Having seen Gini Wijnaldum depart Liverpool on a free earlier in the summer, it seemed initially likely that the recruitment team would at least secure a direct replacement.
Likewise, there were concerns further up the pitch with the forward line following the perceived drop-off in form experienced by key men Sadio Mane and Bobby Firmino last year, which prompted questions as to the need for a new attacker to freshen things up.
“It’s about the targets who we think are good enough; they need to be available and at a responsible price. And responsible doesn’t mean cheap,” an unnamed source was quoted as saying by the Echo.
“We know it’s not popular on social media but we won’t buy just to satisfy people’s irrational lust for a transfer.
“Anyone we buy in midfield needs to be good enough to get in ahead of Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Keita, Ox, Milner, Curtis and now Harvey.
“[We] would ask people demanding a midfield signing – how much do you think a player who’s good enough to get in ahead of these boys costs? And how readily available are they?”
The positive form of Naby Keita and Harvey Elliott in the opening stages of the season has certainly given Jurgen Klopp food for thought, potentially filling the aforementioned Wijnaldum-sized gap in the squad.
We can absolutely understand where the club is coming from on this – what value would a panic signing potentially bring to the side?
Indeed, it was made clear from a prior presser that Klopp very much sees his midfield as possessing the numbers to effectively compete across an entire campaign.
However, that being said, we must beg the question as to why an option like Saul Nigez, who was apparently available on loan with an option to buy, was overlooked – particularly given the outgoings that have taken place.
It’s possible, of course, that after a thorough investigation by the recruitment team’s analysts the Spaniard was deemed unsuitable for our requirements.
Michael Edwards and co. are well-known, and appreciated, for their exceptionally high standards, picking apart prospective targets with a fine toothcomb.
Few can deny that their signings have worked out rather well for Liverpool and many fans would ultimately prefer a more considered approach to transfers than a gunslinging, shoot and pray mantra that has historically proven ill-advised for clubs.