This has to go down as one of the worst transfer windows in the club’s history. That’s a huge claim, I know. But it’s based not on our activity, but on our rivals. Simply put, we’ve risked being left behind, again. For FSG, following the European Super League scandal, I thought this transfer window presented a massive opportunity to make amends.
Go big, win the fans back, give us a proper chance at competing on all fronts. And to caveat that, I don’t mean compete financially with City, Chelsea and United for transfers. Anyone with a brain will know we can’t spend that money. We aren’t oil-rich. And I don’t think the fans are asking for that. But what I do mean is re-invest in the squad as needed – the way Alex Ferguson did time and time again even though he’d just won trophies with a particular squad.
We’re being outspent by pretty much everyone. It’s worrying when the likes of West Ham and Wolves are comfortably outspending us. And you don’t build on success by doing that.
- Ibrahima Konate
£36m on Konate is a decent signing. We needed it, but, in reality, he’s currently a 3rd or 4th choice centre back and doesn’t immediately improve our first XI. He’s one for the future.
The outs (including loans):
- Harry Wilson
- Gini Wijnaldum
- Marko Grujic
- Taiwo Awoniyi
- Ben Davies
- Ben Woodburn
- Rhys Williams
- Sheyi Ojo
- Kamil Grabara
- Liam Miller
Net spend: £16.3m profit
Most of these outgoings are warranted and good business, although losing Gini Wijnaldum on a free will be a sore spot for a while. Especially as we haven’t replaced him. Shaqiri leaving was also sad. I feel like we didn’t get the most out of him and only got £9.5m for him as well. Fingers crossed Rhys Williams seizes his chance on loan and kicks on.
The contract renewals:
- Trent Alexander-Arnold
- Andy Robbo
- Jordan Henderson
- Harvey Elliott
- Caoimhín Kelleher
- Nat Phillips
- Rhys Williams
Critically, no Mo Salah contract has been announced yet.
A declining squad
I’ve said it in the previous Red Debate podcast post-Chelsea, but we’re one, possibly two attackers light. Mane desperately needs competition. And I mean proper competition. I.e. Not Minamino. And Firmino has a lot of work to do to suggest he’s back to what you’d call a ‘top class player’. Plus, he’s got a hamstring injury so will miss a few games.
I can’t believe we’re starting another season asking the same crop of players to perform miracles. We’re still incredibly reliant on Salah. If he’s out of action for any lengthy spell, we’re in trouble.
The contract renewals have slightly softened the blow of the lack of transfer activity, but I think we’re a declining team in certain areas, without the depth to recover at the moment. Henderson, Milner and Thiago are an ageing set of midfielders, and none of Mane, Firmino or Salah are particularly young either. In some ways, that’s great. They’re at their peak. They’re experienced. They’re winners. However, at some stage, that group will fade, and it’s possibly already happening, in which case we’ll need to rejuvenate. And that’s now a mammoth job.
With Wijnaldum now gone and no replacement in, we’re asking the likes of Keita, Ox, Harvey Elliott or Curtis Jones, to step in and fill the void. In some aspects, that’s great. But when other top teams lose a key starter (and for any Gini haters, he was a key starter), they get someone else to take that spot.
The FSG problem
Mostly, my blame lies with FSG. They’ve done a fantastic job in certain aspects, raising the profile of the club and adding significant revenue streams. But they rolled the dice last year, and we just about got away with it. And now they’re rolling the dice again, not backing the manager financially and asking Klopp to perform miracles against much stronger squads.
They’d argue that it’s worked out fine for us so far. And, in truth, of course it has. We’ve won the league and we’ve won the Champions League. But, to stay at the top in today’s game requires constant investment.
And the reality is, FSG doesn’t care about the club. They care about money. I thought they might use the window to get some fan favour back, like the Arsenal and United owners have, but no.
We may still do really well this season, we’ve still got a very strong XI, but we’ve also got a really poor squad. It’s much worse than our rivals, who we’ve had to watch strengthen heavily.
It’s going to be another season of Klopp having to work his magic to compete with a lot stronger rivals.
He deserves better. We deserve better.
Given the way our rivals have strengthened, I’d give the window a 2/10.
There are mutterings that we’re going to go big next year, but I just don’t see it. We can’t pay the wages for someone like Mbappe or Haaland, even if we could fund it.
I think the team needs a big revamp, though. Mane and Firmino need genuine competition. Trent is another one who has no real competition. We need a top class central midfielder to come in who can take over the mantle from the older guard – Thiago, Milner and Hendo. I’d love that to be Jude Bellingham.
And I’d like to see the deadwood gone – Origi, Minamino, Neco Williams. The players who clearly aren’t good enough for this level. And I’d like to see better squad players, or youth, brought in.
Summarising the transfer window in general
It’s been mad, which has made it even more painful from a Liverpool point of view. Ronaldo and Messi moving in the same transfer window will do that. Add to those two: Ramos, Sancho, Grealish, Varane, Alaba, Griezmann, Upemecano, Donnarumma, Lukaku, Aguero, Depay, Giroud, Locatelli, Saul, Dzeko, Camavinga, Sabitzer and Rodrigo De Paul, and it’s been mouth-watering.
Deadline day had it all. Plenty of signings, from Leeds signing Dan James for £30m to Odsonne Édouard heading to Palace for £15 to Bellerin finally leaving the Premier League on loan to Real Betis to Chelsea snapping up Saul on loan in the final few hours. Then, Serge Aurier getting his contract terminated at Spurs and a last-minute £189m bid from Madrid for Mbappe was turned down by PSG.
I’ve never seen anything like it. And looking towards the next summer transfer window, when Mbappe and Haaland will surely be heading somewhere, we could be in for another cracker again. Let’s hope, this time, FSG put some money on the table and we don’t have to spend the summer months watching our closest rivals sign some of the world’s best players.
Who do you think is the best transfer of the window?