important to make such improvements after a difficult season last time out and expects the new players to make a difference in all areas of the pitch. The Liverpool fans will be particularly hopeful that this applies to our forward line, which managed a measly 52 Premier League goals last year.
The chairman also reiterated his expectation that these new signings should help lead us back into the Champions League places, despite the fact that the vast majority of our main rivals have also strengthened ahead of the new campaign.
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“It was vital that we made strong signings this summer,” Werner told the Liverpool Echo. “I don’t want to put too much pressure on them because we all know it takes a period of time to settle in at a new club but I think that each one of them has enormous talent. They’ll all make a big contribution this season.
“A Champions League spot is always the target. There are a lot of strong clubs but I do believe we’ll be in the mix. I read an interview with Jose Mourinho, who said he believes we’ll be in the mix.
“I know that Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United have all strengthened their squads too but that doesn’t intimidate us. It’s certainly very competitive but I regard us as being part of the competition. We are confident that we have the talent and the strategy to deliver.”
Intriguingly, Werner admitted that he’s feeling much happier now than he was this time last year, when we lost Luis Suarez and missed out on our top transfer target.
While he doesn’t refer to that target by name, it doesn’t take an expert to work out that he’s referencing Alexis Sanchez, who eventually chose Arsenal over Liverpool (via the Daily Mirror).
“There maybe transfer windows when we don’t spent as much but I think people can see that we’re committed to winning trophies,” Werner continued. “We felt that there were a number of positions that we needed to improve. A lot of work went into identifying our targets and we were able to land them which was satisfying.
“Every transaction is somewhat different from the next. Without mentioning any names, we were very focused on a player last year. We felt that we had an understanding but his wife wanted to live in London. None of these transfers are simple.
“But we were able to get our business done early this year and we’re confident they’ll improve our performance. Five of the seven signings are players who have played in the Premier League. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself as we have a challenging schedule at the start of the season but I’m optimistic.”
He also spoke out in defence of big money signing Christian Benteke. Werner is confident that the powerful Belgian striker will be a success at Anfield, just as he does James Milner and Roberto Firmino.
“There’s been a lot of talk about the money we spent on signing Christian Benteke but his goal scoring record is outstanding – 42 goals in 89 league appearances,” he said.
“If you go through them, I couldn’t be more excited about James Milner. He’s a two-times Premier League title winner and a solid performer and a tremendous leader. I’m equally excited about Roberto Firmino, a Brazil international and one of the great prospects in world football. I can’t wait for the season to get started.”