Liverpool fans will be left rather pleased with Jurgen Klopp’s business in the transfer window.
The German bolstered his team with the signings of Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum and Joel Matip, and also got rid of plenty of deadwood. Liverpool have spent recklessly in recent windows but using the £55 million they received by selling Christian Benteke, Jordon Ibe and Joe Allen to fund their summer signings represents progress.
The only negative was that a new left back, to replace the hapless Alberto Moreno, wasn’t brought in. But overall, Liverpool’s squad appears primed for a run at a top four spot.
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Paul Merson would have you believe differently, however. The Sky Sports pundit has moved to burst any confidence that supporters might be feeling in the wake of their summer business.
In his club-by-club verdict of the transfer window, Merson gave the Reds a C grade and reckons Klopp should be concerned by Wijnaldum’s away performance.
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“Sadio Mane gives Liverpool pace in attack, but you look at Georginio Wijnaldum's record at Newcastle and he was fine at home, but you never heard from him on the road,” Merson wrote. “That is a concern.”
Regardless of whether it’s a concern, it’s a really odd thing for Merson to pick up on. Instead of questioning whether Wijnaldum has the work rate to thrive in Klopp’s high press system, or where his best position is, the former Arsenal midfielder is more concerned about whether he can produce the goods away to Middlesbrough.
To be fair to Wijnaldum, you never heard from any Newcastle player after an away match last season. The Magpies lost 14 of their 19 games away from St. James Park in 2015-16 on their way to the Championship.
Merson continued: “They got good deals for Benteke, Ibe and others and they have balanced their books, but they didn't do enough to address their defence and that's why they get a C.”
That’s a fair point, and one that even Klopp would have a hard time arguing. Liverpool have conceded six goals in their three league fixtures and seem to have adopted an attitude of, ‘we don’t care how many we concede - we’re going to score more goals than you’.
Klopp attempted to fix his defensive problem by signing centre backs Matip and Ragnar Klavan but Liverpool will forever ship goals so long as Moreno is in the staring line-up.
If the Spaniard’s performance in the 4-3 win over Arsenal wasn’t enough to convince the Liverpool boss to sign a replacement, nothing will.