The summer started with much promise for Liverpool. Four new players had arrived well before the beginning of pre season, and business was seemingly still on going ahead of the new campaign.
Fast-forward a month and Brendan Rodgers has failed to make further acquisitions to his side and rather than add depth to his squad as promised, Liverpool have sold more players than they have added, leaving fans with reason to worry just days before the start of the new season.
Stewart Downing joined Pepe Reina, Jonjo Shelvey and Suso in exiting Anfield, as well as the departing fringe players of Jay Spearing, Jack Robinson, Danny Wilson and Andy Carroll.
Jamie Carragher was also another loss for Liverpool as he hung up his boots.
Of course not all of these players had featured regularly, if at all for Rodgers last season. However, Simon Mignolet has been brought in to replace Reina in goal.
Kolo Toure likewise for the retired Carragher, and it would now seem Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas have replaced Shelvey and Downing. So effectively, at this moment in time, no depth whatsoever has been added to the squad, and the players who have come in have merely been replacements for those leaving Anfield.
Furthermore, it is debatable whether these replacements will actually be a step forward for Rodgers’ side or not – time will tell.
All that said however, Liverpool fans shouldn’t worry just yet. There is still plenty of time for Rodgers to add more signings and fulfil his desires to further the depth of the squad.
Nevertheless, it is disappointing that less than a week before the start of the season Liverpool arguably have a weaker side than they did at the start of the summer, and potentially getting slimmer.
Oussama Assaidi, Sebastian Coates and Dani Pacheco amongst others have been linked with moves away from Anfield, with little talk of any players making their way into the club.
Rodgers’ latest player hunt was for Atletico winger come striker Diego Costa, yet any potential move for the Brazilian were quashed when he announced he was set to sign a new deal with the Spanish side.
The Reds have been heavily linked with Ajax midfielder Christian Eriksen for the last couple of years, and yet there seems to be no solid movement for the services of the Dane.
On top of failing to add Costa to the ranks, Liverpool also missed out on two more of their top summer targets Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Kyriakos Papadopoulos. That was a huge disappointment.
Rodgers made it clear at the start of the summer that he wanted to bolster his defensive options, yet only Toure has so far filled the hole that Carragher’s retirement left.
A full back and a top centre half are still on the manager’s wish list, as well as a winger and another attacking option.
The positive, and hopefully promising take on all of this is that Liverpool have actually made a profit out of their summer dealings so far, even before any potential big money move for Luis Suarez.
Therefore there is certainly money to be spent, not only adding depth to the squad, but also improving it too. Granted, Liverpool’s financial activities haven’t been the most adept in the last couple of years, but they will have to spend big money on the right players if they are to finish anywhere near the top four.
£20 million has so far has merely been spent filling holes left by players departing the club, yet the likes of Tottenham have strengthened hugely by adding the likes of Roberto Soldado, Nacer Chadli and Paulinho to their already strong squad - all of whom will by now be well integrated into the team and ready to go for the opening day.
Liverpool’s pre-season would suggest that fans shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Six out of seven wins and scoring plenty of goals is a good return even for friendly matches, albeit against lesser opposition. Perhaps the Celtic match proved a more telling story.
The team dominated for much of the game, creating many chances but failing to take them and ultimately faced defeat against a side closer to Liverpool’s class.
There’s always a danger of over-scrutinising a team during pre season, but Liverpool certainly lacked a spark in their game against the Scottish champions.
It looks inevitable that Rodgers will be unable to make any more acquisitions to his side before 12:45 on Saturday, which is mighty disappointing considering his intentions at the start of the summer.
He has assured fans that the club is working hard on finalising more deals and the manager will be desperate that some new faces can make their way through Melwood as soon as possible.
Liverpool fans won’t be too dissatisfied with the departure of Downing, but it leaves the Reds with an even lighter squad going into the opening day of the season. It spells a disappointing summer so far and Brendan Rodgers will be hoping brandish his chequebook again before the transfer window slams back shut.
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