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'We all live this lie that transfers are everything' | Gareth Roberts on Liverpool's quiet summer

Ryan Clarke
Ryan Clarke

11:25 9 Aug 2019

Before Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield, Liverpool were long derided for their infamous transfer committee. The club’s transfer strategy was often described in the cliched baseball term as Moneyball.

Gareth Roberts, of The Anfield Wrap, pointed to the example of Rafa Benitez signing Jermaine Pennant as just one example of the failings of the transfer committee.

Of course the Pennant signing was made under different ownership, but similarly, bizarre transfers also happened on FSG’s watch.

“Down the years I can remember Rafa Benitez would always buy players at any opportunity he had. He would often sign his third, fourth or fifth choice player instead of going for the one he really wanted,” Roberts said on OTB AM.

He added: “The one that really stands out for me is Jermaine Pennant. Everyone knew he was trouble. Rafa bought him anyway and now and again he turned in a performance, but ultimately he failed and everyone could see that coming.”

It can be argued that Liverpool fans who are worried by the lack of signings should perhaps take a step back. Klopp and the club will go after the players they think are worth pursuing. 

There is no better example of this than their pursuit of Virgil Van Dijk. They missed out on him in the summer window in 2017 and held firm until January 2018.

It is more than understandable for fans of any football club to be concerned about their team stagnating - let alone one that’s after winning the Champions League.

Insatiable hunger

Liverpool, and their fans’, desire to win the Premier League has become an insatiable hunger with Manchester City’s oil-soaked riches obscuring things.

However, Liverpool fans need only to look at the club they defeated in the Champions League final to reengerise their hopes if they begin fading.

Tottenham didn’t sign a single player last season and it only galvanised further what was already a battle-hardened team.

There’s no reason why Liverpool can’t benefit from a similar boost themselves and see squad players and youngsters burst into contention. This is, after all, the club who saw Divock Origi obliterate Barcelona and Lionel Messi.

Jurgen Klopp was headhunted to be the figurehead of this transformation of Liverpool because of his management skills. With the club signing off on a new £50m training base to bring all the club’s teams together, perhaps it’s time to see how Klopp can bring more out of who is there already.

“I understand why people get panicky and they want new faces. We all sort of live this lie that transfers are everything - but they’re not,” Roberts professed.

“Cohesion and confidence is just as good as buying a new player and Liverpool have got cohesion and confidence. So there’s every reason, for me, to believe that Liverpool will be near the top come the end of the season.” 

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Gareth Roberts Jurgen Klopp Liverpool The Anfield Wrap Transfers

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