If recent transfer deadline days had been dramatic, the final day of the summer transfer window this year has left Liverpool fans underwhelmed, bewildered and wondering just where the goals are going to come from this season.
Somehow the window ended with missing out on Clint Dempsey, loaning out Andy Carroll, and having sold experienced goalscorers in Dirk Kuyt, Craig Bellamy and Maxi Rodriguez for a combined fee of less than £1m.
Theo Walcott and Daniel Sturridge attracted strong interest in the final weeks of the window, but neither came close to fruition.
Yet Brendan Rodgers appeared relaxed and confident that arrivals would be coming when he held his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon.
Just over a week ago, Rodgers said;
“We have got a very small squad as it is. We have lost a lot of players this summer and I have not replaced them, as of yet. That is the reality of where we are.
Yet the final days of the window saw Andy Carroll, Jay Spearing and Andy Carroll leave – with none replaced.
Rodgers also said of any potential Carroll loan move;
“I would need to be a nutcase even to consider at this moment to let Carroll go out, unless there are other solutions for that.”
Yet Carroll did leave on loan, and no replacement was made.
On the number of forwards available to him, Rodgers said;
“I need a minimum of three strikers. Once the window shuts, that is it until January. I have got (Luis) Suarez, Fabio Borini, and Andy Carroll.
He has been left with Luis Suarez and new signing Fabio Borini. Neither are exactly prolific. Saurez’s one criticism is his lack of clinical finishing. Youngsters Adam Morgan and Samed Yesil are not regarded as first-team players.
Add in the Europa League commitments this season and it’s very, very worrying lack of attacking options.
Rodgers’ system means that Liverpool will only really play with one main ‘forward’ and two wide attackers – where new signing Mohamed Assaidi and youngster Raheem Sterling also come into fore. But regardless Liverpool are extremely short of attacking options.
On Friday afternoon Rodgers said;
“There’s no doubt we need to add goals to the team. Getting people who are recognised goalscorers to come in is the number one objective.”
By failing to do so, Liverpool failed in their “number one objective” and the question must be asked, who was responsible for this?
Last season Liverpool’s number one and clear problem was their lack of goals. Even Blackburn scored more than us (48 vs 47). Yet somehow we have ended the transfer window with less forwards than we started with.
We may have lowered the average age of the squad, and trimmed the wage bill massively, but that’s not going to win games for us.
Despite a record kit deal with Warrior, a record sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered, reducing the wage bill by offloading Kuyt, Carroll, Maxi and Aquilani, Liverpool have spent less than Southampton in this transfer window.
I dread to think if either Suarez or Borini get a long term injury in the coming weeks.
Premier League Goals
Liverpool: Suarez (16) Borini (0)
Man United: Rooney (144) Van Persie (97) Welbeck (16) Hernandez (23)
Man City: Aguero (23) Dzeko (17) Tevez (76) Balotelli (19)
Chelsea: Torres (74) Moses (8) Sturridge (25)
Spurs: Adebayor (78) Defoe (113) Dempsey (50)
Arsenal: Giroud (0) Podolski (0) Gervinho (2) Walcott (26)