Dave Davis explores the positives of Liverpool’s transfer window after Michael Baddeley did the opposite earlier today.
The transfer window fluctuated between ecstasy and despair for Liverpool fans over the past months and it’s a good thing for many people’s health that it’s finally shut. Aside from the occasional Twitter meltdown, there are some definite positives to take from Liverpool’s dealings.
The deadwood has been shifted
Those who we knew had no future at Anfield have finally been moved on. The high earners of Balotelli, Skrtel and Benteke have been removed from the wage bill whilst squad players such as Allen, Ibe and Smith have moved clubs for the good of their own careers. Jürgen Klopp’s cull has been merciless, but much needed.
No left back or defensive midfielder brought in
The main topic on Twitter for the transfer window has been that has gone against popular opinion with this decision and it’s one that he will be judged on come January. James Milner is the new first choice and possibly the best-paid left-back in the Premier League, despite never having played there before. The greatest surprise for most fans with Alberto Moreno is that he’s still at the club and his performance against Arsenal will have done nothing to silence the doubters.
Leandro Paredes and Gary Medel and others have been linked with Anfield this summer as Emre Can is our only real recognised holding midfielder. Lucas Leiva appears to have become a backup centre-half and Kevin Stewart is considered a backup squad player at best. The German midfielder’s injury caused a meltdown amongst supporters and there had been an expectation that cover would come in, even in the form of a playmaker like Dahoud.
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We have to back the manager, but if the decisions backfire come January – no-one is above criticism.
Mane looks a player
Many were uncertain when we contacted our regular supplier Southampton for the Senegalese player, but it’s looking a great move to date. The pacey 24-year-old has already netted against Arsenal and made two against Burton Albion. Importantly, Mane brings a pace and directness to Liverpool’s attacking play that has been missing in recent times and Danny Rose described him as his toughest opponent to date. Everyone is praying that the AFCON gets cancelled somehow, but until then it looks like a Kop Darling may be about to evolve.
Give it time but the defence may be improved
It’s easy to look at the first two games and suggest we’ve conceded 5 goals as evidence that nothing’s changed. However, it may be that the two biggest changes in our defence are yet to really happen. Joel Matip’s debut against Spurs looked very assured, as the Cameroonian read the game, made vital clearances and was unlucky not to score with a header. The 24-year-old was unlucky not to be given man of the match with his partnership with Dejan Lovren looked promising.
Loris Karius’ debut may not be as far away as first feared and there are murmurs he will be fit for the next league game against Leicester. There are high hopes for the young German after a promising pre-season and with Simon Mingolet’s popularity at a low, fans are expecting the 23-year-old to be our number 1 when fit.
The Sakho Conundrum
The popularity that the big Frenchman enjoys with some fans compared to the current coaching staff is light years apart. It’s no secret that Sakho had been available for loan and that Klopp has made the 26-year-old aware he won’t get game time at Anfield.
Issues around a drugs ban, which Sakho has been subsequently cleared of. Poor timekeeping and attitude during the club’s pre-season tour has done nothing to help the centre-half’s cause. There are questions surrounding his attitude and whether Klopp has seen things that we haven’t, yet it’s strange that Sakho has resisted all moves and chosen to stay. It’s a decision that will appease his cult following, but in a purely footballing sense – it seems odd.