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Overall, are you happy with this Transfer Window?


The transfer window has 'slammed shut' for another summer and although the Reds made some quality additions, there are concerns that it wasn't enough and that some glaring weaknesses *cough* centre back *cough* were not addressed. We asked three of our writers what they thought...

 

 

No I’m not happy – I think we have wasted a colossal opportunity to push home the advantage of getting back into the Champions League. The back page bombast of “KLOPP TO SPEND £175M ON DEADLINE DAY” quickly descended into the inevitable 9pm James Pearce tweet saying “No more ins today.” 

We did well to get Mo Salah and extremely, incredibly well to get Naby Keita, though the latter is disqualified for me as he can’t do anything to help the glaring omissions this season.
 
I’m neither here nor there on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who is a good player but has a highly questionable injury record. Given the transfer fee and his contract situation, it’s fair to say we have grossly overpaid. He’s 24 though, time is on his side. 
 
I haven’t seen enough of Dom Solanke and Andy Robertson yet to form an opinion, though if Robertson can’t displace that simpleton Moreno it doesn’t bode too well does it? 

Whilst most of my ire is for our skinflint, ambitionless shyster owners, Klopp is to blame as well for this meandering window. I don’t care how much Virgil van Dijk might be the Plan A – I am not having it that there isn’t a centre half out there who is of the same ability who would improve on what we have now. 
 
It’s admirable that we aren’t compromising on quality but at the same time not having a further option in the centre of defence is going to kill us stone dead when Matip or Lovren inevitably get injured or suspended. 
 
I don’t mind seeing Klavan occasionally but he’s a 10 game a season man, while Gomez is feeling his way back into the team after a serious injury and lacks games at centre half at this level. If we’re left with the prospect of Can playing centre half in October or November when injuries begin to bite then I’m afraid that’s all on Klopp. 

 

Our failure to get that deal over the line is completely in line with my expectations. “We tried” should be the motto on the club’s badge. “We were willing to spend £xx” is the excuse always wheeled out but ultimately nothing has changed since 2007 – “this is a club that likes to talk and talk.” 
 
You can either blame the owners directly, or the people they are hiring, but FSG have a track record of failure when it comes to transfers. “We tried” to sign Willian, Konoplyenka, Mkhytaryan, Texeira, the list is endless. That's not a string of hard luck stories - it's a pattern. 

 

Ultimately, they are willing to talk the talk but when it comes to putting it all on the line and getting it done, FSG are a waste of space. So long as the TV money comes rolling in and the corporate facilities are ticking over nicely, they are happy enough to allow a net spend of £15-£25m as that sum is small fry.

 

The transfer talk only resurfaced once Champions League qualification was assured. They are happy enough to get the Champions League revenue and the big money it brings in, but are they ambitious enough to go and get players for a genuine title tilt? I’m afraid not and I cite this window as further evidence. Another couple of players in and I honestly think we could have challenged for the title this season. 

 

This is a 5/10 window and it should have been so much more.
 
 

Dan Thomas
@TLW1Dan
 
 
 

Happy? I'm not sure that's the word. After all when your appetite is whetted for potentially world class signings for mind-blowing sums of money then it's pretty hard to be happy when they don't actually transpire. 
 
As for the lack of a new centre half - is there anyone anywhere who thinks that wasn't our greatest priority? And yet I'm not slashing my wrists or calling the unlovable FSG every name under the sun either. Why? Two reasons, really:

 

First, this is patently the most challenging transfer window there's ever been with conventions being shattered left, right and centre: Barca and Madrid can have who they want from whomever they want them from, right? Wrong. A buyout clause of two hundred million quid is untouchable, isn't it? Nope. Don't players hold all the cards when they want to move and contracts mean nothing? Ask VVD, Coutinho and Sanchez about that. Chelsea are masters of the transfer market though, surely? Not from where I'm standing this time round, they're not.  

