With Transfer Deadline Day finished we now assess the Liverpool signings for the coming Premier League Season.
Brendan Rodgers has welcomed nine new signings in the 2014 Summer transfer window with a total of 116 Pounds being spent. With the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona for 75 million pounds, Liverpool were faced with a tough situation to regain such a dominant player. Suarez helped the club to second place in the Premier League notching up a staggering 31 goals in 33 games.
Rickie Lambert was the first signing for Liverpool, signed from Southampton for 4 million pounds just before England traveled to Brazil to compete in the World Cup. This signing was always seen as a backup to strengthen Liverpool’s scoring options and add depth to a depleted squad which was at some stages struggling to place first team players in the starting XI. Lambert managed to score 13 goals over the period of last season and for a fee of 4 million pounds is quite a bargain considering his scoring abilities. Though he is 32 years of age Lambert was a Liverpool academy player and will try to prove his quality for his boyhood club.
The next Liverpool signing Adam Lallana was another Southampton player for a debated fee of 25 million pounds. Many pundits and supporters have stated that even though he was a brilliant player the transfer fee was overpriced. So considering the fee he would have to prove himself on the field to win over the negative supporters who were against the signing. With nine goals and six assists for Southampton last season he would need to replicate this form to have a positive Liverpool career.
Emre Can the third signing of the Summer who was purchased from Bayer Leverkusen for 9.75 million pounds was to strengthen the midfield and hopefully in the future to replace Steven Gerrard in the deep lying play-making role. Bayern Munich who had a buy-back clause for the player were interested in re-signing the player and were linked with blocking the transfer. Rodgers felt that his strength and skill needed to be applied to the squad due to the fact that it was lacking throughout the previous season. Though he isn’t an out and out left back he is able to play in the position if needed which adds versatility to the position which was extremely vulnerable.
Benfica’s promising winger Lazar Markovic was eyed by Rodgers due to the performances he made throughout Europe and domestically which helped Benfica win the Portuguese league and also reach the Europa League final which he was suspended for. With the departure of Suarez the attacking positions needed to be reinforced and the acquisition of Markovic who is only 20 years of age is not only for the present but for the future years as well. His speed and skill which often opened up the defence struck Rodgers and pushed him into paying 20 million pounds for the young prodigy.
After long periods of speculation Dejan Lovren became the third Liverpool signing from Southampton for a fee around 20 million pounds. He was seen as a perfect player to improve the defensive issues that Liverpool faced last season which led to 53 goals being conceded. There were some problems with the transfer though due to the fact that Sakho and Daniel Agger who recently left for Brondby, were left footed which is unstable to have as centre backs. At the start of the season Sakho was pushed to the bench which left Martin Skrtel and Lovren partnering up and there were several positives out of the performances.
Divock Origi who had a spectacular stint at the 2014 World Cup was the next signing for the Premier League runners up. Being 19 years of age he was seen as a player who could impact straight away for the Merseyside club, but as part of the negotiations he had to be sent back to LOSC Lille for one season. 10 million pounds was spent in bringing the young prospect to the club but due to Tottenham and Arsenal showing interest Liverpool had to send him back to his club so that they were able to acquire such a promising player. Rodgers will continuously keep in touch with the player to see how his development goes and I’m sure Rodgers will watch him play against Everton in the Europa League if possible.
Javier Manquillo was then signed from Atletico Madrid on a two-year loan deal with a buyout clause of around 6-8.5 million pounds. Due to a string of poor performances by Glen Johnson and an injury to Jon Flanagan, Liverpool were in need of a new right back to fill the void. Though he had only made six appearances for Atletico his performances against Southampton and Tottenham have proven why he is able to start for Liverpool. Through the experience that Liverpool will give to the player over the two year spell, it seems as if he will fit nicely into the setup and become a strong force at the back due to his pace which suits Liverpool’s style.
Alberto Moreno another Spanish player who was also linked to joining Real Madrid signed for a fee of 12 million pounds including add ons which could increase to 20 million. Slotting into the left back position looks to be a very good signing by Rodgers as Liverpool’s most vulnerable position last season was the left back spot which was due to injury’s and poor performances. Jon Flanagan a usual right back had to fill this void and actually played very good football including a spectacular goal against Arsenal in a 5-1 thrashing. His first match against Manchester City showed some positives even though he contributed to the first City goal, and showed that he had to get used to the fast paced English football. His development was shown though when he scored a brilliant goal against Tottenham which started at halfway and also proving his defensive abilities.
The very last signing by Brendan Rodgers was an extremely surprising acquisition. Mario Balotelli from AC Milan for 16 million pounds, has gotten into all sorts of trouble over time which several people though Liverpool would not take due to the problems Luis Suarez caused. Wearing his famous number 45 jersey his performance against Tottenham had several positives even though it looked as if he did not bring his shooting boots. Rodgers stated that he was always in the right places before being substituted in the 61st minute. It looked as if in the third minute he got off to a strong start when he headed the ball to the bottom right corner but to be denied by Hugo Lloris. Several pundits have stated that it is a gamble for Liverpool to take but Rodgers is willing to put in effort to form a great player. Though Balotelli is not a like for like swap with Suarez his ability mixed with Sturridge and Sterling will help Liverpool recuperate the loss of Suarez’s striking power.
With the nine signings by Brendan Rodgers it has been a very successful transfer window. Strengthening the team due to the loss of Luis Suarez for 75 million pounds, he has also looked to youth to do this with the majority of the signings being under 25 years of age which has meant that Liverpool are looking into the future while having a stable squad in the present. Looking at the signings the Liverpool squad seems much stronger than the side which finished second and looks like a side which could push for the top 4 and also progress throughout the Champions League.