Who would you keep ?

Strictly Armchair

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It does puzzle me the way some people are suggesting that we should get rid of this, that and the other player. The same people, if we did offload several of the squad, would be the first to complain that we don't have enough squad depth. In addition to Wijnaldum I have read suggestions from some that we should sell the likes of Clyne, Matip, Henderson and Milner along with loaning Gomez out. Do that and we'd be screwed come December. So much for squad building.

The only ones I'd be happy to see leave are Ings as we have evolved so quickly he no longer adds much to the team. £20m+ is another good reason to allow him to pursue his career elsewhere. Origi, surplus to requirements last season and has been quite shocking this pre-season. Note that he wasn't even subbed on against United. Again, the rumoured £20m fee to secure his services would be very good business on the outgoing side. Markovic, the cash leeching limpet, I'd be more than happy to see leave. He will probably have cost the club more money than Balotelli did by the time we shift him. Also let's not forget Migs, his time is well and truly done here now. Get a decent fee in and let him make his inevitable mistakes elsewhere.

Yes, letting Ings and Origi go would leave us on the light side up front but I don't think they're worth keeping whatever situation arises. I'll be happy to see us persevere with Solanke though as I still think he'll come good. A goal early in the season would certainly help his confidence as he has been snatching at things somewhat during his pre-season outings. Also, working with / learning from the likes of Firmino and Sturridge has got to aid his development. He isn't quite 21 yet so has some time on his side.

Grujic to go on loan as it's difficult to see where he would get much game time given that we currently have six players for three slots. Only a bit of an injury crisis would see him get many minutes for us. If he ends up at Cardiff then we'll end up winning regardless. Either we get a much improved player returning after a season in the Prem or we'll be able to get a tidy fee for him if we sell him on next year.

Karius to remain as back-up unless we can secure a solid no. 2 for a pittance. I hope the lad is working with a sports psychologist though. My word he needs it right now. 10 or 12 solid matches for us next season could do wonders for his rehabilitation.
 

big noyd

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yesterday only reinforced my preference that ojo be kept on, assuming there's not another attacker added

with shaqiri and sturridge as sort of false 10s, shaqiri & mane as cover for salah on the right, seems like there's enough game time across four competitions for ojo on the left side
 

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This leaves ya with Firmino +injury prone Sturridge as options up front. I don’t see Solanke as good enough and Ings wants to go, but we go short if that all happens.
Brewster has a lot of people talking, but how longs he going to have been out? Back at Xmas, very hard for a young guy to play well when pushed to first team football never mind on the back of a very long injury.
Either we keep Solanke and fingers crossed we are ok, or gamble, and say Woodburn can cover or Salah mane or Shaq can do a job as F9.
This is definitely a valid concern, but I don't think Ings and Origi are cut out for a club of our ambitions. Solanke perhaps, although I think there's currently too much of a drop-off when he replaces Firmino and a loan spell would suit him well. Sheyi Ojo could do a job here in terms of forward depth, but unfortunately he's not someone who can lead the line.

Perhaps signing a decent striker on the cheap, to be backup to Firmino, would be the best option here. Age doesn't really matter, as we can maybe expect Solanke to be a long-term replacement if they're experienced, but signing someone from one of the relegated teams would be good business. Maybe Salomón Rondón, if his wages aren't unreasonable?
 

shachart

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No way should we be selling Gini. He can cover all three midfield positions, at his best would push Hendo for a starting place alongside Fab and Keita, he's a genuine rotation option (performances against Roma as good as Oxlade) and he's ideal to bring on with half an hour left, given his energy and ability to win and retain possession.

The only reason not signing a 10 to replace Coutinho is in any way acceptable is if we keep all the midfielders except maybe loaning out Grujic.

We have 6 for three positions after Grujic goes on loan and are still arguably a man short if we're wanting the necessary 25 man squad, given we'll have 9 defenders, 3 keepers, 6 forwards (the front three plus Shaqiri and Sturridge and assuming we keep Solanke or sign someone).

