Liverpool have been struggling this season. The international break comes at the right time for them as the Reds lost three games in the last one week.

The latest defeat was a 2-1 loss to arch-rivals Chelsea. Brendan Rodgers had to see three men he targeted in the other camp. Second goalscorer and this season’s superman (for Chelsea) Diego Costa was targeted by Rodgers as soon as the Northern Irishman arrived from Swansea. But Costa decided to sign an extension with Atletico and is now plying his trade with EPL’s league leaders. Willian was another Liverpool target- the Reds were closing in on him in summer 2013 but Tottenham took the lead and Chelsea eventually hijacked the deal and got him at Stamford Bridge. They did the same with Mohamed Salah just this January. While missing out on Salah might not hurt as much, the first must definitely sting Rodgers.

Liverpool also missed out on Alexis Sanchez this summer- a player who could have definitely done wonders for the Reds and filled the Suarez shaped hole. Sanchez, it is believed, preferred to move to England’s captial city instead of the coastal city of Liverpool.  Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Yevhen Konoplyanka are the two other names the Reds have missed out in the previous windows.

Brendan Rodgers’ signings are coming under much scrutiny and there remains a debate over who makes the signings. If we consider the names given above and see these as Liverpool’s prime targets, it can’t be denied that Rodgers targets the right men. However, these deals didn’t materialize and the Liverpool boss and come out and spoken about the need to work harder and smarter in transfer dealings to get marquee names to Anfield. He does, however, maintain that the Merseysiders’ management do try their best. But there best is evidently not enough.

“We need to be better in the final third with that creativity and the ability to score goals important for us,” Brendan Rodgers said.

“We have signed talented young players and I’m sure over the time – whether that’s with me here or not – they will show that they are very good players.

“We know what targets we wanted and what was out there, but for one reason or another they are not here and gone elsewhere. We work with what we’ve got and look to improve what we’ve got and get back to somewhere near the level we’ve shown over the last 18 months.”

“We were in a great position at the end of last season, with Champions League football and a way of working, but we just have to work harder and smarter to convince these players to come. As I said the club has done everything it could over the course of the summer to get the players who are going to improve us.

“But players look for more than just football terms. They look at where they want to live, they look at all these social factors and that’s something we can’t control. If someone gets offered say more money to come here but they want to go elsewhere, they want to go to London, there’s not much you can do.

“I think the club have shown their hand in terms of they will be prepared to pay the wages of top players, but whether they want to come here is a different matter.

“I think it’s where we’re at. We need to work harder and smarter again. We have brought in a raft of players who can hopefully develop and mould into a way of working and be better in the future.”