Another headline for this article could easily be "Making Sense of Liverpool FC's Summer Signings."
After signing players early and having them available for all of the preseason (if Liverpool don't buy anymore), much will be expected of Liverpool this season. If the sentiments of the fans are really taken into account, a much better preseason was also expected on all grounds.
Honestly speaking, I think that the enthusiasm surrounding Liverpool's renewed transfer policy has not received the unanimous response from the fans as was expected. However, as things are clearing up, the signings are beginning to justify their cause.
For example, a lot of Reds fans (including me) couldn't make much out the 16m GBP spent on Jordan Henderson. But a little reflection on the season and even tracking the latest happenings at the club, we find Steven Gerrard's role as an ever present figure in the centre-midfield is nearing a twilight going by the reports of his groin injury.
Lets have a look at the other mid-field options at the club, Raul Meireles, Alberto Aquilani, Lucas and Jonjo Shelvey. At least no more than them have been tried in Liverpool's centre midfield in recent times.
The first two seem very injury prone and their future at the club also seems uncertain. Lucas, Jonjo Shelvey may be good players but not exactly the types you need to get into the top four of a very competitive league. Thus, Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson will not be short of playing time surely.
In Downing, Liverpool's unlikely marquee signing this summer, they have a hard-working winger who, although a little one-dimensional in my opinion, may at least give Liverpool that little extra on either flanks. As for Doni, he used to be a pretty decent keeper a few years back, and unless Pepe Reina's recent surgery shows signs of complication, should serve as an average back up.
Even after all these signings, Liverpool have been far from what was expected of them in the preseason friendlies. Conceding three goals, even against far inferior teams in Asia and Europe, have stood out as the alarming problem. Thus, the need to sign a centre-back and left back.
Although, reports from some sources mention that Liverpool will only return to the transfer market to buy only after shifting out some major deadwood from the club, it is pretty obvious from the friendlies that strengthening the defense is a priority. It is here that the Uruguayan-duo Deigo Godin and Alvaro Pereira may come in handy if bought.
Both the players are 25 years of age and thus experienced enough to handle the pressure that the youngsters present at the club may not be able to do week-in and week-out. Adding to their good defensive skills comes a certain attacking flair in the games of the Copa America Champions, especially Alvaro Pereira.
Also, as of recent reports, there has been no Champions League clubs queuing up for the players, so they surely won't be tempted away by some European Football other than what their own club can offer. FC Porto may play the Champions League this season, but a move for a bigger club in England should still be tempting.
It must, however, be said that Liverpool in their current state of affairs may be priced out of the race to sign both the players mentioned as they are both Godin and Alvaro are very much the pillars of defense at their respective clubs, Athletico Madrid and FC Porto.
Also, Dalglish's hiring policy has mainly revolved around the Premier league talents, so for Liverpool to buy such players, he has to look ahead and not be satisfied looking at talents like Jose Enrique.
It is time for Dalglish to understand a few things. Firstly, his best buy so far has been Luis Suarez, a non-premier league player, so this priority for the players from the league is not really the answer.
Also, nobody questioned Suarez's price when bought. However, if Henderson cost 16m really, Suarez, with his establishments at the club and international level, was a bargain. That's exactly what Liverpool's budget requires.
Also, there is NO reason to be overjoyed by the performance of the club in the later half of the season. Yes, it can be an inspiration, but nothing more. Even Everton, with their injury ravaged and financially weaker squad, has managed spectacular second half of the season twice in a row now, yet, all they can fight for is the last spot for a Europa league playoff.
Just bettering them would not be enough. Liverpool needs to better that by a substantial margin, and losing matches anytime before the season starts doesn't exactly inject a dose of confidence amongst the players like Andy Carroll, who has featured in most of the friendlies Liverpool has played without much success.
Liverpool, though it must be said, still need to shore up on most departments in order to challenge for some major honors in the upcoming season. After Torres, now it seems that Liverpool are pretty much on the shoulders of Luis Suarez.
When he has played well, the club has done well, when Suarez has had an off day, they have looked pretty ordinary. Andy Carroll has had a pretty horrible preseason so far and seems to be far from his best.
Even though it must be understood that Liverpool are just starting up as a new unit after all their recent buys, and it may take a couple of matches for them to click together, and also they haven't really fielded their best outfit so far in the preseason, what the reserve bench has on offer doesn't really look dependable.
So before the season kicks off, the Reds needs to add players to their squad, and not just the Marco Buenos if they are not good enough for the first team action when in need.
Thus, be it one or two, given Liverpool's present state of affairs, buying players is still a priority, and if it includes the likes of Diego Godin and Alvaro Pereira and a striker, those may very well be the buys that really strengthen the squad to the required level to challenge for the honors.
Even though Damien Comolli's last interview regarding player influx didn't sound very positive, I hope the recent performances by the team may invoke a much needed urgency to both sell off the deadwood as fast as possible and buy.