The transfer season is far from over, but is beginning to take some sort of discernible shape. From proceeding thus far, we can discern two things.
1. Brendan Rodgers is Cleaning House
The Northern Irishman inherited an amalgam of a footballing squad. A by-product of the managerial carousel of Rafa Benitez, Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool’s personnel situation was—and to an extent still is—a mess.
Thus, the unfortunate truth is that Rodgers has had to spend a considerable amount of his opening months simply wiping the slate clean. The overhang is considerable.
To that end, Fabio Aurelio, Maxi Rodriguez, Dirk Kuyt, Alberto Aquilani and Craig Bellamy have all left for one reason or another.
If you believe the rumors coming from BBC, Andy Carroll may yet see the exit. Papers of lesser repute such as the Mail have Charlie Adam as possible makeweight in a deal for Clint Dempsey. Do not be surprised to see a few loan deals go through as well.
All told, seniority does not seem to be at a premium on Merseyside. Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher represent the profile of an albatross at Liverpool: the over 30s.
The message is clear. Those not young enough and/or tactical enough to evolve into the new 4-3-3 are surplus to requirements. Bidders are welcome.
2. Rodgers is Seeking out “System Players”
Fabio Borini and Joe Allen are alike in a few ways. Both have played under the Northern Irishman on at least one occasion (Allen at Swansea, Borini at both Swansea and Chelsea when he served as reserve team manager).
These are players which he knows with absolute certainty will fit the new 4-3-3. Those rumored to remain on his wish list fit the profile as well.
Barcelona is the gold standard when it comes to this formation. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the Liverpool Echo has Cristian Tello linked with a loan move.
Nuri Sahin is another outstanding example. His success at Borussia Dortmund serves as perfect preparation for the football in store at Anfield.
All of the above signal Rodgers’ dedication to his method. If the Northern Irishman is going to fail, he will at least be doing it his own way.
So then, let’s look at the two signings thus far, and what they mean for Liverpool going forward.