U2 has a song amongst their many, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” To me, this represents Liverpool Football Club over the past two summers. Last year we spent all summer tracking Aurelien Tchouameni. He went to Real Madrid. This summer the agreed consensus was that we decided to save our transfer funds to buy Jude Bellingham. He made the same decision. We have lost eight midfield players and signed only two. Again we seem to be at a loss.
Last season we saw the side exposed defensively time and again on the right side. Our backline looked questionable and the legs were gone in the center of the park. The Klopp mantra has always been to sign our players before our preseason kicks off. This was largely kept to with our first two signings. Unfortunately, we probably need another two in the middle and one, if not two, in defense.
Why Hasn’t Lavia Been Signed?
The season is less than a week away and all our eggs are in the Romeo Lavia basket. After three failed bids, the question of whether we will let our supposed prime target go for a difference of three to four million pounds seems questionable. But was Lavia really our first choice?
We have seen links to Ryan Gravenberch, Manu Kone, and Khephren Thuram to name a few. All have seemed within reach. All links have gone quiet. Maybe it is a tactical ploy. Maybe we’ll praise the management team at the end of the summer. However, there is a fear present that our past record indicates that we either don’t have the money or just don’t want to spend it. Only time will tell.
Midway through last year we heard that money would be made available. So far, Szoboszlai and Mac Allister have cost 95 million. The reality is that cost is the going rate for a top-quality midfielder today. It almost seems incomprehensible for us to sign such a player.
It Wasn’t Always Like This
Summer used to be the time when we were filled with genuine hope. I remember the summer of 1991 when we signed Mark Wright and Dean Saunders, the England captain and the hottest striker in the league. Roy Evans buying the final piece of the jigsaw in Stan Collymore is a memory I look back fondly on. Houllier signed Harry Kewell. Rafa bought Robbie Keane. We always came so close and the signings gave us hope that this year could be our year.
We also had misses. Evans nearly signed Desailly. Houllier came close to Duff and Bowyer but instead came out with Diouf, Diao, and Cheyrou. Rafa lost Alonso and replaced him with Aquilani.
Ultimately, the summer is the time period when the foundations of our dreams are laid. So far, we are standing on a precipice. Our attack is amazing. Our defenders are solid but need greater protection. Alisson is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Unlocking Our Potential
The midfield is arguably the key. We have signed two, but the hopes and dreams of 2023 and 2024 will be determined by how we play the transfer market in the new few weeks.
No one is tipping Liverpool to win the league. Yet the reality is that we could make a really strong effort. No Champions League may allow for a greater focus domestically. Who knows what could happen with that focus? Sign two or three more solid contributors and maybe this year could truly be our year.