i actually didn't say salah wasn't good enough . i said signing a player from serie A and expecting him to reproduce the same form is foolhardy . People in the salah thread were expecting salah to be the key to beating teams that park the bus .. and so far he hasn't proved to be that player . early days yet though .
Lallana, Clyne, now Mane injured, Lovren playing half-crocked with multiple painkillers, Sturridge a shadow of his former self. Gini doing the Martian Manhunter and turning intangible. Firmino can't hit a cow's arse with a banjo...at this point I have no idea who to buy...an entire new squad?
In terms of overall squad quality we've definitely improved. Have a look at our CM options before Klopp and now. Sure they don't look great right now but they are more talented than what we had. Klopp has has just hit a massive wall with the squad so everyone looks bad. This group should be performing much better than they are.
I'll repeat what I've said for the last two years, which we're inexplicably slow to address. As it stands today, we need 4, maybe 5 starters to complete this squad. 4 or 5 that will fill spots right down the middle of the field.
Defense. I like Matip, but I'd like him much better as the #3 central defender, rotating in behind two others. I'd target two of either Kostas Manolas, Virgil Van Dyke or Stefan deVrij. With TAA, Gomez, Lynch, Robertson and Moreno (Didn't think I'd include Moreno, but he has pulled his game up and is a keeper) I think we're set on the outside, hopefully bringing Gomez along as a center half of the future.
In midfield, I get the feeling we'll be subject to Coutinho speculation in every transfer window, and sadly I say it's time to cash in. That leaves the oft-crocked Lallana as the most creative mid left. If/when PC does leave, I'd pull Firmino back into midfield and target a replacement for PC.
With Firmino pulled back into attacking mid, I'd be ready to pay a king's ransom for Mauro Icardi. A young team leader who scores, who would be the undisputed real #9. As well as center half, this is our most glaring deficiency. Salah and Mane should not be considered the primary scorers. Firmino IS NOT an acceptable center forward for a team looking to challenge for the league and European glory. Nor is Studge. He's a good strike partner. Cash in there as well. I'd also like to see Solanke given more chances, and to finally determine if the long suffering Ings has a future with us. Icardi, and the likes of VVD would also bring some more leadership to a team that sometimes looks to be lacking in this quality.
The last of the 5 I'd consider? A keeper. That, however, is the least of our worries after the others listed.
#1 - A top central defender and center forward. Would have to spend about 150-175 using this past summer's prices
Selling Coutinho would bring in about 120, meaning a spend of about 30-55
#2 - Another central defender and a top attacking mid.
Sell Studge for about 25, and spend about 100, meaning another 75 spent
#3 - Keeper. Bring along who we have.... Ward? or find one or two to develop.
Agreed totally. Like I just said, we need a new spine, the core of the team, right down the middle. As well as new players to fill the obvious gaps we have, another side of that spine is that of leadership and determination to win, to overcome. When we lost Mane against City we were spineless and couldn't muster a response as we got thrashed. At least today, against Spurs, I saw some real attempts to get back into it, a response that resembled some determination.