 

No doubt about it: this was an exceptionally tough market for buying clubs. England is awash with money and PSG have exploited loopholes cynically to their heart's content and that adds up to much of the madness we've witnessed. I don't see much changing in that regard either. Transfer fee deflation is not something we've ever seen in football and I don't imagine it'll come along any time soon.  

 

The other reason I'm not throwing a hissy fit this side of August is that I think we've seen a genuine step change in the club's transfer strategy and ambition. Unless you're the worst kind of Internet conspiracy-loving, swivel-eyed lunatic, it's clear we went after top class players for sums that not a single Red would have believed if predicted 12 months ago. I've read some absolute drivel about "FSG PR & lies" over the last 24 hours as if we didn't break our transfer record early on for a top class, instant impact player or then absolutely smash it for a player in Keita who we'd said we wanted and were prepared to go to £70m plus for.  

 

The idea that these deals are easy is laughable to point of derision. So I'm delighted that one is nailed down: we have a world class talent coming next summer at the latest for a fee that will prove to be (ridiculous, I know) a good deal for us. We have shown huge ambition this summer, targeting players who would previously have been deemed beyond our reach on two counts - money and attractiveness of the club - and got some of them in.  

 

I'm also made up players are snubbing Chelsea, City, Arsenal and The Mancs for us. Do I wish we'd been even more successful? Obviously. But you don't go from being transfer market bums to supremos in one fell swoop.  

 

So, how is the squad looking now? I'd say much improved but still with flaws. Centre half remains glaring (although it's nowhere near the shambles many are painting it - what has Ragnar Klavan done to be so synonymous with defensive frailty among Reds?). However, in strengthening our attack and midfield to the point where we have almost two first team quality options for every position, I think we'll address most problems at the back indirectly simply by dominating the ball even more and steam-rolling parked bus defences. 
 
Furthermore, we are far better prepared to cope with key absences than last year as shown by the demolition of Arsenal without Lallana and Coutinho. Will it be plain sailing all the way? Of course not - but it'll be a lot better than last time round, of that I'm certain.  

 

In short, I am satisfied with this window's business and delighted with the step up in ambition we've shown. Giving the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal a bloody nose into the bargain cannot be bad either. Now it's time to do it on the pitch too. 
 
Forward momentum is all in football and we've currently got it while many of our rivals are stalling. Now let's get on with the game. 
 

Paul Natton
@OxtonSoulBoy

 
 
 
To my mind the whole point of a transfer window is to address weaknesses and build upon strengths. In that sense I think this has been another disappointing window and once again we head into a season short in some key areas. I'm not necessarily angry about it; I expected this. I am frustrated though.

 

One of the key learnings from last season was that we lacked another player in the mould of Mane; quick, dangerous and able to turn a game. Salah looks to be that player and it can only be positive that we now have the same threat from both sides of the pitch. Having said that, I do worry about the drop in quality once those two are rotated, but more on that later... 

 

As excited as I am about the signing of Naby Keita (who looks to be very, very good) he can't help us this year. Solanke has come in to replace Origi as the third choice striker and Robertson is in as cover for Moreno who is now, somehow, first choice. It seems as though a couple of weeks on a beach not only helps the tan but also the brain. 

 

Oxlade-Chamberlain is an interesting one because I've always thought that he has ability. We haven't really seen enough of it though due to chronic fitness issues. Fingers crossed he'll move on from his Daniel Sturridge tribute act. 

 

I see AOC as cover for both central midfield and the wide attacking positions; his goal return is pretty alarming though so I'm not particularly hopeful of our output once Mane and/or Salah are unavailable. Thomas Lemar would have provided the squad with another dangerous wide player. It's not yet clear what happened with that potential deal but we can file it alongside the likes of Costa, Sanchez, Willian, Texieria, Mkhitaryan, Konoplyanka and now Van Dijk as a signing we really wanted but failed to get over the line. 

 

The real concern comes at the back. The achilles heel of this team is in its defending and while it would be churlish to suggest that one signing would solve all of the problems, it would certainly have been a step in the right direction. The prospect of a commanding centre back was very welcome as we've seriously lacked a presence at the back since the likes of Hyypia and Carragher hung up their boots. 

