I think every Liverpool fan can agree this January transfer window has been a bit of a bust for the Reds , after the month started so promising with the arrival of Virgil van Dijk for a club record fee Liverpool have slip back into old habits by letting their star player, Philippe Coutinho, leave for Barcelona. Despite getting £142 million for the Brazilian Liverpool have not bothered to dip into the transfer market and replace him.
Unfortunately, this is becoming rather a bad habit for Liverpool especially in the last 15 years or so. In the past whenever star players have left they were always replaced straight away, for example Kevin Keegan left and Kenny Dalglish was brought in, Ian Rush left and John Algridge was brought in and even going further back when Tommy Smith left Phil Thompson was brought in, likewise with Emlyn Hughes , he was replaced by Alan Hansen. However, for some unknown reason Liverpool have decided to stop this trend of replacing the best players and just seem to want to carry on like nothing has happened.
This is a really bad habit that Liverpool have got themselves into and goes back as far as when Gerard Houllier was in charge, his decision to let Robbie Fowler leave in 2001 was met with raised eyebrows. However, despite the Frenchman replacing Fowler with a loan deal for Nicholas Anelka until the end of that season, Liverpool decided to let Anelka go in the summer and not bothering to get in a suitable replacement. Sure El Hadji Diouf was brought in the summer 2002 but I think every Liverpool fan would agree with me that he didn’t have the quality of Anelka or even Fowler, and as a result Liverpool were left in a far worse position. It was a similar story with Michael Owen in 2004, Liverpool decided to sell the English striker without getting a replacement for him, again I understand that Djibril Cisse was recruited that summer but he was coming in to partner Owen and not to replace him and Liverpool’s lack of activity in the transfer market for a striker coast us that season. Alonso, Torres, Suarez, Carragher and of course Steven Gerrard are just a list of players in recent history that Liverpool have failed to replace after they have moved on and in every single case it has proved costly for us the next season.
On Monday when I heard Jurgen Klopp’s press conference and he said that there would be no more signings coming in January I instantly put my head in my hands as I can’t help but think that this is history repeating itself. I trust Klopp, I always have done since he’s come in the door, and I do believe he is the right man to guide Liverpool forward. However I have to question this decision not to replace such an influential player like Coutinho. If I’m being honest I don’t believe that this is his decision and as much as I have stuck up for FSG this season I think this time they have messed up big time. You cannot have £142 million sitting in the bank and not use it because you don’t think a player is worth as much money as the club is valuating him at. I do not agree with Monaco that Thomas Lamar is worth £90 million, as good as he is he’s only really had one good season and at 22 years old think £90 million is pushing it. However things change in the transfer market over the last eight months and players valuations have gone through the roof and whether you agree with that or not that’s the way football is now. £90 million is the new £50 million and the fact of the matter is that’s the way the market has gone, Liverpool cannot look to get a bargain when it comes to such a crucial buy, we have to just swallow our pride and pay the money, it’s as simple as that.
I really do believe this is a big mistake from FSG and even though I don’t believe it will cost us a top four finish, if it does I am expecting a letter of resignation from FSG as I don’t believe they can come back from making such a big mistake.
If we do get a top four place, and hopefully we will, FSG have got no excuses in the summer, they have to go out and buy every key player that we need. So I am expecting a world class left-winger, a world class holding midfielder, another world class center-back and a world class goalkeeper, there can be no more excuses.
Time and time again I’ve seen Liverpool build teams that look like they can go on and win the title only for us to go and sell our key players the next season, this cannot keep happening. If FSG want to prove to the supporters that they are worthy of being in charge of our club they have to start learning from the mistakes we have made in the past and this has to be the last time they are prepared to make this mistake. With all that being said last night 3-0 victory over Huddersfield showed that there are still some positives to come out of this Liverpool team and I really do believe we should still qualify for the top four and meet our minimum goals for the season.
Article by Imraan Adam
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