Liverpool were hardly short of options in central midfield last season but FSG decided to throw a gargantuan sum of money on two new options in that area during the 2018 summer transfer window.
The signing of Xherdan Shaqiri has undoubtedly proven to be an astute piece of business thus far, but Fabinho and Naby Keita have left plenty of room for interpretation.
Fabinho is yet to move into top gear but bursts of quality at both ends of the pitch hint that he’s not too far away from establishing himself as a key player, Keita, on the other hand, has been a resounding disappointment – a feeling which culminated in another lacklustre performance at West Ham on Monday evening.
It’s difficult to look at Liverpool’s summer activity through the long-term lenses while they are so close to achieving a massive short-term goal. Keita, though, is clearly a player who has been brought in for the future, but his underwhelming performances are beginning to become problematic.
The 23-year-old was forgiven for his mediocre early season form, but a pair of poor showings against Leicester City and West Ham, two games in which he held onto the ball for too long and looked out of sorts within Klopp’s system, will surely have left supporters questioning his ability.
Well, Liverpool seemed to address their most obvious problems in 2018 by landing Alisson and Virgil Van Dijk, but the signing of another versatile attacking player could have been massive for their title ambitions.
That Klopp opted to send Divock Origi into the fray in to salvage something against West Ham on Monday emphasised his shortage of quality at centre-forward, and the £48 million spent on Keita could have gone some way to securing the signature of a potent attacking outlet instead.
After spending a combined total of £87 million – potentially rising to £91 million with bonuses – on both Fabinho and Keita, who initially cost £39 million and £48 million respectively, FSG may well be regretting their decision to invest so heavily in one area of the field.