Liverpool risk repeating mistakes after summer spending spree

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The departure of Luis Suarez last summer was a huge blow for Liverpool. The club's response was to reinvest the £75 million accrued from the Uruguayan's sale on a host of new faces.

In total nine players arrived at Anfield for the 2014/15 season. However, despite these arrivals the club quite clearly failed to plug the gap left behind by their star striker.

After coming within a heartbeat of the title just a year before, Brendan Rodgers found his team finishing in a disappointing sixth place.

The departing Steven Gerrard finished the season as the club's top goalscorer in the league, highlighting the teams weakness in attack.

The response to a highly disappointing season has been to spend heavily in the transfer market once again, but haven't we been here before?


James Milner (Free)

A real coup for Liverpool. James Milner is a player whose contribution was never quite appreciated as much as it should have been at Manchester City. To capture an England international on a free transfer is a great bit of business.

The 29-year-old will bring a fantastic work rate to Liverpool's midfield. There may not be anything particularly fancy about him but he's a player that Rodgers can rely on to always give his all for the team. Milner is a very underrated player and City could well live to regret letting him go for nothing.

Danny Ings (Free)

Another out of contract player snapped up by the Anfield club. The 22-year old forward struck 11 times last season for a Burnley side that was eventually relegated. He has shown that he's capable of scoring goals in England's top division but many have questioned whether he's good enough for such a big club.

His performances in the U21 European Championships did little to excite Liverpool fans but he definitely has potential. He may not be the world-class striker the club desperately needs but he will be a better option to turn to than Balotelli and Lambert.

Adam Bogdan (Free)

A shock signing that has been widely mocked by rival fans. This truly is a strange one. The 27-year-old Hungarian featured just 13 times for Championship side Bolton last season and has struggled with injury over the past two seasons.

He will surely only serve as a back up option following an upturn in form by Simon Mignolet towards the end of last season. It's a free transfer so you can't be too critical, but surely he's not of Liverpool calibre?

Joe Gomez (£3.5 million)

A player completing a transfer to Liverpool after the first season of his senior career must have some serious talent. The England U19 international has been compared to Rio Ferdinand and if he can develop into anywhere near the defender he was then Rodgers will look back on this as a superb piece of business. He lacks experience, appearing just 21 times for Charlton last season, but can be considered a good prospect for the future.

Roberto Firmino (£21.3 million)

Liverpool have paid a hefty fee for the 23-year-old midfielder. The Hoffenheim man arrives at Anfield having scored 49 goals in 153 appearances for the Bundesliga club. The Brazilian, who has been featuring in the Copa America, was also linked to Manchester United. However Liverpool have beat their rivals to secure the players signature.

Many see him as the perfect replacement for Raheem Sterling while others think he may be asked to play up top next season. He is a player who has proven himself in the Bundesliga but will need to be given time to adapt to the Premier League. Once again the club has paid a pretty price for a player and Rodgers will hope this signing delivers quicker than many of last years.

Nathaniel Clyne (£10 million plus add-ons)

The Southampton right-back was a player in demand this summer. The Englishman was one of the best full-backs in the country last season and was also linked to fierce rivals Manchester United. However, once again Rodgers' side have beaten the competition to sign the player.

He looks like an important signing for the club as the right-back position has been problematic for a number of years. Clyne hardly has big shoes to fill following the departure of Glen Johnson. The player arrives from Southampton as an excellent young defender, but so did Luke Shaw when he joined Manchester United. A slump like Shaw endured seems unlikely, Rodgers will certainly hope so.


Last summer

Rodgers brought in nine players last summer but only Emre Can can really be regarded as a success. Alberto Moreno had his moments but needs to find greater consistency in his game. The jury is still out on the likes of Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic. However, some of last summer's arrivals have already shown that they do not have a future at the club.

Mario Balotelli managed a solitary league goal last season and his attitude has been shocking. He was a risky signing that has back-fired emphatically. Fellow striker Rickie Lambert's dream has quickly become a nightmare and the 33-year-old will surely never be a first choice striker for the club.