 

We are now just one injury away from having Lovren, Klavan and Moreno as three of the back four. How can that have been allowed to happen?! By failing to sign a top centre back the club has effectively ignored its biggest weakness and is gambling on being able to paper over it elsewhere.  

 

Could that happen? Possibly. Does it usually happen? No. The vast majority of title winners have relatively solid defensive records so we have to hope that these players we've seen plenty of times before will suddenly start performing differently. 

 

I really don't want this answer to sound overly negative because I think we have done some good things in this window and anything can happen in football. I just think that on balance we've failed to address some glaring weaknesses and we can't complain at all if things unravel as a result. 
 

Ian Brown

@RedBrowny


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65 Comments

I am Jacks complete lack of surprise.
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Paul's piece represents my views. It's remiss not to have brought in a centre half, but things are not that dire.

 

On AOC's injury record, he's played more games than Henderson in the last 3 years, and Arsenal have a terrible injury record. They're still using Wenger's 'cutting edge' sports science of 30 years ago!

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I wouldn't say I was 'happy' with our business because as many have pointed out, there is one position we have failed to address. That is a disappointment.

 

The evidence seems to suggest it was VVD or nobody, such was the view that there wasn't anybody else with the same characteristics (quick, strong, great in the air, good on the deck, has played for Southampton) who could fit in. On one hand, I'm not sure how true that is but I can't think of another player with the same playing characteristics and level of experience as VVD. Were there alternatives? Truth is, there probably were. On the other hand, I'm glad Klopp is refusing to sanction 3rd or 4th choice options because we have seen in the past how when it doesn't work out, we struggle to get these failures off the wage bill. Following a bit of a theme this summer, Southampton have remained adamant that they wouldn't be selling him, and part of the reason for that I'll go into a bit later.

 

Then there is the Coutinho issue. The club have remained defiant about him not being for sale and have rebuffed several piss-take offers from Barcelona. Granted, the numbers are high in the wake of Neymar's transfer, but the payment structure and the add-on conditions were borderline disrespectful, as is Barcelona's conduct throughout the summer. We have to wait until midnight tonight before we know the final outcome but nothing has been shown to suggest we will relent this summer.

 

We have agreed a deal for Naby Keita for next year, which is possibly the best-case scenario given how Leipzig were refusing to sell him this summer. At least half a dozen clubs would be able and prepared to meet Keita's buy-out clause next summer and I am pretty certain he'd have agents and other clubs in his ear offering him the world, so for us to tie him down early is a shrewd move. Clubs on the continent, especially in the Bundesliga, do deals like this all the time. If nothing else, it substantially cuts down to bullshit rumour mill stories so beloved by the likes of Sky.

 

My real disappointment lies not with a failure to conclude deals for certain targets, but rather the shoddy approach work and ridiculous strategy. Tapping up is a fact of life in the football world and I know everybody is at it even though it is frowned upon and officially considered to be illegal, but there are ways of doing it without going public. Also, leaking targets via the media and implying that the club had so much money to spend is rank stupidity. Whoever was behind that strategy should be sacked.

 

If this transfer window was a school grade, it would be a C+ or maybe a B-. Not bad, but plenty of room for improvement.

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Dan's piece is bang on. 

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Dan's piece is bang on. 

 

Yup, that represent my view also.

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Couple of points Dave left out of my piece:

We'll be back for VVD, I've no doubt - and hopefully in January once Southampton have made their point. I just don't see other centre halves around with the complete package like he has. I regularly read the view that there "must be" other options to VVD and yet no-one - not even the stattos and hipsters - can come up with a credible name.

Lemar I'm less convinced we'll try again for simply because, unlike at centre half, there are plenty of other options around that represent better value in the position for our requirements. He looks sensational but I'm not convinced £90m would be well spent on a third option for the Mané/Salah slots - especially when those two cost a fraction of the Lemar asking price.
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Yup, that represent my view also.

 

And mine. Although I think 5/10 might be generous.

