Liverpool Transfer News: Grading Kenny Dalglish's Moves in the Summer Window

Neri SteinFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2011

Liverpool Transfer News: Grading Kenny Dalglish's Moves in the Summer Window

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    Liverpool FC were one of the busiest teams in the World Football transfer market this summer thanks to new ownership.

    Liverpool is one of the proudest and most successful clubs in football, and they want to be back in the mix at the top of the Premier League and in the Champions League.

    To do that, Kenny Dalglish had to bring in some new faces, and he certainly achieved that. 

    Some players came at a steep price, while others were surprisingly cheap, but just about all of them should get a chance to show why Dalglish signed them. 

    Let's take a look at each of the new boys at Anfield this season. 

Jordan Henderson

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    Jordan Henderson came over from Sunderland early in the summer. The 21-year-old caught the eye of many last year as he was a regular in Sunderland's starting XI.

    Kenny Dalglish snapped up the young midfielder for a fee of about £16 million—the only problem with the signing. 

    It was a steep price to pay, but the Reds were paying for the potential of Henderson, and Sunderland also knew Liverpool had the money; and that's just the way the transfer market is these days.

    Henderson has started Liverpool's first four games (one League Cup) and scored the opening goal at home against Bolton with a fantastic strike.

    He'll likely be in and out of Liverpool's starting XI this season simply due to his age and the abundance of midfielders at Anfield.

    Henderson will also get the chance to learn the game from Steven Gerrard, and he is a definite signing for the future. 

    Grade: B. All that is holding it back was the fee Liverpool was twisted into paying.

Charlie Adam

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    Liverpool tried desperately to sign Charlie Adam from Blackpool in January, but the Tangerines wouldn't let go. Kenny Dalglish finally got his man in July, and it only cost him £7 million.

    Adam is a wonderful signing for the Reds because of his leadership qualities when he's on the pitch. Steven Gerrard is getting older and is absent more often these days due to injury, and Liverpool miss his mentality just as much as his quality.

    Fortunately, Adam offers the Reds both. 

    He's a force to be reckoned with in midfield and is yet another set-piece aficionado for the Reds.

    Grade: A+. Great signing. 

Stewart Downing

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    Stewart Downing is a natural winger, which automatically makes him a great signing for Liverpool. He also happens to have plenty of pace, skill and Premier League experience. 

    Liverpool were caught in a battle with Aston Villa over the Englishman's transfer to Liverpool, but a fee of about £20 million was eventually agreed upon in July. 

    Downing has already shown what Liverpool were so sorely lacking in past seasons with numerous fantastic crosses into the box, and when Andy Carroll catches up to the pace of Liverpool's new game, those crosses will turn into goals.

    His pace and link-up play is fantastic, and he should provide plenty of assists and goals for Liverpool this season.

    Grade: A. The only reason he cost as much as he did was Villa had just lost Ashley Young as well.  

Jose Enrique

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    A left-back. Win. 

    Jose Enrique came over from Newcastle the day before the season opened, and he filled a need that Liverpool has had for about three years. 

    The Spanish left-back has four years of experience in English football, and he likes to get forward to help the attack, but his pace allows him to get back into position in time as well. 

    He linked up well with his new teammates right from the get-go, and at only about £5 million, he looks to be a very good signing by Kenny Dalglish.

    Grade: A. Can't Complain.

Doni

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    Brazilian keeper Doni came to Liverpool on a free transfer in July after the club sent Peter Gulasci out on loan. 

    He'll be the backup to Pepe Reina, so he likely won't see much action (let's hope). 

    Grade: Not applicable. Does it really matter?

Sebastian Coates

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    With an aging Jamie Carragher, an injury-prone Daniel Agger and the departure of Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Liverpool needed to add another centre-back to the ranks.

    Uruguayan defender Sebastian Coates was signed by the club this past Monday, and at just 20 years old, he already has plenty of experience to bring to the Reds.

    He was the Best Young Player at the 2011 Copa America, so Liverpool fans can probably all thank Luis Suarez for this signing.

    Coates likely won't be thrown into the starting lineup right away, but he should get plenty of opportunities this season. Standing at 6'6", he certainly is an imposing figure to have in the center of defense, and that physicality should serve him well in the Premier League.

    Grade: A. The other recent Uruguayan signing has done quite well so far.  

Craig Bellamy

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    Liverpool did a bit a transfer dealing on deadline day by bringing Craig Bellamy back to the club on a free transfer from Manchester City.

    The Welshman has long been out of favor at City, and the 32-year-old could be looking to reignite his career with his former side. 

    Bellamy scored nine goals in his one season with Liverpool, the most memorable of which being the equalizer at Barcelona in the Champions League Round of 16 tie. 

    He likely won't be ahead of Andy Carroll or Dirk Kuyt in the pecking order, but he will get many more opportunities than he would've at City. He also adds another experienced goal scorer to the squad.

    Let's just hope Liverpool are paying him much less than £95,000 a week. 

    Grade: B. Was he the only backup striker on the market, and will he be content being a backup?

Departures

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    Christian Poulsen: The Danish midfielder never panned out at Anfield under the man who signed him, Roy Hodgson, or the man who got stuck with him, Kenny Dalglish.

    But best of luck at French side Evian. A

    Alberto Aquilani: His Liverpool story really could've been different. Such a talented player, but he's not Kenny's cup of tea, so at the end of the day, it's better that he left.

    Unfortunately, it's only a loan move to AC Milan, so we may have to deal with this saga next summer as well. B

    Dani Pacheco: A young stud of a striker who just isn't getting a chance at Liverpool, but he deserves to be playing. It's unfortunate it won't be at Liverpool though.

    Perhaps his loan stint in Spain will be very fruitful, and he can push his way into the Liverpool first-team picture or earn himself a good fee. B

    David N'Gog: The Frenchman was a serviceable backup striker for the Reds for several years, but he was never going to be a starter. Maybe Bolton can bring out his best.

    At £4 million, I'd say that's some good dealing by Liverpool. A

    Stephen Darby, Martin Hansen and Peter Gulasci: Loan moves to Rochdale, Bradford City and Hull City respectively. What else were they going to do? A

    Raul Meireles: Very late and very surprising. For the second straight deadline day, Chelsea nabbed a Liverpool man right at the death.

    The midfielder didn't think he'd got enough playing time this season with the many new faces in midfield, and he'd be promised a pay-raise last summer by the previous ownership—which he wasn't going to get.

    Without getting a like-for-like player in return, it hurts a bit, but Liverpool have plenty of midfielders. And Liverpool got about £12 million for him, so that's a plus. B- 

    Joe Cole: Loan move to Lille. An absolute Godsend.