If you were to ask a Liverpool fan two months ago, how he or she felt about their summer transfer business, the response would have most probably been positive. With Simon Mignolet, Kolo Toure, Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas already in the bag, Liverpool looked set to tie up the signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and talk of Kyriakos Papadopoulos soon following Mkhitaryan through the door was rife. Two months on and the birth of a very messy Luis Suarez saga however, and things aren’t quite as rosy.
Mkhitaryan chose Dortmund over life at Anfield, while Liverpool refused to bid over 12mil for Papadopoulos due to concerns over his injury issues. While Rodgers made comments about his first four signings being designed for the “squad”, he hinted that next up would be those top class first team signings the fans were craving. None followed.
Worse yet, moves for Soldado and Diego Costa proved fruitless as the former ended up at Tottenham instead and the latter signed a new contract at Atletico Madrid.
A few questions need to be asked before we can start throwing our toys out the pram at the lack of big name transfer activity at Anfield. The first is: are there enough top quality players available on the market? The clear answer is that despite things being somewhat rigid, there have been some fantastic and attainable players available on the market for Liverpool to pick from. Spurs signings Nacer Chadli and Paulinho may have been overlooked for specific reasons but they are still quality players capable of improving Liverpool’s first team. I refuse to believe that such players would have chosen Spurs over Liverpool had Brendan Rodgers and Managing Director Ian Ayre gone in aggressively for them. The bottom line is, Spurs wanted these players more and went in more efficiently for them.
Now, if Spurs are more than capable of attracting big names like Paulinho, Chadli and Soldado, then Liverpool should very much be. It’s as simple as that.
Liverpool’s status may have been hurt from not being in the European Champions League, and it’s understandable that they can no longer attract the world’s elite. But there is a level below them, consisting of players like Soldado and Paulinho who the Anfield outfit should be attracting. Did Liverpool go in for Soldado aggressively enough? Or is there a lack of initiative by those in charge of transfers at Anfield?
Since we’ve made moves for Mkhitaryan, Papadopoulos and Soldado, our failure to sign top players cannot be put down to a lack of ambition. Had just two of those moves pull off; things would be rosy for Liverpool fans, despite the Luis Suarez saga. However, all three failed miserably. Consider the magnitude of Liverpool football club – with or without Champions League football a match at Anfield is still up there with the world’s major live sports events – and you wonder whether or not Ian Ayre is doing enough to entice players to Anfield.
Scapegoats are convenient entities; readily available when we’re in desperate need of answers we’re too lazy to fully question. However, the fact that we couldn’t even set up a meeting with Mkhitaryan suggests someone’s not doing enough persuading. Over to you Ian.