BY BRENDON NETTO | Follow @BrendonNetto
Ever since Liverpool accepted Barcelona’s £75 million bid for Luis Suarez this summer, their supporters have been on edge and with good reason. Their biggest star was sold and even though they were paid handsomely for him, it’s never easy replacing a special talent like that. Naturally, Liverpool fans were anxious to see how that heavy compensation would be reinvested in the squad.
It’s an all too familiar story really – a club sells their biggest star and then spends their money without really filling the void. What happened at Tottenham Hotspur last summer is an apt cautionary tale. Even before they officially sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, they began splurging the £85 million record fee on seven new players, none of whom were anywhere near the Welshman’s standard.
Suarez's departure leaves a massive void
In total, their income from transfers was over £115 million while they only spent £105 million. It seemed like the club’s chairman Daniel Levy played a blinder in the market but in truth, they still overpaid for players who were second-tier and not particularly in demand.
Liverpool have spent their money on some promising players and seem to have assembled a well-rounded squad now. They have the quality and strength in depth to juggle both their European as well as domestic commitments.
However, if they are ambitious enough to actually try and win something next season after falling just short of the league title last time around, they need a talisman. They failed in their efforts to land Alexis Sanchez, just the sort of signing that could’ve lifted the entire squad and given them an edge.
Sanchez could have been just what Liverpool need
Apart from Adam Lallana, none of their other signings generated much interest from the big sides. They’ve spent nearly £80 million already this summer but are yet to sign a £35-40 million star, a proven winner and someone who all but guarantees top quality.
One look at what Brendan Rodgers has at his disposal in attack and it seems well-balanced, even impressive. Daniel Sturridge leading the line with Raheem Sterling, Lallana and Philippe Coutinho in behind him makes for a potent attack especially with Lazar Markovic and Rickie Lambert also to choose from.
However, none of them are capable of getting spectators off their seats quite like Suarez did at this moment in time. There’s unbelievable potential in that line-up but very little proven stardom. They need a crowning jewel and Sanchez could’ve been it.
Liverpool have assembled a more than decent squad
Back in the summer of 2011, Manchester United signed what was considered a good bunch of potential stars in David de Gea, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling (signed in January but join in the summer) while the purchase of Ashley Young was branded ‘a no-brainer’ by Sir Alex Ferguson. Putting aside their Community Shield triumph, they ended the season trophyless, albeit losing the league on goal difference.
In the following summer, they recruited Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell but more importantly, they signed Robin van Persie for £24 million. The Dutchman played a huge role in their 20th league title which they won by a landslide, finishing the season as top scorer. It goes to show the kind of impact a high-profile addition can have.
That’s why it would be brilliant for Liverpool on a competitive front if they managed to sign one of the elite players they’re linked too. The ideal recruit would be Marco Reus, Borussia Dortmund’s highly rated playmaker who strangely hasn’t been the center of attention this summer. The German’s been linked to United in the past but rumours of Liverpool attempting an audacious bid have surfaced.
If the Reds did manage to land him, however unlikely that may be, it would be just the ingredient they need and arguably the coup of the summer. Real Madrid’s Isco has also been linked to a move to Anfield following James Rodriguez’s arrival at the Bernabeu.
Could player like Isco be the new star at Anfield?
Having signed for a €30 million fee last season, the 22 year-old could be allowed to leave on a reduced price given that he’d struggle to get regular playing time ahead of the World Cup’s Golden Boot winner. Meanwhile, Xherdan Shaqiri and Ezequiel Lavezzi are other alternates who Liverpool have been linked with and who would certainly boost their attack.
Liverpool have a system and style of play that works. They also have tidy players in midfield and some exciting ones in attack thanks to their transfer activity. Now they are primed for a big signing to take them that extra yard but should they fail, the lack of bite in their attack with Suarez gone could pose a problem.
|Do you think Liverpool need a star? Leave your comments below or discuss with the writer on Twitter @BrendonNetto.|
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