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Assessing How Successful Liverpool Were in the Transfer Market This Summer

Richard MorganContributor ISeptember 3, 2013

Assessing How Successful Liverpool Were in the Transfer Market This Summer

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    The window finally closed for the year on Monday night, and, after what has been an extremely busy close-season recruitment drive, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will be especially contented with the players he has managed to bring in to Anfield.

    The Northern Irishman, who had to deal with the long-running Luis Suarez transfer saga throughout the summer as well, has seen eight new arrivals on Merseyside since the end of the previous campaign in a variety of different positions, at a total cost of £51.2 million.

    And there have also been a number of departures from the Reds, either permanently or on loan, bringing £28.7m back into the club’s coffers, making it a net spend of just £22.5m by Rodgers.

    However, are Liverpool a stronger-looking outfit that is better prepared to make a push for the top four in the Premier League now that the window has shut and the club has concluded its transfer activity?

    Or are there still areas of the team that need strengthening and which Rodgers failed to address this summer?

    Well, I will assess each of the new recruits and give our verdict on just how well the Reds have fared in the transfer window.

Mamadou Sakho

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    Position: Centre-back
    Bought from: Paris Saint-Germain
    Cost: £18.5m
    Contract length: Four years

    Rodgers made recruiting a new central defender his No. 1 priority of the last weeks of the transfer window after seeing both Sebastian Coates and Kolo Toure suffer injuries last month, meaning the Northern Irishman was relying on just two fit centre-backs for Sunday’s victory over Manchester United at Anfield.

    And the manager will have been delighted to have secured a defender of Sakho’s class and experience, albeit at close to £20m, so near to the end of the window to boost his options at the back this season.

    And do not be surprised either to see the versatile France international utilised at left-back initially at Anfield.

    Verdict: If the highly rated Frenchman settles in quickly, he could prove a great buy

Tiago Ilori

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    Position: Centre-back
    Bought from: Sporting Lisbon
    Cost: £7.2m
    Contract length: Five years

    Rodgers has been chasing the promising 20-year-old all summer long, but with Sporting determined to keep hold of their up-and-coming star, it was not until Ilori made it clear that he would not be signing a new contract with the Lisbon giants that he was finally able to negotiate a deal for the defender.

    However, this season may be a bedding-in process for the Portugal Under-20 international as he gets acclimatised to his new surroundings and the pace and power of the Premier League, especially with the Reds now well stocked for centre-backs at Anfield.

    Verdict: An investment for the future

Victor Moses

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    Position: Winger
    Bought from: Chelsea
    Cost: £1m
    Contract length: One-year loan

    With the Nigerian have been told by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho that he would not be regular starter at Stamford Bridge this season, Rodgers took advantage of his close working relationship with the “Special One” to engineer a clever season-long loan move for the wide man.

    And the 22-year-old will provide some much-needed pace and width to the Liverpool midfield in this campaign, especially following the departures of wingers Suso, Stewart Downing and Oussama Assaidi this summer.

    Verdict: Smart piece of business, with both parties having nothing to lose

Aly Cissokho

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    Position: Left-back
    Bought from: Valencia
    Cost: £800,000
    Contract length: One-year loan

    Rodgers wanted more competition for first-choice left-back Jose Enrique at Anfield going forward, and, after being priced out of a move for Granada’s Brazilian full-back Guilherme Siqueira, the Reds coach landed Cissokho instead on a season-long loan from Valencia.

    The pacy and powerful France international has a plethora of Champions League experience with Porto, Lyon and los Che, and can also slot in on the left-hand side of midfield if necessary.

    However, Reds fans will not be able to see the 25-year-old now until October after he sustained a nasty-looking ankle injury on his first start for the club, against Notts County in the Capital One Cup at Anfield last Tuesday.

    Verdict: Could be a useful addition to the squad

Simon Mignolet

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    Position: Goalkeeper
    Bought from: Sunderland
    Cost: £9.3m
    Contract length: Five years

    Liverpool made the Belgium international their first choice to replace Jose Manuel Reina in goal at Anfield this season, with Rodgers acting quickly and decisively to get his man early in the window while rival bidders dawdled.

    And it is fair to say that, on the early evidence so far in the new campaign, the 25-year-old has proved his new manager’s judgement to be spot on, with Mignolet having already kept clean sheets in his first three Premier League games of the new season, each ending 1-0 to the Anfield club.

    Mignolet's performances have played a big part in the Merseysiders reaching the top of the table, including a dramatic last-minute penalty save on his debut against Stoke City at Anfield.

    Verdict: Is already looking an inspired signing

Iago Aspas

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    Position: Forward
    Bought from: Celta de Vigo
    Cost: £7.2m
    Contract length: Five years

    There were more than a few raised eyebrows when the Reds agreed to buy the diminutive Galician attacker from lowly Liga outfit Celta in June, especially considering the 26-year-old had only just completed his first campaign in the Spanish top flight.

    However, the Reds had to beat off competition from a whole host of other big-name clubs in Aspas’ homeland in order to land the player, and his form in preseason appeared to justify Rodgers’ investment.

    The only lingering doubts, though, relate to Asaps’ slender physique and whether he can survive in the hurly-burly world of the English Premier League, which only time will tell.

    Verdict: Has the technique and potential to be another Luis Garcia

Luis Alberto

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    Position: Forward/winger
    Bought from: Sevilla
    Cost: £7m
    Contract length: Five years

    A bit like with Ilori, the Spain U-21 international looks to be an investment for the future, with Rodgers likely to initially utilise the wide man from the bench as he gradually gets used to his new teammates and surroundings.

    But the Northern Irishman has great faith in Alberto’s abilities and made a real push to bring the 20-year-old to Anfield on the back of what was an eye-catching campaign playing in the hole for Barcelona B last season, so it will be interesting to see just how quickly the forward can adapt and perhaps get himself in the Reds’ first team.

    Verdict: Jury will remain out until we get a proper look at the young Spaniard

     

     

Kolo Toure

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    Position: Centre-back
    Bought from: Manchester City
    Cost: Free
    Contract length: Two years

    It is fair to say that the veteran’s arrival at Anfield in June, in what was Rodgers’ first piece of business of the summer, was met with a lukewarm reaction by the club’s supporters, especially given the apparent decline in the Ivory Coast international’s game at Eastlands since his drugs ban in March 2011.

    However, on the evidence of Liverpool’s opening two Premier League contests of the new season, both of which ended in 1-0 wins for the Reds, Toure’s arrival on a free transfer from Manchester City may in hindsight turn out to be one of Rodgers’ most shrewd purchases at Anfield.

    And with the Liverpool boss having made the addition of an experienced centre-back one of his main priorities of the summer following the retirement of Jamie Carragher at the end of the previous campaign, it appears on this early evidence that the Northern Irishman has succeeded in achieving that.

    Verdict: Has not put a foot wrong so far as Carragher’s like-for-like replacement

     

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