It’s finally over! The months that saw rumour after rumour and money being thrown around at record amounts have finally come to an end as the summer 2017 transfer window has now closed.
No more fake rumours, players submitting transfer requests and fans ultimately being let down. September has come and it’s time to look back and see if Liverpool have had a good or bad transfer window.
Let’s mention the elephant in the room first. Liverpool have not signed a centre-back. The squad is just screaming for a top centre-back to come in and sure things up at the back. The signing of Virgil van Dijk was a must during the window, but Jurgen Klopp seems adamant that it was Van Dijk or nobody, and we got nobody.
This leaves Liverpool with Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez as the four centre-backs for the season. Not the most ideal situation to be in if you want to compete in all competitions but, it definitely isn’t the worst thing either.
Klopp has continuously stated that Liverpool’s defensive problems stem from team organisation and setup rather than the personal but it is clear that Van Dijk was a top priority for the club, Southampton just wouldn’t give in. They were determined to hold onto their man no matter how much was offered. That can’t be blamed on Klopp or FSG. It was all down to Southampton and their unwillingness to do business with Liverpool.
Not getting a defender was really the only black spot of the transfer window as all the other business was very good. Bringing in Mohamed Salah to have him on one wing and Sadio Mané on the other has made Liverpool much better in attack.
Before the window, most fans would have said that a defender and a winger where top priorities so one out of two isn’t too bad. Salah has had an excellent start to his Liverpool, career scoring three goals and assisting one more. The front three of him, Roberto Firmino and Mané has been a joy to watch. Salah has all the attributes that Mané has and will be just as important to the team. It’s still early in the season, but all signs point to Salah being an amazing signing for Liverpool.
Getting Dominic Solanke also seems like a great bit of business. The 19-year-old striker joined on a free and has looked great in pre-season. His summer started with a U-20 World Cup winners medal as he lead England to the trophy and he was also named the tournament’s best player. He has continued that form going into his Liverpool career with a great pre-season. He’s obviously impressed as Divock Origi has been sent out on loan to get more game time. A tribunal fee is still yet to be set, but no matter the fee, Solanke has a bright future at Anfield.
Andrew Robertson was another smart buy and in his one game at Liverpool, he impressed with his attacking ability and perfect crossing. Robertson’s arrival has also revived Alberto Moreno’s Liverpool career. After being displaced at left-back by a midfielder, Moreno’s time at Liverpool looked to have neared its end,but this season he has been excellent. The competition between the two will only benefit the Reds as the duo try to make the left-back position their own.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain answers a lot of Liverpool’s issues. Pace, versatility and depth will be added to the squad because of his arrival. Klopp could have the same effect on his career as he did with Adam Lallana. Pace, power and a bit of flair make Oxlade-Chamberlain the type of player Klopp loves.
With these four signings, Liverpool have added first team players and squad depth, but arguably the best signing made this summer will be arriving in July 2018. After a long saga and with hope seemingly dead entering the final week of the window, Liverpool pulled the transfer of RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keïta out of nowhere.
Triggering his £48 million release clause in addition to paying an undisclosed premium, this is an outstanding piece of business by Liverpool. Who knows how many top teams would have been looking for Keïta’s signature next summer, so for Liverpool to secure him right now is absolutely amazing. Keïta was one of the best midfielders in the world last season and if he continues that form this year he could take Liverpool to the next level when he arrives in 2018.
Liverpool’s outgoings were also quite good this summer. Deadwood like Andre Wisdom and Kevin Stewart were shipped off. Mamadou Sakho was finally sold to Crystal Palace for £26m, a great fee for someone who was never going to play for Liverpool again and youngers like Ryan Kent, Allan Rodrigues, Divock Origi and Sheyi Ojo were all loaned out to get more first team football.
The loan of Origi stands out as a great a deal. Wolfsburg paid a £6m fee and Liverpool added a recall clause and a stipulation that states Origi must play a certain amount of games or Wolfsburg must pay another fee. A great deal that will ensure Origi gets plenty of game time before he comes back to Merseyside in July 2018.
Despite all of the arrivals and departures, one story over took Liverpool’s summer; the Philippe Coutinho saga. Whether you think Coutinho should ever play for Liverpool again is irrelevant, the fact is Liverpool stood firm against Barcelona’s multiple big money bids and sent out a message loud and clear; Liverpool are not a selling club.
Keeping Coutinho is Liverpool’s biggest transfer victory, not because one of the club’s best player stays, but because of the statement that’s made by keeping him.
After months of endless rumors, failed player pursuits and countless Twitter meltdowns, when you sit back and look at everything that went down this summer, Liverpool have had a good transfer window.
It wasn’t perfect because of the failure to secure a centre-back, but they made some great signings, some smart sells and some loans for youngsters in need of more minutes. That, added to breaking the clubs record transfer twice and holding onto a top player definitely makes this window a good one.
FSG and Klopp deserve credit and with the signs of change starting to show, hopefully this is the beginning of a new Liverpool when it comes to transfer business.