The six we have means Keita can play 10, with Lallana as back up, Fab as 6, Hendo as 6 or 8, Milner and Gini able to cover most positions.

We should sell Migs, Ings, Origi and Markovic, but think hard about who to loan. Yes they need playing time, but we need a deep squad to compete on 4 fronts.

For me, the current squad, less the four for sale above, hopefully one more offensive buy and a veteran keeper, with a few youngsters breaking through, looks capable of competing.

But we need to keep quality players like Gini, I'd sell Lallana over Gini any day of the week, especially given his age and injury record.
I understand where your coming regarding Gini, but while he had a couple of good performances, especially when we needed to contain the other side, but he can't cover all 3 midfield positions. His best, and maybe only, good position is as a no. 8. Assuming Fab is our no. 6, with hendo playing either as an 8 or covering 6, the same to be said about Milner. Where the no. 10 will probably be Lallana, Keira or even Shakiri. This means you'd rather keep Gini as a 4th choice no. 8 or 6, and loaning out Marko, instead of casing out on Gini now, and let Marko get some playing time in a red shirt rather than a blue one.

Personally, I rate Grujic higher than Gini and see him succeeding Milner and later Hendo, which cannot be said about Gini.
 

shachart

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This is definitely a valid concern, but I don't think Ings and Origi are cut out for a club of our ambitions. Solanke perhaps, although I think there's currently too much of a drop-off when he replaces Firmino and a loan spell would suit him well. Sheyi Ojo could do a job here in terms of forward depth, but unfortunately he's not someone who can lead the line.

Perhaps signing a decent striker on the cheap, to be backup to Firmino, would be the best option here. Age doesn't really matter, as we can maybe expect Solanke to be a long-term replacement if they're experienced, but signing someone from one of the relegated teams would be good business. Maybe Salomón Rondón, if his wages aren't unreasonable?
Both Mane and Salah can play as strikers. If memory serves me right, Klopp used Salah as a loan striker instead of Firmino.
There is also the option of changing formations and not playing 4-3-3.
We finished last season with 3 players scoring over 20 goals, Add a fit Sturridge to the mix, I think we can handle a few matches of resting Bobby or him being injured.
 

The Elusive 19th

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I understand where your coming regarding Gini, but while he had a couple of good performances, especially when we needed to contain the other side, but he can't cover all 3 midfield positions. His best, and maybe only, good position is as a no. 8. Assuming Fab is our no. 6, with hendo playing either as an 8 or covering 6, the same to be said about Milner. Where the no. 10 will probably be Lallana, Keira or even Shakiri. This means you'd rather keep Gini as a 4th choice no. 8 or 6, and loaning out Marko, instead of casing out on Gini now, and let Marko get some playing time in a red shirt rather than a blue one.

Personally, I rate Grujic higher than Gini and see him succeeding Milner and later Hendo, which cannot be said about Gini.
Klopp could be having different ideas though. Wij was the one of player with most minutes last season only behind Salah and Bobby.
He seems to be a handy man who plays couple of positions and almost never injured. Now if you tell me that an upcoming kid who was loaned out last season would be better than him, I am not sure. He is not a starting 11 player but a decent squad option.
 

RedForever2014

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I understand where your coming regarding Gini, but while he had a couple of good performances, especially when we needed to contain the other side, but he can't cover all 3 midfield positions. His best, and maybe only, good position is as a no. 8. Assuming Fab is our no. 6, with hendo playing either as an 8 or covering 6, the same to be said about Milner. Where the no. 10 will probably be Lallana, Keira or even Shakiri. This means you'd rather keep Gini as a 4th choice no. 8 or 6, and loaning out Marko, instead of casing out on Gini now, and let Marko get some playing time in a red shirt rather than a blue one.

Personally, I rate Grujic higher than Gini and see him succeeding Milner and later Hendo, which cannot be said about Gini.
I respect your opinion, but Gini is a different level to Grujic just now.

Grujic did ok for Cardiff, but didn't receive universal outstanding reviews and lost his place in the side towards the end of the season when others returned from injury.

