1 Sept 2015

Transfer Verdict: After £107m fiasco, Liverpool spent £87m this summer. Did Rodgers get it right?

It's over: the summer transfer window is closed, and despite being in desperate need of a goalscoring attacking midfielder, Liverpool failed to bring in any new players. Last summer, the Reds spent £107m in the transfer market on players who totally failed to make an impact, but how does this year compare?

This summer, Liverpool spent approximately £87m on new players:

* Christian Benteke: £32.5m

* Roberto Firmino: £29m

* Nathaniel Clyne: £12.5m

* Danny Ings: £6m^

* Joe Gomez: £6m

* Allan Rodrigues de Souza: £500k

* Taiwo Awoniyi: £400k

* James Milner: Free

* Adam Bogdan) Free

* TOTAL: £86.9m

Have Liverpool received value for money?

* Christian Benteke

The transfer fee is somewhat inflated, but Benteke is a proven Premier League striker, and with his physical presence, and excellent hold-up play, he's already shown that he has the ability to make an impact. Goals are what matter, though, and Benteke must score a minimum of 20-goals in all competition to be considered a success this season. Rodgers failed to get anything out of Lambert, and Balotelli (who both suffered an 80% reduction in goals/assists under his tutelage), and if the manager insists on isolating Benteke (as he did with Balotelli), then the big striker will struggle to live up to his price tag.

Verdict: Good transfer

* Roberto Firmino

So far, Firmino has operated in various parts of the pitch, but Rodgers needs to nail down his best position and stick with it. The Brazilian hasn't really shown much yet, and he's struggled to consistently create genuine chances, and whilst some may argue that it's just a 'settling-in' period, why doesn't that apply to other attacker, like Andre Ayew, for example? Ayew has 3 goals/1 assists in his first 4 games for Swansea, yet Firmino and Benteke have one goal between tham (and that was offside).

Verdict: Good transfer

* Nathaniel Clyne

Arguably the best signing of the summer. Strong, tactically sound, and defensively solid, Clyne is a a definite upgrade on Glen Johnson, and unlike his predecessor, he doesn't appear to be prone t schoolboy errors. Plus, £12.5m is a comparative bargain for an international right-back. That said, I hate the reality that a defender is Liverpool's 'best signing' - I'd much rather be raving about Benteke and Firmino's attacking prowess, but, alas, that's not the case.

Verdict: Very good transfer

* Danny Ings

Four games played = 29 minutes of football. Although it's painfully obvious that Benteke needs support up-front, Ings has had practically no chance to make an impact for Liverpool. He looked lively in his brief cameo against West Ham, but by the time he came on, it was too little, too late. Prior to the signing, I argued for Charlie Austin instead of Ings, and my view remains the same. Despite being the main man for for Burnley last season, Ings snagged only 11 league goals. Austin is far more prolific, and this season, he's hit the ground running with 5 goals/assists in 5 games. Ings is a no-risk transfer, though, and if he's played enough, I'm sure he'll score goals...just not that many.

Verdict: Decent transfer

* Joe Gomez

As is Rodgers' incessant proclivity, Gomez has played out of position since the start of the season, and he's fairly well. However, he's not a natural left-back, and that has been glaringly obvious in every game. Gomez got away with mistakes in the first three games, but was repeatedly exposed against West Ham, and this directly led to an opposition goal. Rodgers failed to sign another left-back today, so it looks like Gomez will play there for much of the season, which (IMO) is a mistake. Still, maybe he'll grow into the role, but there's also the risk of burn-out.

Verdict: Decent transfer

* Rodrigues and Awoniyi

I couldn't any less enthused about these deals. Both will come to Anfield with high hopes, and like so many others in the past, they'll toil away in the academy (or endlessly on loan) before leaving after 2-3 years, and disappearing into obscurity. No foreign young player has ever come through Liverpool's academy to make it as a first team regular, and I don't expect that to change now.

Verdict: Meh.

* James Milner

Anyone who visits regularly will know my view on Milner: a totally unnecessary signing. Liverpool needed an attack-minded central midfielder capable of scoring/creating goals regularly and/or a dedicated DM, but Rodgers signed Milner, a player who offers nothing except running, stamina, and defensive impact. He's never reached double-figures for goals in the league, and in the first four games, he hasn't looked close to scoring/creating a goal. Additionally, Milner adds little in the way of leadership, yet Rodgers made him vice-captain ahead of loyal, long-standing players like Skrtel and Lucas. Milner/Henderson is not an effective partnership, but Rodgers has condemned Liverpool to that for the rest of the season.

Verdict: Unnecessary transfer

* Adam Bogdan

There's more chance of Benteke challenging Mignolet for a place in goal than Bogdan. Again, Liverpool needed a top-class goalkeeper to replace - not challenge, replace - the Belgian, but Rodgers bottled it once again (just as he did last summer). Mignolet had a 'mare against West Ham, and should've done better for all three goals. Bogdan is an upgrade on Jones, but do you really think Mignolet feels pressure from the Hungarian right now? No chance.

Verdict: Average transfer

* Overall summer verdict: Underwhelming

Last season, Liverpool spent £107m on nine transfers, and got absolutely nothing in return. The team regressed badly, and ended the season in 6th place after being annihilated 6-1 by Stoke City.

A year later, four of those nine players (value: £40m0 have left the club, and the only moderate success of that entire summer is Emre Can, and the jury is still very much out on his ability to be a long-term success at Anfield.

Hopefully, history won't repeat itself over the coming year, but if it does, then Rodgers won't have the opportunity to waste any more money as he'll almost certainly be replaced.

^probable compensation fee according to the Liverpool Echo

Author: Jaimie K


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