The reality is that bringing such a large number of new players last summer was highly unnecessary. The club had a good spine of players during the 2013/14 campaign, however the loss of Suarez seemed to spark panic at the club. As Liverpool came within touching distance of the title Suarez displayed just how much influence an individual can have on a team. So why then did Liverpool try to replace one player with nine?

The club's top priority last summer should have been recruiting an individual who could take over the goalscoring burden from the departing Luis Suarez. They did not need multiple new players, just one. Investing the majority of the Suarez money on a new striker would have been wiser than overpaying on a number of other players.

The club was in a good state everywhere else apart from up front, yet it was this gap that Liverpool failed to fill. With Champions League football to offer and funds available then it's baffling that Suarez was not properly replaced. Balotelli could never be relied upon to fill the huge void left behind by Liverpool's Uruguayan striker.

This summer

It seems that a similar pattern is emerging this summer. Some would see the fact that Liverpool have already signed six players by July as a positive but after last summer there is reason for scepticism. After all, bringing in a host of new faces was an unsuccessful transfer strategy last summer. That's not to say Liverpool have not done some good business this summer. To bring in Danny Ings and James Milner on free transfers is a good move. The club could have done little better than bringing in Nathaniel Clyne to fill the gap at right-back.

What is a concern is the price paid for Firmino. He's undoubtedly a talented player but £21.3 million is a hefty fee. Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren arrived for £25 million and £20 million respectively but have failed to deliver. The pressure will be on the Brazilian to justify his price tag. Of course the state of the market does not help, overpaying is something managers have to live with these days but Rodgers can not afford for another expensive signing to flop.

Where's the world-class striker?

It will be worrying Liverpool fans that the club have already signed six players this summer but look no closer to replacing Luis Suarez. It's puzzling that they have done so much business and not yet captured a world-class striker. Rodgers can surely not be oblivious to the biggest issue in this current Liverpool squad.

The lack of Champions League football will of course be making it difficult to bring in the goalscorer the club needs. However, Liverpool is still a huge club regardless of whether they are in Europe or not. Also if you have the funds available then you can still attract players, Manchester United showed that last summer with varying degrees of success. They'll likely have to overpay for the striker they need but Rodgers will just have to live with this if he wants a realistic chance of making the top four next season.

Everyone knows that the Anfield club are in desperate need of a striker who can challenge the likes of Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa in the race for the golden boot. Rickie Lambert, Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini are not going to get you 25 goals between them let alone individually. This is what will be making each passing day without a world-class striker all the more frustrating. Ings is a start, but let's be honest he is not enough.

This is a problem that should have been resolved last summer when the club was in a healthy position. Now Rodgers has made things harder for himself. Fortunately for him the funds are available once again. This summer he absolutely needs to find a world-class striker. It's what the fans want and what the squad needs. Rodgers must get it right this summer, he needs an instant hit who can come in and lift everyone at the club and relieve the pressure on him. If this doesn't happen, or Liverpool fail to sign a new striker then the pressure will continue to mount.


Fans and pundits alike have criticised  Rodgers' transfer dealings last summer and you cannot hide the fact that he made a number of lacklustre signings. Despite a dreadful campaign the owners have elected to stand by their man. They've entrusted him with a large transfer kitty once again which he has been quick to delve into.

While Rodgers will be glad to have avoiding the chop his long-term future is far from assured. Each new signing will only increase the pressure on Liverpool's managers. After last summer's shambles all eyes will be on this latest bunch of signings to see if they can deliver. When the owners are giving you big money then they will want to be seeing instant results. Rodgers will be praying that this is the case next season.

He can ill afford another failed transfer window. He wasted a large proportion of the money given to him last summer and the owners will not be so patient if it turns out that he has done so again. His latest signings must perform otherwise serious questions will be raised over Rodgers' judgement of players.

Time is not on his side either. Jurgen Klopp is reported to be breathing down his neck. He desperately needs his news signings to hit the ground running. Hitting form in the second-half of the season will not be good enough, they will need to be on it from start to finish to secure that top four place and for Rodgers to repay the owners faith in him. It could go either way, in football you just never know. Few saw Liverpool's title charge coming in 2013/14 and not many would have predicted such a quick decline last season. What is clear though is that come the big kick-off in August all eyes will be on Liverpool's new signings and more importantly all eyes will be on Rodgers.

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