Last season’s agony was one filled with positivity for Liverpool, who really announced their arrival back at the top of the English game after a period in the wilderness.
The Reds now have Champions League football to look forward to for the first time since 2009, and the added revenue/status has allowed them to get in some top players to fill problem roles and replace departed stars.
So on the whole, how did Brendan Rodgers and his transfer committee handle the big tasks facing them? We at FFC Towers have been looking at their deals to see…
Liverpool’s defensive woes cost them the title last term. Had they had Manchester City’s backline, chances are the Reds would have ended the 24-year wait for the big prize. But with 50 goals conceded, Brendan Rodgers’ men trailed their Sky Blue adversaries by just two points.
Since then the club have invested heavily in the backline, with Dejan Lovren the major buy. The Croatian has been tasked with commanding their rearguard and, bar a few wobbly moments, he’s done a good job. Alberto Moreno also looks to be a good purchase, while Javier Manquillo could replace Glen Johnson on a long-term basis. Rating: 6/10
Last year’s star man and pantomime villain Luis Suarez is no longer a Red, and although it looked unlikely that a high-profile striker would be brought in to replace him, Mario Balotelli was eventually snapped up.
The enigmatic Italian certainly provides the ‘x-factor’ missing without El Pistolero, but he looks unlikely to match the scoring tally the Uruguayan reached without taking penalties, which has been a big part of Super Mario’s impressive stats. Rickie Lambert is also in, but some of the pressure may be put on young Raheem Sterling, who already has two goals in three Premier League games.
Simon Mignolet’s tendency to flap at crosses has become a worrying trend, which made getting a more able backup than Brad Jones in a conundrum for Rodgers.
Even though Sergio Romero was targeted, no alternative stopper was signed, leaving the Belgian firmly embedded as No, 1 with little competition for his role. Free agent Victor Valdes is being talked about, and should he agree a deal he could be available for the winter period, but his knee injury is a worry.
After the agony of last season, another big push for the top prize is what the fans want, but have Liverpool built for it. With more squad depth the potential is in place, but the sale of Suarez is a massive blow.
Rodgers has started the season well with six points from three games (they lost to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium), which has created a buzz around Anfield. But the toil of the winter period will reveal much about this Liverpool side.
With nine signings and very few high profile exits, Liverpool’s squad is considerably deeper and better rounded than it was a few months ago.
With Adam Lallana yet to make his debut and Rodgers having already had three good substitute benches to look to in his opening games, all looks pretty rosy for him in terms of rotation. When the Champions League kicks in the depth offered by the likes of Lazar Markovic and Emre Can will become a big factor, and it looks as if a slightly weakened team may be an option for at least two European group games against Ludogorets.