Liverpool made four signings in the summer of 2018, all of which prompted excitement. One year and a Champions League later, we have a look at how they’ve done.
4. Naby Keita
He is by no means a flop but Keita didn’t have the kind of impact many hoped for. A promising start petered out quickly and there were real questions by the season’s halfway point.
Keita did find form, though. The last couple of months were good, with him playing an important role and scoring goals. Injury robbed him of a Champions League final place but he’ll surely kick on next season and keep improving.
Overall, his impact over his first season was quite limited and that’s why he’s ranked the lowest here. Fingers crossed for the future, though.
3. Xherdan Shaqiri
It’s been a very strange season for Shaqiri. We gave him a very promising review at the halfway point, praising him for being a valuable asset.
That was written on January 28th after Shaqiri had played regularly for the previous three months. He’d scored six times, assisting another three.
He started against Leicester City two days later but only played six more times after that, starting once. That start came against Barcelona at Anfield when both Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah were injured. Outside of that game, he didn’t play more than 25 minutes on any occasion.
Still, his impact was vital, if only for the rotation over Christmas and his assist against Barcelona. There are clearly questions over his future at the club but there’s no doubt that he contributed to a memorable season.
A brilliant signing who should only get better. Liverpool have played without a typical defensive midfielder since Jurgen Klopp arrived at the club, using Jordan Henderson in the holding role.
Fabinho changed that, offering specialised protection for the defence. He began very slowly, not starting a league or European game until late October.
But he was a key cog in the side by the end, starting the final and helping Liverpool keep a clean sheet.
As a bonus, his arrival also allowed Henderson to move forward. The captain is a very useful box-to-box midfielder, as it turns out. We have Fabinho to thank for that realisation.
It’s amazing what a team can achieve in a Champions League final when their goalkeeper isn’t throwing them into his net.
Alisson was brilliant in Madrid, saving eight shots to keep his clean sheet. No signing in summer 2018 was as hotly anticipated as the Brazilian – and rightly so.
Liverpool, a team previously not known for their defending, kept the most clean-sheets in the league. Alisson deserves a huge amount of credit for that.
He helped transform Liverpool from a ‘nearly’ side into European champions, above all else. He’s not only the signing of the summer but one of the best in recent memory.