Gini was one of the standout performers in our two CL semi finals. His best position is 8, though he did a good job at 6 versus City in the CL QF 2nd leg and has played AM many times.

Also, it isn't about what choice they are, to compete on multiple fronts you need similar level players competing for outfield starting positions and rotating. Gini is much nearer to the level of Hendo, Milner, Keita and Fabinho than Grujic is.

Lallana isn't the level we need at 10 against top sides, whilst Shaqiri would be good at 10 against bus parkers but not against the best sides.

In the big matches it'll be 3 from Gini, Hendo, Fab, Milner, Keita (most likely Hendo, Keita and one other) with the other two plus Shaqiri and Sturridge the four main options from whom three can come off the bench.

Selling Gini just because he's worth something and keeping a less useful Grujic for this season, would be a commercial led and not football led decision.

We should keep Gini, the sort of player who stays at a club like LFC long term and becomes a long standing servant.

We should loan out Grujic to enable him to kick on (he won't get enough playing time at LFC), and if he develops he's the replacement for Milner and Henderson in the squad in a couple of years.
 
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Zoran

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Nah, no place for Grujic here at the moment. We have 6 players for 3 positions (and I'm not counting Ox for this season, we'll see when he returns and how he returns), plus the possibility of playing with two midfielders and using a "#10"/second stiker from our forwards group. The best thing for him is to find an environment like the first part (or majority?) of his loan at Cardiff, maybe return there (or find an improvement on Championship), though that depends how much they want him at this new level. Probably dragging on a bit because of that and also maybe negotiations with us over a new deal.
 

RedForever2014

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Grujic's shown nothing so far to indicate he's Liverpool quality. Gini, however, seems to be serially underrated - he's a class act for me.
Agreed, Gini is the type of player who make systems work without people realising how.

He's the type of player top European sides have always had and I think at his best he pushes hard for a starting spot.
 

Nikola

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A few years back, I would have wanted Liverpool to sell the likes of Grujić, Ejaria and Kent in order to generate as much money as possible to fund other purchases. Given the progress club have made in the meantime both on and off the pitch, I'm more in favour of loan moves after they sign new contracts. It seems that a good loan move can raise their value to eight figure sum these days, so it might be worth waiting a year more or so before selling them. (That's why I hope that, for example, Grujić ends up on loan at Fulham, Jokanović will know everything he needs to know about him, he's a highly respected figure in Serbian football (even though Grujić won't have remembered him as a player) and he won't let him take his foot off the gas.)

I'd keep Wijnaldum for now but I don't think he has a long term future at Liverpool. His basic qualities are outstanding but the way he has slowed down when it comes to moving the ball is worrying, not to mention lack of goals and assists last season.
 

Zoran

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Was Grujic linked with a loan move to Fulham? Missed that one if he was. That could be a nice solution, better than Cardiff (who I think will struggle this season, a number of good sides + Wolves & Fulham who both look like they have what it takes to stay up).
 

Limiescouse

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Grujic's shown nothing so far to indicate he's Liverpool quality. Gini, however, seems to be serially underrated - he's a class act for me.
I find it really surprising that he played the third most minutes last season. That just doesn't reconcile with what I thought I saw. Regardless of what anyone thinks about how useful those minutes were, that sort of stat does not occur without Klopp having a lot of trust in him.
 

Zoran

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Gini was 3rd last season and 4th the season before (when Clyne was fit, he's obviously someone who plays or played a lot, but wasn't there last season). In both seasons the midfielder with most minutes (Milner was a bit ahead of him in 16/17, but he was a LB then).
 
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RedForever2014

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It's all about the unit too. Put any of Hendo, Gini or Milner between Fabinho (when settled) and Keita, and they will prosper.

For me the mouth watering thing about this season, injuries permitting, is being able to rotate five quality midfield players.
 
