Liverpool began a new era this summer under manager Brendan Rodgers. This transfer window, thus was particularly important as Rodgers tried to revamp the squad and instil his football philosophy. The mandate from the owners FSG was simple. Retain services of key players, reduce the wage bill and invest in youth. Liverpool were active throughout the summer and several deals were made to implement these directives. Liverpool had overpaid for players in the past – Andy Carroll’s deadline day transfer for £35 million instantly comes to mind and the club was eager not to repeat the same mistakes again.
However, this policy somewhat backfired on the deadline day as Liverpool failed to sign a forward who would share the goal-scoring responsibilities with Luis Suarez. After a bright start to the window, supporters were left distinctly underwhelmed and Liverpool now face the challenge of competing on multiple fronts with just two recognised forwards in the team.
Liverpool have faced an extended transition period since the new owners’ arrival with three managers in the last two years. Key players such as Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano left the club during this period and Liverpool suffered as a result. It was thus, imperative for Rodgers to keep his best players at the start of the new era. New contracts were signed with Luis Suarez and Martin Skrtel and The Reds successfully managed to rebuff the advances of Manchester City for Daniel Agger. This would probably represent the biggest coup for Brendan Rodgers as he managed to retain a base on which he would be able to build his new squad.
A discrepancy between Liverpool’s high wage structure and its position in the league table resulted in an overhaul of the squad in the summer. Senior squad players on high wages like Dirk Kuyt, Maxi Rodriguez and Craig Bellamy made way for young talents like Joe Allen, Fabio Borini and Nuri Sahin. Players like Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll who didn’t quite fit Rodgers’ footballing philosophy were also moved on to other clubs.
Although it is rather sad to see popular faces such as Dirk, Maxi and Bellamy go, Liverpool now seem to have a definite structure to its transfer policy. Fans will however bemoan the lack of adequate replacements brought in over the summer especially in attack. Liverpool now have a very small squad and it will be difficult for Rodgers’ side to remain competitive in all competitions. Nevertheless, the players signed by Liverpool would provide some source of joy for the fans.
The former Chelsea youth captain has a reputation of being a goalscorer and will be expected to share the goal-scoring burden with Luis Suarez. Much of Liverpool’s attacks were due to a lack of goals scored and The Reds will hope that Borini can help turn their fortunes around. Rodgers has worked with the 21 year old before at Chelsea and Swansea. Blessed with good movement and finishing skills, Borini should fit into Rodgers’ 4-3-3 system perfectly. The Italian international can play all across the front three and at £10 million he may prove to be a good long term investment.
The 5’6” midfielder from Wales was the lynchpin in the Swansea midfield which out-passed some of the best teams in the Premier League. It was thus no surprise that Rodgers wasted no time in getting Allen to Liverpool. Allen had one of the highest pass accuracies in Europe and also proved himself to be a tenacious tackler. The manager was glowing in his praise for the Welshman saying he would pay “many more millions” for him. Allen has already settled in well at Anfield and looks worth the investment. At only 22 years of age, he is bound to get even better and will surely be at the heart of Liverpool’s midfield for many years to come.
Rodgers’ system involves playing with 3 central midfielders. As a result, there was a need for getting in another central midfielder who would be able to fit into the pass and move philosophy. Sahin is an intelligent player and is excellent technically. However, his career at Real Madrid had stalled due to injury and the form of senior players like Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira. A loan to Liverpool presented itself as a perfect opportunity to recapture the form which made him one of the hottest young talents in Europe. Although nervous in his debut against Arsenal, Sahin will be looking to impress in the coming weeks and if he manages to do exceedingly well his move may well be made permanent in the future.
Few had heard of this tricky young winger when Liverpool signed him from Heerenveen for £ 3 million. Assaidi has yet to play a game for The Reds but fans will be hoping that he can provide some real attacking threat to a side which has been severely short of goals. Assaidi is a player with good technical ability and movement. He also has an eye for a pass and is quick in the first 10 metres. Brendan Rodgers may well have got himself a bargain but the jury is still out on this signing.
With a clear focus on investing in youth, Liverpool bought talented young striker Samed Yesil from Bayer Leverkusen for £ 1 million. The German U-19 captain is of Turkish descent and has been prolific for youth teams earning him the nickname ‘Gerd’. Yesil will be pushing hard for a first team place and with Liverpool severly short of striking options the youngster may well get a chance to shine. This signing is one for the future and only time will tell if he can emulate the achievements of the German legend whom he is named after.
Liverpool have made some smart investments during the course of the summer. The objectives laid out by FSG were successfully achieved by Rodgers to a large extent. However, the inactivity on transfer deadline day has left Liverpool with a very small squad which could have a detrimental effect on their performance. Liverpool are competing in the Europa League which leaves little time for players to recover for the Premier League games on the weekend. Reinforcements will be needed, especially in attack. There will be no war chest for Rodgers to spend however as Liverpool look to prepare for Financial Fair Play which will be enforced by UEFA. The manager will be hoping to get some business done over the course of the next transfer window to improve Liverpool’s chances of securing a top 4 spot.