Liverpool is coming off a 2-2 draw at home against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday, certainly an inspiring outcome, but the Reds also lost to West Bromwich Albion, 3-0, and you can't expect the club to continually challenge the Premier League's superpowers.
Liverpool finished in eighth place in the Premier League last season, 37 points behind City. The club ranked 11th in goals scored (47), but allowed the third-fewest goals in the league (40). The question coming into this season is whether the Reds could score enough, and that is still a matter of debate.
Dempsey scored 17 goals in 37 starts for Fulham last season, while adding six assists. His ball skills have always been a strong point for him as well as his outstanding vision. He is still a difference-maker at 29 years of age, and he would have been a fantastic addition for Liverpool.
Instead, the Reds are left with what could have been and must forge ahead without a player who could have significantly helped them.
Does Liverpool still have a shot at the top four? Of course; the 2-2 draw with City on Sunday was evidence enough. But, it's going to be much tougher without Dempsey. It's asking a lot of the Reds to score enough with the current roster given what it showed last season.