Football

Christian Benteke a hit, whilst Firminho struggles to impress

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Brendan Rodgers dived into the transfer market this summer filled with the knowledge that he could not afford to make the same mistakes as he did last year.

The Northern Irishman sanctioned the sale of Luis Suarez from Liverpool to Barcelona, and then squandered the resulting money on the likes of Mario Balotelli, Lazar Markovic and Ricky Lambert - all of which have now left. 

This year he has acted to rectify those errors in the hope of steering the club back into the Champions League, but how do his new signings rate?

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Christian Benteke

Having managed to keep Aston Villa in the top flight last season, Liverpool spent big to pip Manchester United to the signing of Christian Benteke. 

The Belgian has been one of the country's deadliest strikers since arriving from Genk in 2012, having found the net 49 times in 100 games for Tim Sherwood's side. 

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However, he now faces the daunting prospect of having to do it even more regularly at Anfield, despite his physical presence being the exact opposite of what many of the supporters wanted. 

He scored the winner as the Reds beat Bournemouth last month and should provide at least a portion of the goals that the club have missed since Suarez's departure to Spain a year ago. 

VERDICT: HIT

Roberto Firmino

Like Benteke, Roberto Firmino was rumoured to be tickling the fancy of Louis van Gaal only to sign for Liverpool instead. 

The former Hoffenheim starlet is widely expected to develop at a similar rate to fellow Brazilian Philippe Coutinho who made the PFA Team of the Year last season. 

Firmino was brought to the club for a fee of £29million having scored 10 goals in the Bundesliga last season.

However, his woeful showing in the Reds' comprehensive defeat to West Ham United at the weekend - bar a wonderful strike that hit the post - shows he still has a long way to go if he is to become one of the Premier League's best imports.

VERDICT: JURY OUT

Danny Ings

Danny Ings is yet to feature for Liverpool but showed enough glimpses of his quality in the top flight with Burnley last year to convince many he could make the grade at Anfield.

The 23-year-old bagged 11 goals in 26 appearances, but it ultimately counted for nothing as Sean Dyche's men were relegated from the top flight.

Ings remains in need of fine-tuning but should prove a better fit than any of the strikers Rodgers signed last season. 

Even if he flops then there will be plenty of clubs in the top flight fighting for his signature. 

VERDICT: JURY OUT

Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne represents great value for money and will strengthen Liverpool at both ends of the pitch. 

The youngster was part of a solid Southampton defence that leaked just 33 league goals last term, with many regarding him to soon be England's number one right-back. 

He will certainly fare better than Glen Johnson whose error-strewn performances prompted widespread criticism from fans and pundits alike. 

Clyne is a real talent and a real coup for Rodgers and his team. 

VERDICT: HIT

JAMES MILNER

It speaks volumes of James Milner's importance that Manchester City were actually devastated by his decision to leave on a free transfer. 

While often criticised for his robot-like approach to games, there can be no denying the former Leeds and Aston Villa midfielder is a player fit to be starting week in, week out, rather than withering away on the bench.

Milner will also bring plenty of experience to the squad - something the Reds would have lacked after the departure of Steven Gerrard to LA Galaxy. 

The 29-year-old is a fantastic footballer and his work rate means fans will take to him whatever he does. 

VERDICT: HIT

BEST OF THE REST

Adam Bogdan - Signed from Bolton as deputy for Simon Mignolet. Capable enough but not a direct rival for the number one jersey. MISS. 

Joe Gomez - Looks a great arrival from Charlton. One for the future. HIT.

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Topics:
Football
Liverpool
Premier League

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