Liverpool set their deadline day stakes high as their decision to loan Andy Carroll to West Ham United only days before the close of the transfer window left the club without a proven English Premier League striker aside from Luis Suarez.
Two potential moves were put on the table for the Fenway Sports Group board to make a decision with manager Brendan Rodgers as he sought out a second striker for the club in light of the absence of Carroll.
The first being a move for Fulham's United States international sensation Clint Dempsey. Although he is 29 years old, Dempsey has only come into his own in the English Premier League in the last several seasons. The Texas native scored a sensational tally of 17 league goals in 2011-12 and was tipped as a massive transfer target for the Reds all summer long.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl conducted in late May of this year, Dempsey was quoted as being ready for his next challenge after his historic season in London:
I want to do as much as I can in my career and look back and say I made the most of all the opportunities I've had. I'm always going to want to play in Champions League. It's something I've never done. I'd like to test myself at that level. That way I can look back and say, hey, I gave it a go. Either I was good enough or I wasn't good enough.
With European competition his goal, it was hard to see a place in the first team of the Champions League bound English Premier League clubs for 2012-13. Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United all had depth that would more than likely keep Dempsey on the bench for more time than on the pitch.
The other main offer that Brendan Rodgers hoped was possible was a loan deal with Chelsea for the services of young English forward Daniel Sturridge, as reported by the BBC. Under Andre Villas-Boas in the first half of the 2011-12 season, Sturridge was sensational for the Blues, but had to take a backseat under the interim management of Roberto Di Matteo.
Sturridge was boosted this summer by the departure of Didier Drogba, but the return to form of Fernando Torres and the Spaniard's budding partnership with Eden Hazard has the young Englishman once again forgotten.
However, despite the desire of Dempsey for a challenge, the Liverpool board refused to pay £7 million for the player. An American player that could potentially become a flagship signing for an American owned English Football Club, with a history to rival any in the world perhaps just wasn't as good of a public relations move as many may have thought.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was obviously distraught at the fact that the board would not bring in a player he was counting on wearing Liverpool red at the end of the transfer window is not a great way to end August.
Chris Bascombe of the Telegraph made mention of the quotes from Liverpool's press announcement of Rodgers' appointment early in the summer in regards to FSG's transfer policy:
The owners are always willing to provide funds where necessary to strengthen the squad. There will be no requirement to sell players this summer in order to fund new purchases.
Apparently that was much further from the truth, as despite Rodgers' involvement in the offloading of a major amount of players to allow transfer fund creation, he still had no say in the matter.
Not only did Dempsey slip through his fingers and join Tottenham as announced by USA Today, but Daniel Sturridge refused a loan as he and Chelsea both wanted the move to Liverpool to be permanent or not happen according to ESPN.
Liverpool completely failed to adequately prepare and execute a summer transfer window in which they came out on top. With a host of veterans now gone, their other primary striker Andy Carroll in London for the season and four months until January, it looks to be a long way to the top for the Reds.
With an offense that has been gutted by the loss of Dirk Kuyt, Craig Bellamy, Andy Carroll, Maxi Rodriguez and Alberto Aquilani just what does the board now expect of Rodgers?
Raheem Sterling is still young, Adam Morgan and Suso are still far too green in the eyes of many to be expected to take massive roles in the club's first team. Fabio Borini is a great talent, but he and Luis Suarez cannot do it alone for 38 league fixtures, plus two domestic cups and the UEFA Europa League.
All that the club can now hope for is a "cometh the hour, cometh the man," moment for all of those involved. The club now must also completely embrace Brendan Rodgers' faith in the pass and move offense in hopes to lead the rebirth of a Liverpool club built on teamwork rather than the individual skills of a few.
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