Assessing Liverpool’s Summer Moves

With Liverpool undergoing some of their worst struggles in the Jurgen Klopp era, one wonders whether they should have done more in last summer’s transfer window.

Liverpool currently sit uncomfortably in 4th place, 7 points adrift of Manchester City ahead of a pivotal matchup. Should Liverpool lose on Sunday, their hopes of repeating as champions will be all but over.

Liverpool currently sit on 40 points, 24 points behind where they were at this point last season. While the core of last year’s squad was retained, injuries have rampaged the Liverpool team. Specifically in defence, Liverpool have spent large portions of the season with no fit senior centerbacks.

One choice that many fans questioned at the time was the decision to not opt for a replacement after selling Dejan Lovren. This decision, along with others over the summer, has contributed in part to the side’s struggles.

With this in mind, we look closely at each of Liverpool’s most important summer transfers:

Arrivals

Diogo Jota

Since his arrival, Jota has scored an impressive 9 goals in 17 appearances for the Reds this season, averaging a 0.84 goals/game. When on the field, it’s safe to say the former Wolves man has been an absolute revelation.

Key phrase: when on the field. Jurgen Klopp regretfully chose to start the Portuguese forward in a meaningless Champions League tie against FC Midtjylland in late November, and he’s been out ever since.

His absence has been sorely felt too, with Liverpool suffering mightily in the goal department. Jota offers a direct attacking force that Liverpool have lacked for years.

While Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino are more methodical in their attacking play, Jota plays with his head down and pressures the backline. To say Liverpool miss Jota would be a massive understatement.

Liverpool v West Ham United - Premier League
Jota has provided a massive spark to the Liverpool attack. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY PETER POWELL/GETTY IMAGES.

Kostas Tsimikas

For a few years now, Liverpool have gambled on Andy Robertson’s health. Not only has the marauding Scot played at a high level, but he also has rarely missed a game.

However, Liverpool recognized the need to buy insurance in the case of a Robertson injury. Tsimikas was brought in to do just that.

Insurance is something you hope to never need and well, Liverpool haven’t needed it. Robertson really hasn’t gotten injured, while Tsimikas has spent most of his time on the sidelines.

Tsimikas was unfortunate to fall ill to the coronavirus on international duty in September and just recently recovered from a knee injury. The Greek fullback has played in just four games this season—none of which have come in the league.

Overall, there really isn’t much to say about Tsimikas. However, Jurgen Klopp will hope his best days are still ahead.

Thiago

Thiago is another one that has not been lucky with injuries thus far. The Spaniard was also diagnosed with the coronavirus, then spent months out after an awful challenge by Richarliason in the Merseyside Derby.

However, the former Bayern man has been impressive in the past month. The stout midfielder finds passes that few can see and offers a different option in the midfield.

Thiago has shown the ability to dictate the game from deeper positions. However, he still needs to work on avoiding bookings and fitting the pace of his teammates.

Liverpool are still trying to determine Thiago’s best position, especially given that he has not been able to partner Jordan Henderson or Fabinho in the midfield. Once his teammates get truly comfortable with him, Thiago’s impact will only increase.

Thiago has come alive since recovering from injury. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY GETTY IMAGES.

Departures

Rhian Brewster

Liverpool valued Brewster highly but opted to cash in on him for ₤24 million when Sheffield United came calling.

Based on his performances thus far this season, Michael Edwards has seemingly struck another masterclass. The young English striker is yet to score this season for the Blades.

However, Brewster is still just 20 years old and is unlucky not to have netted for Sheffield this season. Furthermore, the quality around him has limited his opportunities, especially given Brewster’s poacher playing style.

Liverpool could have used another attacking option, so perhaps Brewster could have been useful. However, there’s nothing to suggest that he would’ve been any more effective than the likes of Divock Origi or Xherdan Shaqiri.

Dejan Lovren

Easily the most important transfer of the summer was the departure of Lovren.

Many Liverpool fans were ready for the Croatian to move on, but injuries have made it that Lovren has been sorely missed. Ironically, Lovren left seeking more playing time, but he would have been the first name on the teamsheet given Liverpool’s current injury dilemma.

Lovren has shown that he still has the ability to defend at a Champions League level at Zenit. The defender’s locker room presence has also been sorely missed.

They often say that you don’t know what you have until you’ve lost it. Care to return Dejan?

Liverpool have sorely missed Dejan Lovren this season. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY REUTERS.

Adam Lallana

One for the sentiments, Lallana was the model professional for the Reds.

Beloved by teammates and manager, Lallana was quite the creative midfielder in his prime at Liverpool. However, injuries derailed the end of his time in Merseyside, leading him to look for new opportunities.

Lallana has fit well into a Brighton side that recently beat the Reds. The 32-year-old has found a side that more seamlessly fits his style of play.

In all honesty, this one made sense. Lallana was ready to move on and Liverpool had many ahead of him in the pecking order.

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Ahmed Mohamedhttp://www.premierleaguecentral.co.uk
Staff writer for Anfield Central and Premier League Central.
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