While the transfer window may only have been open a couple of weeks, that hasn’t stopped consternation over Liverpool’s inactivity from spreading through the fanbase like a particularly virulent covid-19 strain.
I’ll be the first to admit that, as fruitful as these last two seasons have been, this Liverpool squad could do with some freshening. The left-back situation appears to have been sorted. Liverpool are set to sign Olympiakos left-back Kostas Tsimikas for £11.75m.
However, the glaring lack of quality cover in attack has many of us fearing the worst should injury (touch wood) befall a key player next season. Klopp and Edwards have generally done well to scout players with impressive injury records, but there’s no accounting for a rogue sliding tackle or head injury (again, touch wood).
There is, of course, also the increasingly eminent issue of the squad’s collective age. The likes of Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, and Firmino are fast approaching the dreaded 30-year mark, which captain Jordan Henderson has already surpassed. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to inject some youth into the team and avoid a situation in 2 years’ time in which the spine of the team would be in their twilight years. And there have been few better times to do it than now; Anfield is a mouth-watering prospect for any footballer looking to light up their career.
In light of these issues, the tantalising links to Thiago Alcantra have had many Reds clamouring for John Henry to get his wallet out. Should Liverpool get hold of a player like Thiago, that can only be cause for optimism. Yet, if it is to be a barren window, it would probably be advisable to hold off on the torches and pitchforks for now.
It would be extremely ultracrepidarian of fans to draw conclusions about the club’s financial situation based on recent revelations alone. Whatever monetary boosts the club may have received from its recent successes as well as the Nike deal could well have been reversed by the effects of the pandemic. The club could also be keeping their cards close to their chest in anticipation of a second wave of the coronavirus- as outsiders, we don’t know. The whole situation is far too nebulous for us to label FSG unambitious or negligent.
That said, pandemic or no pandemic, it’s common knowledge that our management is not given to paying exorbitant fees for the market’s hottest properties. Barring some drastic personnel changes at the top of the Liverpool hierarchy, we are unlikely to be part of the chasing pack whenever the next Mbappes, Sanchos and Havertz-es are unearthed. Pursuing shrewd deals for players that complement the existing team is much more in keeping with our transfer policy. Whether that’s for the best or not in the long run remains to be seen- but you’d be hard pressed to argue that this ideology hasn’t paid dividends so far.
On our part as fans, there’s also a need to step back and rationalise our own desires. You’ll do well to find a football fan who doesn’t want his or her club to make signings – but do we all want them for the right reasons?
In the absence of actual live football, many of us fans turn to the transfer market for our dopamine doses. Few of us have forgotten the paroxysm of excitement that the Keita and Fabinho announcements induced amongst fans in 2017 and 2018 respectively. In turn, seeing upcoming stars like Jadon Sancho and Kai Havertz being snatched up by is rivals is to some almost as painful as losing an actual football match. Signings have somehow become a source of instant gratification and ephemeral positivity amongst supporters.
Amidst all the thrill of this transfer period, it’s important to keep in mind that money spent in the transfer market does not necessarily translate to success on the pitch. The rivals whom Liverpool left in their dust in the recently concluded season can attest to this; Kepa Arrizabalaga, Harry Maguire, and Nicolas Pepe being prime examples. Similarly, the players being touted by fans for moves to Anfield are not guaranteed to fix all of the squad’s problems should they make they arrive.
So, during these tumultuous times, it’s important that fans don’t turn on the club. Investments will come; Not at the rate or in the quantity some have envisioned, but that’s not the end of the world. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt over the last few years, it’s that Klopp is more than capable of churning out results, along with some delectable football, with limited resources at his disposal. No matter how this summer transpires, Liverpool fans have plenty to be thankful for, and even more to be optimistic about.