The Premier League’s summer transfer window has closed for 2019 as of Thursday evening. How did Liverpool do?
This is comfortably the most difficult transfer window to judge. Liverpool only signed three players, none of which are first-team players.
Liverpool signed two highly-rated players in Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott. We know that Van den Berg cost an initial £1.3m (potentially rising to £4.4m, per the BBC). Elliott’s deal is more complicated, however.
Out of contract with Fulham, Liverpool were able to sign him directly. They owe an amount in compensation, however, dependant on a tribunal.
The third and final transfer is Adrian on a free transfer. The goalkeeper was most recently with West Ham United and will clearly be backup to Alisson after Simon Mignolet left the club.
Sticking with what we’ve got
None of Van den Berg, Elliott or Adrian will feature with any regularity next season. Unless there’s a terrible injury crisis, of course. But it means we can’t really judge any of them right now.
And so the 2019 summer transfer window has actually been about not signing anyone and sticking with a successful squad. The fact is, Liverpool should improve without any additions – something we highlighted in May. While we still expected additions, it appears that Jurgen Klopp and co believed quite strongly in the idea.
Long-term contracts and a happy squad are instead the investment. And even if it isn’t as exciting as a new superstar or two, it should prevent the downfall of previous years.
Liverpool collapsed after all three of their last 2nd-place finishes. Be it faith in poor signings (2002) or losing key players (2009, 2014), things fell apart and a rebuild was required.
There’s no risk of that now. Liverpool can always change the plan in January and you’d imagine that they have enough to see the season through until then.
But as a result, we don’t have to work out how anyone will fit in, what it means for others etc.
Liverpool have paradoxically taken a risk by taking absolutely no risks. They won’t greatly improve but they won’t interrupt anything, either.
It’s sensible and logical but it’ll be a few months before we know if it was the right route to take.