And so it’s July.
With preseason approaching, Liverpool FC supporters have a handful of reasons to remain optimistic of the club’s top-four chances.
Primarily, Liverpool’s transfer activity and the kind of players that they have been associated with is the biggest evidence of their capability to break into the top four next season.
Brendan Rodgers’ transfer activity can be described as interesting, if not impressive.
Continuing from the excellent capture of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge in January, the shrewd signing policy has carried on with the additions of Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto, the latter unproven on the big stage.
Proving that the club intends to move further in the right direction, Liverpool brought in Simon Mignolet to protect the homestead when the “unsettled” Pepe Reina moves on.
Keeping in mind the addition of Kolo Toure, who was brought in to improve the experience vacuum created by Jamie Carragher’s retirement, let’s just say job well done for Rodgers and his crew.
The club also bit the bullet with the sale of Andy Carroll to West Ham, what with the monstrosity of the hit on the player’s value.
Now, the only “problem”, if we can address it as such, and as far as media sources are concerned, has been the drawn-out love affair between Luis Suarez and Real Madrid FC.
It is natural that supporters of Liverpool Football Club feel betrayed by their Uruguayan talisman’s lack of loyalty. After all, they stuck with him through thick and thin, his defence being the only constant through all the troubled times.
But, no matter which way this ends, Liverpool Football Club does not in any way stand to lose from it.
Of course, Suarez was the club’s top scorer last season, which brings up the argument that without a few of his goals the club’s final finish position would have been three to four rungs lower, if not further.
Although his 23 goals stand as testimony to his talent, the Uruguayan’s dilly-dallying shot conversion ratio means that he, unwittingly, causes his team to lose its grip on possession play.
In other words, Suarez’s accuracy, which can sometimes be found wanting, would most definitely put his team in a precarious position when at the receiving end of a counter arising out of a giveaway at the other end.
The Spaniard is most likely a replacement for Carroll as he has taken over the kit number vacated by the tall forward. Aspas contributed 12 goals and seven assists for Celta Vigo in their fight for survival.
So, Rodgers gets his kind of No. 9 or the David Villa-type No. 9 who can create, adapt, dribble, strike and altogether create trouble for the opposing defence.
Besides, Liverpool still has Sturridge, Fabio Borini and several youth team prospects who can shine up-front.
Thus far, losing Suarez isn’t the issue—replacing him is.
Replacing the maverick marksman will be a tough task for the Merseysiders regardless of the kind of fee that they would receive for him. Finding a star player to reject the lure of Champions League football for life at Liverpool makes the issue difficult.
There is this other thing about Aspas. Here is a guy who performed relatively well with Celta Vigo.
Now, performing with average or below-average players and coming up with such a contribution is a big [fish] deal.
But the last time Liverpool brought in a man after having seen something similar happen, Charlie Adam walked through the gates for a hefty fee.
So, let’s say, the judgment is still out on the Spanish striker and the first few games will provide evidence of his temperament to play on the bigger stages and deliver.
The idea to bring in Alberto is mature.
Rodgers intends to unlock defences with players possessing remarkable playmaking capacities. Alberto certainly fits the bill and he also possesses a style somewhat similar to Coutinho.
Rodgers’ idea is to sit Steven Gerrard deep and make plays from the deep, as with age his forward runs decrease. Moreover, injuries may prevent the Reds skipper from being as commanding across the field as he once was.
This is one piece of business that Liverpool should conclude, if they are interested as the news sources claim. Having a tough tackler who can physically overpower stronger/powerful forwards of the ilk of Christian Benteke and Jon Walters will ease up the assault on the defence.
On the defensive end, Toure is a welcome addition, although another established centre-half’s addition would be better for the team.
Liverpool’s unconfirmed interest in Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan is more proof of the futuristic policy employed by the powers that be in at the club.
Any further addition to this already-talented squad will stand further evidence to the fact that Rodgers is fast building a winning team.
Credit to the Ulsterman, but he better add some physical players who are equally mobile and skilled to keep up with the changing tactical trends of football teams across the world. [Read: Spain loses Confederations Cup Final]