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much rather see gini playing as one of the two #8s than hendo, personally
I think having to decide between two of these 5 to start (I think Keita is the only sure fire one)-- Gini, Hendo, Lallana, Fabinho and Milner, is the kind of good problem you want to have. That to me is a top 10 group of midfielders in all of club football, good quality, outstanding depth. Not Atletico or Real or City or Spurs or Barca quality (and maybe a few others), but even most of them don't have a Milner as potentially your 6th midfieler. No way Grujic can get meaningful minutes next year barring a plane crash.

As an aside I also think Henderson (as well as Gini) is underrated. As an outsider England looked a much poorer team to me with him off the pitch.

Really divergent here, but I thought Southgate consistently played too many minutes to Manure players. (and by the way Liverpool fans have known for a while Sterling's finishing issues and I have enjoyed him continuing the pattern at City, but honestly he did add an extra dynamic that his replacements did not have, on top of the lack of finishing with them too). I thought the players to go really MIA for long stretches in the losses were Alli and Rashford--who seem immune from criticism as best I can tell. Just my perspective from someone routing for England from the last 4 but really just wanting anyone but France at that point (oh well).
 

Caradoc

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With Keita and particularly Fabinho’s arrival, Hendo is under more pressure than ever to hang on to his starting place and perhaps even the captaincy. Injury aside, if Hendo isn’t a nailed on starter for the big games then he loses the team captaincy. Klopp may see things differently of course but that’s how it usually works.

That said, the game is changing and with its increasing demands, well, when it comes to the captaincy, who knows any more?

Sterling by the way scored 11 goals when Sturridge and Suarez were plundering goals for fun so that is no mean return for a very young winger. He’s averaging 1 goal in 3 for City which again for a winger is a good return.

I also don’t think that Southgate showed any obvious favouritism towards the United players in Moscow. He’s a good young manager and like a breath of fresh air for England.

France were the best side in the tournament and so if your own side can’t win it, I’d rather see the best side win it.
 
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Sterling by the way scored 11 goals when Sturridge and Suarez were plundering goals for fun so that is no mean return for a very young winger. He’s averaging 1 goal in 3 for City which again for a winger is a good return.
I am not entirely sure but think we are agreeing Sterling is a good player ("no mean return" means not bad right?), as annoying (to put it mildly) how he/agent treated Liverpool. (But hey we now have Salah and Mane where he would play so bygones be bygones!). I also think for City and England he creates problems for opponents that may neither be credited as a goal or assist--and the press and Southgate didn't appreciate him enough despite his fair share of moments where you think how does a player of his quality miss that one.
 

Caradoc

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I am not entirely sure but think we are agreeing Sterling is a good player ("no mean return" means not bad right?), as annoying (to put it mildly) how he/agent treated Liverpool. (But hey we now have Salah and Mane where he would play so bygones be bygones!). I also think for City and England he creates problems for opponents that may neither be credited as a goal or assist--and the press and Southgate didn't appreciate him enough despite his fair share of moments where you think how does a player of his quality miss that one.
Its actually a fair bit more than ‘not bad’ to me at least. Its ‘good’. Anyway, who cares, eh? Its only my opinion and you have your own.

I’m no longer that bothered about Sterling’s departure and the manner of it. I do get annoyed though when he’s held up as a good role model for young kids in England. I certainly wouldn’t choose him as a role model for my kids. I’d probably pick The Ox although I’ll probably discover something that makes me regret saying that now. Hopefully not, he seems a fine young man!
 
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...I’m no longer that bothered about Sterling’s departure and the manner of it. I do get annoyed though when he’s held up as a good role model for young kids in England. I certainly wouldn’t choose him as a role model for my kids. I’d probably pick The Ox although I’ll probably discover something that makes me regret saying that now. Hopefully not, he seems a fine young man!
It's just weird to me Rashford and Alli seems to get a lot more good national press post the World Cup than Sterling. I thought Sterling was more impactful on the pitch for England by and large while the other two in key moments were missing in action/invisible. Objectively I thought the other Manure player Lingard was in between--did fine.
 

RedForever2014

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Seems like James Pearce has been tasked with selling Klavan for us (see Echo article).

