How do you grade our summer dealings?
The first thing to say here is that, looking back over the summer and last season, I can feel myself getting less arsed by the second with Liverpool right now. I can see clearly that the transfer business of this window has been unsatisfactory but I'm equally going beyond a visceral response and simply retreating into a metaphorical shrug. I mean if the club aren't arsed about winning, why should I be? Because it won't happen if they don't try.
By no means has it been disastrous: we've done some outward deals that seem to make both footballing and financial sense and appear to have grabbed a couple of good 'uns in Mané and Matip. However, the left back scenario is mad, even if Kloppo wants it that way (to find a slot for Milner?).
Also the lack of a dominant midfielder - he doesn't have to be a (Christ, I'm sick of these letters) "DM" - is odd for a manager for whom midfield is key, and the lack of a reliable, fit and firing centre forward who can play the Klopp way very worrying.
I have no issue with his view on Sakho other than the fact he didn't just go for a sale and think the clauses going into sales and loans of youngsters are eminently sensible.
However, do you know anyone who can muster more than bemusement at our window? I don't. It seems truly mad to recoup more than we spend with all around spending like oligarchs.
So, overall, I'll give this window a 5/10 when we needed a 9 at the very least. However, judging by Klopp's comments and demeanour, he sees it as at least a 7 and possibly better. I can't get my head round that and I'm therefore not anticipating much in the way of pleasure at the match this season. Still, isn't that what being a Red is these days?
And yes, I still miss Luis...
I'm sure I'm not in the minority but I'm thoroughly downhearted about the transfer window. It doesn't feel like the club has done nearly enough to get itself back up amongst the higher echelons of the league.
First you could say "well we bought seven players" but that's not really the whole story. Of those seven only Mané looks like a cast-iron quality acquisition. Karius hasn't played, Klavan is a back-up, Matip might be good, the fella from Newcastle should join a hacker group he's so anonymous, Grujic doesn't seem to be able to get a sniff of the first team and I thought Manninger was dead. That's not a squad overhaul, it's a cheap facelift in a backstreet doctors. I'll never get over Klopp willingly parting with Allen to play someone who cost £10 million more and provides less for the team. So yeah, seven signings - hardly magnificent.
Then there's the rebuild factor. "Oh we've got a few years rebuilding", you know who says that? Losers. United, Chelsea and City all responded to sub-par years by regrouping, splashing the cash and powering forward. Look at United, they make a mockery of all Liverpool's excuses. Apparently players want to go to London - wrong. Apparently the best players won't come if you're not in the Champions League - wrong. At this point Liverpool are throwing out bad excuses like the Ghostbusters when they dug up the middle of First Avenue.
The club finished the first transfer window of the new TV deal with more money than it started. It shipped out past mistakes because there were so damn many of them and we're all meant to be impressed by that. I've never been more angry than I am at the stagnant sewer that's beginning to fester around the owners. They seem to think because they've put a charismatic manager in place we'll all ignore the lack of spending.
So, rating? Minus 14.50 / 10, the same number as the negative net spend the club managed. I've never been one to be in the "sIgN Big NaMEz" category but for f***'s sake, sign somebody who is actually coveted by other top clubs.
When it comes to making a judgement on the success, or lack of it, in terms of recruitment the problem you will always encounter is that you do not have access to the manager's thoughts or plans for his squad and thus cannot really judge if the gaps you perceive were ever being targeted to be filled. That being said, it's rather safer ground when looking at the players that have been brought into the club and how they look to be shaping up or how efficiently the club has flushed out the players deemed surplus to requirements.
The assessment of the work that has been done in showing players the door, and the money that has been negotiated for them, is hugely positive. Bringing in just over £60m for Ibe, Benteke, Skrtel and Allen seems to indicate that the club has really sharpened up when it comes to this aspect of the transfer market, and even some of the less prominent names such as Sinclair, Canos, Alberto and Smith appear to have been sold at good prices (with the four of them alone balancing out the Karius and Grujic deals). With it seeming that we even managed to get someone to pay Balotelli's £4.5 a year wages, and factoring in that we haven't lost any key personnel like in previous summers, you'd have to say the outs have been pretty good.
With regards to the players that have joined the club it's hard to make a solid judgement on them so soon into their Liverpool careers but it also looks to be work well done. The biggest signing of the summer, Saido Mane, has rocketed out of the traps for the club and looks to be, already, a key player for the side and will be a huge factor if there is to be a good showing this season. There is reason to be very positive about what Karius, Matip and Klavan can bring to the squad for very prudent fees and it's only really Wijnaldum that might be raising a little concern after a quiet start to his efforts to justify his fee.
With the club making a net profit on transfer fees this window the question of whether there has been a missed opportunity to add something extra to the squad is one that won't be going away any time soon, unless the current squad blow it away on the pitch.
The glaring issue that mystifyingly remains is at left-back. Klopp may defend Moreno publicly but he clearly doesn't rate him enough to play him ahead of Milner at the moment, which does beg the question why he wouldn't want to sign a specialist. Maybe he thinks that those two can cover that position adequately for what he wants, or that the squad cohesion and team spirit aspect is more important than chancing an improvement there with someone he hasn't had a summer with? Whatever the reality it looks to be the big banana skin that he may well slip up on this year if he isn't careful.
Overall: 7.5 / 10