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You have to look at where we were before the window compared to our rivals, and what we did in the window compared to our rivals, and ask if we realistically hope to improve on our rivals.

 

 

Chelsea spent £185m on RUDIGER, BAKAYOKO, MORATA, ZAPPACOSTA, DRINKWATER.

Man City spent £228m on SILVA, EDERSON, WALKER, DANILO, MENDY

Man United spent £169m on LINDELOF, LUKAKU, MATIC, IBRAHIMOVIC

Tottenham spent £61m on SANCHEZ, AURIER, LLORENTE, FOYTH, GAZZANIGA

We spent £79m on SALAH, ROBERTSON, OXLADE CHAMBERLAIN, SOLANKE

 

 

Just look at the state of our signings from the point of view of experience or potential, in a wider international sense. How far up was Robertson in the World Football 'ones to watch' list of 2016...

 

And let's look at NET spend. Don't be a fucking bellend, it's relevant at times, especially when the club and the media mouthpieces exclaim of a £200m 'war-chest'. So where did we rank in terms of NET spend in the division?

 

 

NET SPEND TOTALS Summer 2017

1. Man United -£160m

2. Man City -£134m

3. Chelsea -£93m

4. Watford -£51m

5. Liverpool -£46m

6. Everton -£43m

 

That's right, we were outspent by two teams that finished above us, and another team that will be our rivals.

 

http://www.skysports...your-club-spend

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No, I'd rather we hadn't signed anyone, as it would give us a better chance of going down.
    • 2

Marmite window. 

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Agree with Paul both before and after Dave's censoring
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Browny had me nodding in agreement
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Thanks all for writing a little something. Well reasoned views expressed all round.

For me, Paul hits the nail on the head. Well written too, teach!
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All good pieces. Dan is spot on about the transfers though. Our failures are a pattern now and im sick to death of hearing people say "But we clearly tried to spend big" coupled with "its been a tough window for every club".


Just not buying it when you see the likes of the mancs getting good deals done early and easily. City too got a plethora of good deals done early. If you are prepared to pay what it takes and dont fuck up the deals you will get the players.
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Dan summed it up for me, coulda woulda shoulda could replace 125 years on the badge next year
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No.
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Relatively happy. The centre half thing is a gamble that we didn't need to take.

 

Salah's top quality.

 

Keita coming next summer is colossal.

 

We've not lost anybody vital to the cause.

 

I'll reserve judgement on Oxlade-Chamberlain, Robertson and Solanke.

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No.


Correctest answer so far
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If we lose by a couple of goals to City then the wheels start falling off already.

 

We're like a race car that's on fire.  We might look brilliant right up until we burn to death or the fuel tank explodes.

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At the best of times we could either lose to City by two goals or win by two goals. They are a very good team and we shouldn't place too much importance on that one result. Based on last season we would do well against City but drop far too many points against the bottom half.

Hopefully the variety and pace we now have in attack will see us get more points against the bottom ten teams. That will be the key to a title challenge or not.

I fully expect us to hold our own against the other teams in the top six but individual results within those games could all go either way.
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I'm happy with Salah and AOC, Keita doesn't count, didn't see any pre season so can't pass judgement on Solanke or Robertson.

The failure to bring in a centre half, any centre half, who is better than the bang average we currently have in the squad is negligence for me, I really believe with the attacking talent we now have at our disposal we could mount a title challenge, but we will always concede shit goals to shit teams, a la Watford, and for that reason we'll once again fail to push on and win major honours.

No football club in world football shoots itself in the face like this one.
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A curate's egg of a window if Im honest. How can anyone not be disappointed at missing out on van Dijk, the supposed number one target and, the late in the window move for lemar, especially after that screamer last night?

 

That's not to say the whole window was a disappointment; the good bits seem to be overlooked by some. We signed salah, robertson, solanke ox chambers and keita. No way is that bad. People can say well yeah, keita doesnt arrive until next summer. Correct he doesnt but, it also means he isnt going to city, Real or psg etc. We've signed solanke who, again if Im honest, is one for the future but has already shown more appetite this season than Origi has. I think he's a great addition to come off the bench as he showed his eye for goal in pre season.