No other reason for an article saying we'd consider offers if we don't want to do so. His departure wasn't even mooted previously.

Are we finding players to sell to net down our spend, and having failed to sell those we want to, such as Origi, Markovic, Mignolet, players who have nothing to offer at all, we are now considering selling those who do have something to offer?

For all the talk our squad is not huge. It doesn't have 30 senior players.

Take the keepers out of it, as the 5 we have (including the two kids) will be rationalised the next 12 months, probably with Migs leaving now, Karius leaving next summer on loan or sold, and the kids promoted or someone else signed.

Including players with several first team appearances for us who have performed in the past, we have 9 defenders, 7 midfielders (including Grujic) and 7 forwards (including Origi, excluding Markovic as he's clearly not an option).

That's 23 outfield players, who with two nominated keepers gives you a 25 man squad.

Camacho, Philips and Jones look like they're going to push into the squad this season, but you want them on top of the senior players not in place of them.

In a season when we hope to compete on all fronts, 10 to 15 appearances from the steady Klavan could be crucial.

The 3 or 4 players on £50k a week, who don't play much but keep you in the hunt when they do, is the price of success.

The £10m in wages to the bottom end of squad players can be the difference between top 4 or not, a league cup or not, even a title of not.

We shouldn't be culling the likes of Klavan, especially when we have so many injury prone centre backs.
 
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I agree with those saying we should keep Origi, Grujic and Klavan, at least until Jan and especially if we can afford to. So hopefully Mignolet, Markovic and maybe Ojo on loan as the only remaining outgoings; and Jones, Phillips, Camacho to continue their development with the junior team.
 

MarlboroMan

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It does seem like Origi is likely to go out on loan at least but personally I'd keep him at least until January. I think he could be useful in the cup competitions and providing us with a pacy CF option as Sturridge isn't one anymore. Sturridge is still our best striker but his pace seems to have gone a bit and Origi is still pacy and a hard worker. If he can recapture his form from a few seasons ago then he would make a good option off the bench and if he can't then in January we ship him off.

I noticed that Solanke didn't make the bench against West Ham and he too could be loaned out so a battle between Dom and Divock until January is what I would do and the loser goes out on loan.
 

Zoran

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It's only 1 game so far. If someone doesn't make the bench it's not the end of the world for them. Our bench on paper looked strong on Sunday, we need more of that. People need to start worrying less about these things, it's a sign that we as LFC fans are not used to having proper depth! Let them fight for positions and minutes. It's how it really should be at a top club that needs to compete and win. That doesn't mean having 30 senior players of course (+ those young ones who are nowhere near minutes and are have been too good for that U23 crap for a while). Origi is also in his final year, so we'll see if he agrees to a certain extension so we can sell him next summer or we do it now.
 



RedForever2014

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It's only 1 game so far. If someone doesn't make the bench it's not the end of the world for them. Our bench on paper looked strong on Sunday, we need more of that. People need to start worrying less about these things, it's a sign that we as LFC fans are not used to having proper depth! Let them fight for positions and minutes. It's how it really should be at a top club that needs to compete and win. That doesn't mean having 30 senior players of course (+ those young ones who are nowhere near minutes and are have been too good for that U23 crap for a while). Origi is also in his final year, so we'll see if he agrees to a certain extension so we can sell him next summer or we do it now.
Exactly that.

To win things you have to have;

A top class best 11, with a pool of outfield players who can be rotated without the level of the side dropping too much. Ideally near same level players in squad positions 11 to 18.

4 or 5 outfield options beyond position 18, who if called on don't let you down, and who are still good enough to see off lesser sides, particularly in cups.

Players have to decide if they want to be part of a competitive club and take their chances on playing time, or play regularly for a lesser club.

Keita, Fab, Milner, Hendo, Gini, Lovren, VVD, Gomez, TAA, Clyne, Robertson, Salah, Mane, Bobby, Shaqiri, Lallana, Sturridge, give us 17 outfield options who fit the bill as an interchangeable group.

