Liverpool’s summer transfer dealings appear to have more potential than Brendan Rodgers’ previous efforts as manager of the Merseyside club.
The marquee signings of Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke seem to represent another step in the recalibration of Rodgers’ idea of the calibre of player needed to improve Liverpool’s first team.
Both are players who flourished at their respective clubs: Benteke’s 42 goals from 82 starts kept Aston Villa afloat in the Premier League, whilst Firmino’s eye-catching performances for Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga were rewarded with the league’s Breakthrough Player award.
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This is quite a progression for a manager who deemed Fabio Borini and Joe Allen, bought from his old club Swansea for a combined £25.4 million, as solutions to Liverpool’s struggles.
Rodgers still however, seems to favour bulk buying players rather than prioritising specific positions that need improving and slowly building a team, as successfully done by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal in the past few years.
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Wenger’s key additions in the time Rodgers has been Liverpool manager, Mesut Ozil and particularly Alexis Sanchez, whose 25 goals last season helped Arsenal retain the FA Cup.
Both have provided a clear progression from what went before them; both possess the experience needed to provide the instant impact that has driven them to two trophies in the past two years.
Rodgers on the other hand, seems to prefer quantity: Danny Ings has been brought in to complement Benteke’s arrival, with the return of Divock Origi from his loan spell at Lille, augmenting Rodgers’ attacking options.
If this money had been spent on one striker, Liverpool may have obtained a player with the quality and experience to immediately share the goal-scoring responsibility with Benteke.
His bulk buying of players leads to other problems: Liverpool have six first team players fighting over the single striker position available in Rodgers’ favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, which seems to suggest a dislocation between transfer policy and the reasoning behind each purchase.
The frustration of those not starting in the first-team could also have a negative effect on team morale, especially if those who are picked perform poorly.
But if the two Marquee signings return Liverpool to the top four, and fire a successful cup-run, or at the very least rejuvenate Liverpool’s flowing style of football to the standard of the 2013-14 season, Rodgers’ wastefulness in the transfer market will largely be ignored.
And it will show a marked improvement in Liverpool’s transfer dealings. It remains a big if for the time being.