Liverpool have quietly put together a stellar haul during the 2013 summer transfer window. If three additional players make their jump to Anfield official before Monday's deadline, Reds fans everywhere should send a pat on the back to manager Brendan Rodgers.
With the new players in tow, Rodgers just might have positioned Liverpool as a Champions League contender.
Signing goalkeeper Simon Mignolet (Sunderland), striker Iago Aspas (Celta de Vigo) and defender Kolo Toure (Manchester City) highlighted the first part of the transfer window for the Reds. Each has been impressive in the club's first three club matches—all 1-0 victories.
Rodgers appears intent on adding three more potential starters to his outfit before the clock strikes midnight on deadline day.
Speaking at a press conference after his club's 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday, Rodgers told reporters that the Reds were close to deals for Paris Saint-Germain defender Mamadou Sakho, Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori and Chelsea winger Victor Moses.
As reported by Sky Sports, Rodgers is confident that the three moves—official transfers for Sakho and Ilori and a loan for Moses—will be completed on Monday.
Fox Sports has reported that Ilori will cost the club roughly £8 million, while Goal.com claims Sakho's deal will cost the Reds a fee up to £14.5 million. Per Dominic Fifield of The Guardian, Moses' loan is for £1 million. He was signed by Chelsea from Wigan Athletic last summer for £9 million.
"The players that we want, if we can get them over the line, are all quality players and will really help us going forward," said Rodgers, per the Sky Sports report.
All three players were spotted at Anfield on Sunday, as this tweet from Rise of The Kop confirms:
Between signing a slew of players ready to contribute, managing the Luis Suarez transfer situation well and getting his club off to an undefeated start in Premier League action, Rodgers is moving forward in his second season at Anfield with a brighter outlook than ever before.
Just three months ago, there weren't many fans who would have agreed with that assessment.
Liverpool finished seventh in the EPL table during the 2012-13 season, failing to compete with the top clubs in England and missing out on the Champions League in the process. To make matters worse, the future of star striker Suarez came into question after he received a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in April.
It was the fourth straight time the Reds failed to secure a top-four finish in league play.
Rodgers wasn't necessarily on the hot seat when the summer began, but it was clear he needed to step up his efforts in all phases of the job to avoid losing said job roughly a year after first starting with the club in 2012.
As noted by ESPN FC's Kristian Walsh, it's been so far so good for Rodgers as Liverpool turn the page:
With clean sheet victories over Stoke City, Aston Villa and Manchester United giving the Reds a firm early grip on the top of the table, you could certainly make the argument that Liverpool are a threat to maintain that grip for quite some time.
Of course, it's a long season, and the mark of a good manager is often seen through keeping one's club grounded when all the evidence points to celebrating as the proper recourse.
On the surface, at least, Rodgers is doing that, as BBC Sport Football points out:
With six very winnable matches in front of them before a November showdown with Arsenal, the Reds are sitting pretty. Just think—last year's leading goalscorer, Suarez, hasn't even seen the pitch this year as he serves the final six games of his suspension.
AnfieldIndex's Twitter account was quick to point out that after the pending signings are completed and Suarez returns, the highly touted "d" word Reds fans are looking for this year might be within reach:
It's important to note that we're only three weeks into the new season.
Equally important is the reality that the transfers of Sakho, Ilori and Moses have not been made official. Everything on paper points to that end game, but in the Premier League, you just never know.
If the Reds are announcing three new players on Monday, then Rodgers, managing partner Ian Ayre and other club officials in charge of tending the books deserve credit for opening up their wallets and convincing a multitude of talented players to change their address.
It could pay huge dividends over the next nine months.
Follow B/R's Ethan Grant on Twitter.
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