Whatever one thinks about the (current) lack of new signings, Liverpool are darned good at the outgoings. Just this week, they have sold on Marko Grujic for a tasty £10.5 million to Porto. The Serbian was Jurgen Klopp’s very first signing. Yet again, Liverpool made themselves a tidy profit for a player who never really broke through.
Liverpool haven’t splashed the cash in bulk since 2018
Michael Edwards’ sales techniques are legendary. However, since Liverpool splashed the cash on VVD, Alisson and Fabinho, there has been a feeling that the recruitment of A-listers has stalled. In the summer of 2017, before the towering trio above were signed, Jamie Carragher hoped for something truly breakthrough: “I think we were all hoping that we would have been a lot happier at the stage.” When have Reds fans ever been happy with FSG transfer activity post-2018?
The three that Liverpool signed in that close season of ’17 were Dominic Solanke, Andrew Robertson and Mo Salah. Fans were underwhelmed at the time. Little did they know. The big prizes sometimes unwrap themselves slowly. Or in the case of the Egyptian, very fast.
Liverpool find new signings within the squad
When things are sleepy on the market stall, the manager has found new signings from within. Just after the German arrived, Joe Gomez was out for 15 months. He was a solution sitting within the walls of Melwood at the time. Trent Alexander-Arnold was coming through the ranks like “the beauty” that Steve Gerrard claimed he was. Another problem solved without looking beyond L4.
This year, a newly refurbed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is playing a false nine role while Harvey Elliott has returned sharp and lean from a great little spell at Blackburn. Naby Keita is looking to step up. Again. Thiago will surely show who he really is this year. The best central defence in England plus some will soon return. Kostas Tsimikas is still breathing. The ingredients are there. They have just been in storage.
Squad tightness key to superiority
The evolution of the squad under Klopp has always been about keeping it tight-knit. The seismic ripple effect of the injury crisis last season made the squad feel vulnerable. Liverpool salvaged their Champions League place through sheer bloody-mindedness. That’s not something you can purchase.
Time waits for no team or man. James Milner is entering the last lap. Mane, Salah and Firmino are all pushing 30. Incremental change and progress is a skill that takes care, cash and careful planning. Klopp does have company men but he will not flog them to death.
Liverpool rely on a different code to break the bank. If football can return to “normal”, Klopp can reactivate Anfield into the fortress it was. The personnel to win another title always needs a refresh. However, the band of brothers approach this squad possesses is also the key to success. The quality is there. Upgrades don’t always mean new toys.