Matip, Moreno, Klavan, Solanke, Origi, Grujic make up the 23 outfield squad you'd expect in a 25 man squad.

Start culling the latter group, and 4 or 5 injuries later you have an inexperienced bench, and no rotation options.

As to LFC, the club has to decide what it's prepared to pay for success.

The 6 players in positions 18 to 23, together with 3 or 4 of the main group, has a good chance of getting you through the early rounds of domestic cups to the latter stages, without your PL/CL efforts being undermined.

If those players are earning £2.5m a year each, then one can argue that a cost of success is being prepared to have a wage bill of £15m on those players.

We saw Jan-May that a 20 man outfield squad is not enough. 3 or 4 injuries and we struggled in the run in, sacrificing league points for the CL effort.

If I have a concern about the running of the club, it's that whoever in the club is pushing for this trimming of the squad, doesn't get that it's having decent options to a deep level that gets you to the latter stages of all competitions.

Klavan's 10 matches at £250k a pop maybe more than Bobby's 50 matches at £180k a pop, but are still important.
 
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Perth Red

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Other than Cup games there will be minimal time on the pitch for either Origi or Solanke. They, plus Danny Ings, spent under 900 minutes on the park last season... less than 10 games. Studge only managed about 550, a touch over 6, with his injuries. Already this season we have seen the gulf in quality between Shaq and Studge to Origi and Solanke so I would imaging the game time for the younger two will be even less this year.

As for Klavan.... again I can't see him getting game time once everyone is fit so I would imagine if not now then he will be gone in January. Can't blame him for wanting playing time.

The Midfield is where the fun will be. Keita, Millie and Gini looked the business on Saturday, Henderson, Fab and (eventually) Ox will rotate, Grujic probably going on loan, Jones pushing for a spot.... so where does that leave Lallana? He certainly hasn't got back to any sort of peak form, getting on (for a player! barely more than half my age!) and doesn't seem to fit in the middle or up top. Could well be the next out the door I think.
 

RedForever2014

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Everything is positive, we have upgraded Karius with Alisson, Klavan with VVD, Can with Fabinho, Ings with Shaqiri and Keita is not quite Coutinho's level yet, but capable of it.

All that for a net spend of £79m this year.

We've taken out arguably the weakest in each department and brought in someone capable of playing in a best 11.

We should be careful not to trim out too many more, only Origi and Markovic. It won't be shrewd if we leave ourselves short.

We've 20 senior players (including Solanke, who has played enough to viewed as one) and 3 promising youngsters (Jones, Camacho, Philips), plus 2 keepers.

Moreno, Clyne, Lallana and Solanke might not play much, but you have to have such players in the squad. Let them go and a few injuries leaves you with nothing on the bench.

The big shame is the loss of Oxlade for the season. His quality, pace and energy is much missed in terms of options and depth.

The next move in the transfer market in January should be to add another quality forward for the run in and send Solanke on loan. Then next summer sell Lallana and bring Oxlade back in.

Fekir in January would really fire us on. Quality at attacking midfield and cover for Bobby.

After that it's upgrading back up defenders and Migs.
 

RedForever2014

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Not if his knee is bollocksed.
I accept it was probably that, as if it was the Lyon owner being belligerent and we really wanted him, we'd have found a way to do a deal after the World Cup.

However, there is a possibility that the deal stalled due to the owner being difficult, but before the world cup finished it became clear in pre-season that Karius was shot and we decided to use the money on Alisson.

The form of Shaqiri and Sturridge in pre-season, plus the lack of injuries from the world cup contingent, may have then tempted us to let Fekir's contract run down a bit and get a better deal in January or next summer.

We probably also wanted to see if we could clear out a few players to reduce the wage bill and net the spend down, to leave space for us to sign players in January and next summer who are needed. This is understandable in light of FFP, on top of any budget issues.

We agreed over the summer we're a forward short and we all know that Fekir is the ideal type - tenacious, versatile, a goal threat, quality, and bought into the Klopp project.