 

Salah has hit the ground running and already scored some important goals. Robertson has looked good in his so far cameo's and far better than some of the turgid rubbish some fans were spouting about him being shite just because he'd been let go by a couple of scottish clubs. He might not be the finished article but that's no bad thing.

 

We fucked up massively with van Dijk (and still no one at the club has been sacked over it) and I believe we hung the lad out to dry in the end. What's the problem making a bid in the official transfer window? If we couldnt bid this window, what makes the club think it will be ok in January or next summer? And that presumes the player hasnt been truely fucked off with us and decides LFC is no longer for him?

 

Im not out of my tree with this failure because of any issues with the defence. People who think van Dijk would resolve all the problems are, I believe, mistaken. So, Ive no problem with Klopp not looking to bring an alternative in, we've lived with 'alternatives' far too often and its shown alternatives arent the answer.

 

Lemar was a very late target but it shows how far we've come under Klopp. Lemar isnt the first and wont be the last who now wants to come here. Yes, CL helps but so too does Klopp.It would have been great to get this one over the line but again, monaco were demanding silly money for the lad. arsenal in their desparation were prepared to pay but the lad didnt want to know.

 

Ox Chambers appears to have caused a lot of division amongst fans, you either like the deal or you dont. The point here is again, he wanted to come here. He could have stayed at arsenal on improved terms of £180k a week or gone to chelsea but no, he wanted to come here. People talk about strengthening the team and squad but when the club does, its the 'wrong' players they are strengthening with. Sorry, how does that work?

 

As I said at the top, good in parts, not so good in others. Overall this window has to be a 7.5 out of 10.

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Not happy.

Glaring weakness in the back four, specifically in the centre back department, which the whole fucking world can see, not addressed.

How the fuck are we supposed to win trophies which is what this club is, or rather used to be about, when our defence is dodgy as fuck as well as being soft as a freshly dropped dog turd?

Whoppers on twatter and those with their noses pressed against the crack of the Boston cigar muncher's arse aside, how can anyone be happy with the transfer window?

Another missed opportunity.
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Happy with the players we got in, unhappy at the ones we didn't. Not just VVD either, I think better cover was needed for Firmino too.
Solanke as cover for Firmino is like Gomez being cover for Matip, we shouldn't be happy with either.
Sturridge I'm completely ruling out, he's fucking brilliant when match fit but as far as I'm concerned he's barely a Liverpool player any more.
I can get on board with the people who suggest that Klopp wants VVD and only VVD but only if there's an understanding in place with Southampton for January, after that all bets are off so it would make no sense to wait longer for him. What I won't agree with, if anyone suggests it, is that our lack of spending in other areas is down to Klopp, that's 100% on FSG for me.
So I'm not too downbeat and am hopeful that the ones we have brought in will be a success.
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Gauged against some recent windows, yes. Keita is a huge deal, will easily be our best midfielder and is just a smart piece of business all round. We've got an actual LB, and Salah means we'll be less reliant on Mané for pace.

 

However, when measured against the pre-window renew your season tickets now PR offensive, and the final hurrah of "There's £175m there to be spent", no. It was the polar opposite of under promise and over deliver, compounded only by the holier than thou attitude of those who state that FSG themselves never promised anything, like they were disconnected to those hyped reports.

 

We continue to have a problem at CB, and like last year when it was patently obvious what would happen when Mané went to the ACN, Klopp appears to underestimate just how quickly our season can fall to tatters with one key absentee. I like that Gomez is going to be given a chance, but ideally he'd be doing so alongside our best CB; the reality is he's more likely to feature when Matip is injured and we stick him next to either Lovren or Klavan. A potential recipe for disaster.

 

Overall it feels a bit like a Rodgers window, where the manager goes for forwards / AMs, won't accept a plan B and begins the long arduous road to denying any problems with the defence whatsoever. Cue stats about clean sheets.

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