Liverpool Transfer News: 5 Mistakes Reds Made at Deadline
Early signs indicated Brendan Rodgers was getting to grips with his new job. A difficult transfer window heightened problems at the club, exposing a mammoth ask for the manager to undertake.
Plenty of mistakes were made during the transfer window. The club failed to advance its chances of Champions League qualification with simple mishaps.
I've rounded up the five most apparent mistakes. Do you agree? Let me know in the comments thread below.
Failed to Replace Andy Carroll
Liverpool's handling of the Andy Carroll saga still baffles me.
Brendan Rodgers acknowledged he couldn't sell the English striker at a smidgen of the £35 million spent on him the year before (via The Daily Express). A sensible move.
Instead, the 23-year-old was allowed to join West Ham United on a season-long loan. Again, that's an acceptable temporary resolution to the player's future.
Unfortunately, Carroll was never replaced.
Rodgers confirmed the club would sign a new striker before the transfer window closed (via ESPN), but this never materialised. Instead, Liverpool's attacking line is looking barren.
Luis Suarez has proven his class at Premier League level. Fabio Borini is working hard to do the same. The newly-acquired Italian has only scored one goal in seven competitive appearances so far, indicating he isn't going to provide 30 goals every season (something the club desperately needs).
Both are assets to Liverpool. For a club that is battling in domestic and European competition, their fitness is key to any success. One injury puts Brendan Rodgers' side in danger. If Suarez was to suffer a serious problem, would Borini be able to lead the line on his own?
Such thoughts will send shivers down the spines of the Anfield faithful.
This is a club that is built on the legacy of its great forwards. Rush, Dalglish, Fowler and even Torres have provided Liverpool with the tools to scare opponents.
Now that Carroll is gone, the pressure is left on those who remain.
The failure to outline a replacement hasn't been overcome by John W. Henry's letter to the fans (via The Guardian). Most will see right through that.
Gave Up on Clint Dempsey
All summer, it looked as if Clint Dempsey was heading to Anfield.
Once the American playmaker recognised he was garnering interest from Liverpool, he refused to play for Fulham again (via The Independent). Brendan Rodgers expressed his desire to bring Dempsey in, acting as a catalyst for what appeared to be a decent fit.
As the deadline approached, Dempsey joined Tottenham Hotspur.
The deal proceeded after Liverpool gave up on the player. Before Dempsey's deal to move across London was confirmed, it had become apparent that Rodgers didn't have much money to spend on the 29-year-old.
Fringe players were offered in an exchange deal (via Goal.com). Unfortunately, Fulham's patience with Liverpool had started to wane (via The Telegraph). According to reports, Rodgers was unable to convince the club's owners to part with £7 million for the player (via The Telegraph).
All of this came after Rodgers missed out on Gylfi Sigurdsson, who also joined the Spurs.
Nuri Sahin's season-long loan deal will offer Liverpool some sort of hope. The Turkish midfielder was a top talent in the Bundesliga. His time at Real Madrid hasn't been so successful. Last season, Sahin only managed 10 appearances in all competitions for the Spanish club.
He could have worked well alongside Dempsey.
Once again, Liverpool were unable to come good on all of the talk, letting a primary target slip to major rivals. For the sake of a few million pounds, the club has lost out again.
Lost Strength in Depth
For all of Kenny Dalglish's faults, he assembled a squad that had strength in depth.
Players worked hard for the previous manager. Squad members such as Jay Spearing, Dirk Kuyt and Craig Bellamy were prepared to put in a shift whenever they were called upon. Quality replacements could do a decent job from the bench or in the starting 11.
Brendan Rodgers' side doesn't have this. The aforementioned players have all been let go. Charlie Adam also packed his bags, leaving more pressure on Nuri Sahin, Jonjo Shelvey and Lucas Leiva to perform.
The latter has already been injured and is out for three months (via The Guardian). Important matches in various competitions are approaching rapidly, and there's no Xabi Alonso or Javier Mascherano type to step up when Steven Gerrard struggles to influence a game.
For all of the criticism aimed at players who were let go, they had a place at Anfield. If an injury crisis hits the club will face major problems.
Brendan Rodgers will also be hoping fatigue doesn't settle in until after Christmas, or else Raheem Sterling's 17-year-old buddies could be joining him in the first team.
Kept Plenty of Deadwood
It's easy to single out players who should have stayed at Liverpool this summer. Perhaps it's more important to focus on those who should have moved on but remain at the club.
Three players stand out in my eyes: Joe Cole, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson. All three don't appear to have a future in Brendan Rodgers' team.
Rodgers has even told Downing he may have to adapt into an emergency left back if he wants to stay (via The Guardian). The manager might have well said the England international isn't needed and sold him to recoup some funds.
Jordan Henderson is another who could have made the Fenway Sports Group a much-needed buck. The youngster has failed to make a Premier League appearance so far this campaign.
The pressure of the Kop has almost rendered him useless. He could desperately use a move away and maybe another shot at a top team after some extra development time.
Joe Cole's persistent injuries, and the form of Raheem Sterling, could ensure the former West Ham United man doesn't have a future at the club. When he has played, it hasn't been to the standard Liverpool fans would expect. Cole is a particularly frustrating player, as his qualities are proven at the highest level.
The sale of these players would have allowed Rodgers focus on the signings he wanted. We know the club's owners cannot afford to spend out massively, so funds must be conjured up from somewhere else. Selling the deadwood may have been the best strategy for putting the "Rodgers Revolution" into place.
The Club Didn't Work to Budget
Brendan Rodgers understands Liverpool's financial state. He knows he can't keep paying average players massive wages (via The Daily Mirror).
He also realises £35 million transfers aren't going to happen any longer.
As previously stated, the club has been quick to dismiss talented players. That's all well and good if cheaper replacements are found.
Queens Park Rangers brought in the likes of Jose Bosingwa and Julio Cesar for free this season.
Such players would have added to Liverpool's squad. Without a transfer fee needing to be paid, the club could have lured quality in with the promise of decent wages. Salomon Kalou also left Chelsea on a free, another player that could have improved the prospects of Rodgers' team.
While these individuals are unlikely to run out of the home dressing room at Anfield, they serve as important examples to my point. Liverpool could have found real quality—for cheap—during the transfer window.
Plenty of talented players would love to play backup at Anfield and could have replaced the aging legs that left.
Both the manager and owner failed to use the budget accordingly.
It's difficult to pinpoint exactly whose fault this is, as communication between the two doesn't appear straightforward. In the future, Mr. Henry must outline what Rodgers can spend early on in the window. Only then can the new man build his dynasty at the club.