So I'm hoping my scenario is the case and we go in for him in January.

The keepers and defence need to be viewed separately, as clearly the Karius/Migs issue was about who we could exit in the right way. Migs probably thought he'd go somewhere on the same wages, we quite righty expected a fee and for him to accept whatever deal was offered. Karius was easier to move on, because he is on lower wages.

Migs can contemplate his position from the bench over the autumn and decide if he wants to sit tight for two years and take the money or move on, after which we can sign an appropriate back up keeper.

Decisions in relation to defence depend on how Gomez progresses, the injury record of various players this season, and what game time players want. I'm presuming Gomez will at least be competing for the position alongside VVD, and being English and young will stay. So it'll be about whether we swap Lovren and/or Matip for someone new given their age and injury record.

Clyne is a quality player, the ideal back up right back. If TAA dips Clyne can come in and do a very good job. It's up to him if he wants to compete for a year or two at a potentially successful club, or go somewhere else. Clyne's also the better option defensively for a long run at left back, if Robertson was out for any length of time. Moreno is ok as occasional cover when the defensive side isn't as important, like in cup matches against lesser opposition. He'd probably gladly stay as such, but that one is about what the club wants to do. Is it worth spending money upgrading him?

But midfield and attack needs to be viewed as a unit, due to the versatility of the players and overlap between positions, and it needs to be constantly upgraded until we've 12 players who can facilitate a challenge on all fronts.

For me we're a player or two light. Aside from Milner's age issue, and personally I think he's two full seasons in him at the right level, the issues to consider are Solanke's level, Lallana's decline (and maybe his level in relation to where the squad has moved to), Sturridge's injury record, and what sort of player Oxlade is after his year out.

We've 9 players good enough, the 5 CMS, the front 3 and Shaqiri, so have to consider 3 places. Presuming we don't lose any of those 9 and Oxlade comes back at least good enough to be a squad player, I think we need to be looking at at least one more quality signing and maybe two.

The one issue with Firmino, is he can't bulldoze his way through a defence like Costa can. So having a forward who can does complete the set. We also lack a 10 who can do what Hazard does for Chelsea, dictating play between the lines.

I actually see a very useful system available to us now, one whereby we can rest one of the front three, using two of them with a 6, right CM and left CM and a 10 between.

Think Hendo or Fab sitting, Keita to the left, Milner or Gini to the right and a 10 with two from Mane/Salah/Bobby up top.

For me Fekir could, under Klopp's guidance, be a quality 10 in a 4213, 4312, one of the 3 in a 433, including doing Bobby's role sometimes and maybe even adding to that some of what Costa does as he can dribble past people.

Much depends on what happens over the autumn, with Fekir and our squad, but for me signing him in January, maybe using any Origi money and selling Lallana, then assessing Sturridge and Solanke with a view to next summer's activity, would really set us up for the run in.

There is no room for error in the PL, you have to win nearly every match, probably at least 30, and to do this and compete on other fronts, you cannot have enough quality and depth in midfield and attack.

We can cope with an issue here or there in the defensive squad, but we have to have top quality to a deep level in the 12 midfielders and forwards.

Given the age of many of our players, 25 or 26, we've got to be competitive now or we risk them getting to late 20s without the trophy haul they're capable of.

So the club needs to push the boat out and ensure every single weakness and opportunity for improvement is addressed and taken.

That final piece really can be the difference. If we'd had Keita last season and VVD from the start, we might have had a domestic cup. If we'd had one more quality forward on the bench in Kiev, we might well have won the CL and we could well be that one player short of the PL title.

Believe me I'm delighted with all our transfers, we've done what I've said for years - buy for the top of the squad, sell from the bottom and let previous first choices become the back ups and previous back ups make up the depth.

But I want to see us relentlessly improve further, as I really do believe that doing so, that keeping our best players and doing more of what we've done this year in a short enough time frame, could make us - over the next 5 years - the side who wins the title when City doesn't, year in year out CL contenders and enable us to hoover up a few domestic cups.
 
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