As soon as you hear the words transfer committee it’s enough to send shivers down any Liverpool fan’s spine.
The two words surround each transfer window and beyond, and it has the connotations of both confusion and lack of coherence.
The biggest annoyance for Kopites is that they do not know the members who sit on the transfer committee. Although there’ve been whispers and rumours about certain individuals, there’s never been an official statement from the club stating who specifically is on the panel.
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It’s strictly business for owners Fenway Sports Group. From what little light has emerged on the matter, the transfer committee consists of businessmen such as club chief executive Ian Ayre to figureheads at FSG such as Tom Werner.
The most alarming factor is that it seems there is no football expert who sit amongst the committee except the Liverpool manager, who has previously held little power.
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In the modern game, football is run as a money-making scheme. There is no way that FSG would have invested into Liverpool unless they saw it as a way to enhance their bank accounts.
The transfer committee does what it says on the tin. It discusses possible new faces that they could recruit to Anfield. Decisions are weighed up on factors such as price, potential and, most importantly, whether transfers make sense from a business perspective.
However, this is no way to run a football club.
Dele Alli transfer fail
Brendan Rodgers got many things wrong at Liverpool; however, even his biggest critics have to feel some sympathy for him regarding the transfer committee whilst he was in charge of the Reds.
On Goals On Sunday, he virtually admitted that Mario Balotelli joining Liverpool was not his choice and that Alexis Sanchez was the man he was targeting.
Rodgers also said how he had a deal set-up to sign Dele Alli.
"We thought we had him at Liverpool,” the Northern Irishman told Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara.
"The manager of MK Dons actually drove him down to us. They played a game on the Saturday and we were playing West Ham on the Sunday.
"We'd had contact with Dele, it was all above board, I was speaking with Karl Robinson and I spoke to Dele and his adoptive parents.
"I spent a couple of hours in a hotel room with him and he wanted to come to Liverpool. It was all about getting the deal done with the club but unfortunately it never got done.
"On Saturday evening we thought it had got done but eventually he went to Tottenham, which was frustrating and disappointing. He's done really well there."
However, the move for one of England’s brightest young stars was reportedly vetoed by the committee, the reason being that it did not make business sense.
The transfer committee’s main philosophy when signing players is bringing in youthful prospects who can be coached into their potential.
The committee agreed to the signings of Lazar Markovic for £20 million, Adam Lallana for £25 million and Balotelli for an absurd £16 million; however, they snubbed the chance to ink a deal with Alli.
If the transfer committee ever had egg on their face, Alli’s has been an organic emu’s that Ayre and co. are still wiping off and will continue to do so this season and likely beyond.
Alli would have cost Liverpool £5 million from MK Dons during the summer. That is already proving the bargain of the season for Tottenham Hotspur, who have reaped the rewards of the centre midfielder.
During the 2014/15 season, the 19-year-old was an indispensable member of MK Dons’ side who were promoted into the Championship. He netted an impressive 16 goals from midfield; for a striker that would have been a very respectable tally and he surpassed all expectations.
Liverpool need Gerrard replacement
The lack of Liverpool supporters in the current squad at Anfield is alarmingly worrying. Jon Flanagan is still in the process of returning from injury and Connor Randall and Cameron Brannagan – who grew up in Manchester but have been at the club since the age of five – are still a distance away from becoming first-team regulars.
Although he was raised in Milton Keynes, Alli grew up a Liverpool supporter who idolised Steven Gerrard and would have relished the opportunity to play for his boyhood club.
Alli has been a key member of Mauricio Pochettino’s side who are still banging on the door of the Premier League title this term. Alli has been a key reason behind Spurs’ success having registered six goals from 21 league appearances, most recently scoring a superb 20-yard strike against Crystal Palace last weekend. Liverpool have struggled for goals this term, with Christian Benteke only able to match Alli’s tally in the top flight.
Alli looks mature beyond his age playing for Spurs. Hard in the challenge and always threatening on the break forward, he’s odds-on favourite to win PFA Young Player of the Year and is banging on the door to start for England during this summer’s European Championship's.
Gerrard departed Liverpool this summer and left a void in the centre of the park. There was space for a box-to-box midfielder to thrust themselves onto the main stage and fill the gap.
Jordan Henderson nor Emre Can have grabbed Gerrard’s previous responsibilities by the scruff of the neck. Can, three years the senior of Alli, seen as one of Liverpool’s brightest prospects, has not registered a goal nor assist in the Premier League this season and supporters have begun to get slightly frustrated with him in recent weeks.
To replace Gerrard, the transfer committee decided that signing James Milner would make business sense. A veteran who’s added much-needed experience to the Liverpool team, the Yorkshireman hardly fits the transfer committee’s philosophy being 29-years-old.
Although he was a free transfer from Manchester City, Milner costs the Reds £150,000-a-week in wages. Over three years, the ex-Aston Villa man will cost Liverpool just over £23 million, plus any bonus’ he earns.
Although Alli was £5 million outright, Tottenham pay him just £25,000-per-week, after he recently signed a new deal.
Even if Alli did not work out, it’s likely the Reds would have recouped the £5 million paid for him anyway.
Klopp must decide all future transfers
It seems that because Alli was playing in a minor league in England, as opposed to Markovic representing Benfica and Can competing for Bayer Leverkusen, it could well have been a significant factor why he was not brought to Anfield.
Last weekend, Benik Afobe was on the scoresheet for Bournemouth for the second time in three matches, as well as Sam Byram, Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio all performing admirably for West Ham United in their 2-2 home draw against Manchester City. The four aforementioned all learned their trade in the lower leagues, but proved the transition to the Premier League is more than doable.
Klopp has insisted on numerous occasions that he has the final say when it comes to transfers.
Liverpool cannot afford to continue to let their rivals get ahead of them in the transfer market.
If Klopp decides to splash out on another young talent, whether he’s established on the European stage or comes from the lower leagues in Germany, England or Timbuktu, the committee must learn from their mistakes and back him.
Who do Liverpool need to sign to strengthen their squad? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!
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