Liverpool: Grading the transfer window

More attacking depth, but not enough defensive reinforcements. Classic Liverpool.

According to Liverpool’s transfer business and set up, the objective seems to be attack, attack, attack.

Bringing in Mohamed Salah adds to an already frightening attack, whilst Dominic Solanke and Andrew Robertson are both good young players who could be important players in the future, whilst the signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could prove to be brilliant business if he finally nails down a position and lives up to his potential.

However, it was clear Liverpool could do with a top centre-back, and failed to bring one in. Chasing Virgil van Dijk all summer proved to be a lost cause, with Southampton standing firm to keep the Dutch international at the club.

Liverpool should have moved on to other targets earlier and are instead left with a defence that could be their downfall. A lot of Liverpool’s defensive frailties are down to how open Jurgen Klopp’s tactics can leave them at the back, but another defender wouldn’t have gone amiss.

The Reds were also keen to bring in Thomas Lemar to add more creativity, with Liverpool often struggling to break down low block and compact defences last season. His technique and vision would have given the side another way to progress their attacks, meaning they wouldn’t have to be so reliant on their gegenpressing to create their chances.


  1. 1 Mohamed Salah

    From: Roma

    Fee: £34m

    Position: RW

    The Egyptian has made a great start to life at Anfield, with two goals and an assist in the league, and is another addition to an already exciting and ruthless forward line.

    He has fitted seamlessly into Klopp's side and has already formed a great partnership with fellow forwards Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

    The former Chelsea forward has scored three goals in his opening five games and could prove to be a snip at under £40million.

  2. 2 Dominic Solanke

    From: Chelsea

    Fee: £3m

    Position: ST

    Signed from Chelsea after he expressed a desire to leave London in search of more first team opportunities, Solanke could prove to be a masterstroke signing for Klopp.

    The youngster is intelligent at finding spaces in the backline and is often in the right place at the right time to finish off chances. Solanke is cool and composed in front of goal, but can also drop deeper to help link play.

    He was a major reason why the England U20 side won the World Cup in the summer and has a bright future in the game.

    He may not make too much of an impression in the first team this season, but is certainly one for the future.

  3. 3 Andrew Robertson

    From: Hull City

    Fee: £8m

    Position: LB

    The Scottish international was one of the few standout players in Hull City's relegation campaign last season and joins Klopp's revolution for a paltry £8m.

    Robertson fixes a problem position for Liverpool, who were forced to use James Milner as a makeshift left back last season.

    He made his debut against Crystal Palace and looked solid enough. It's surely only a matter of time before he becomes a first team regular.

  4. 4 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

    From: Arsenal

    Position: RWB/RW/CM

    Fee: £35m

    Liverpool's new record signing, 'the Ox' is yet another player who can devastate in attack. Also wanted by Chelsea, Klopp has arguably signed someone who is a jack of all trades, master of none.

    However, there is undoubtedly ability and potential with Chamberlain and if he can nail down a position in the first team and become a regular, he could become one of the best players in the league.

    The England international reportedly joined Liverpool on the proviso he will play in central midfield.

    One of the Reds' frailties is being able to consistently progress the ball to the forward line, and with the former Southampton man's dribbling and passing ability, he could prove to be a brilliant piece of business for Liverpool.


No major outgoings, which will please Klopp. He has kept hold of Brazilian superstar Philippe Coutinho, despite Barcelona's best efforts.

If Liverpool wish to win their first Premier League crown, keeping hold of their star men as well as adding to the squad is crucial, so keeping Coutinho sends out a big message of intent.


Lucas Leiva has finally left the club to join Lazio for £5m after ten years of loyal service to the club. There were also permanent departures of squad players such as Andre Wisdom and Kevin Stewart.

Have Liverpool missed anything?

Yes. A new centre-back was crucial, and they failed to get one after Southampton stood firm over van Dijk.

When it looked apparent Liverpool wouldn't be able to sign the Dutchman, they should have moved on to other targets.

Failing to get Lemar over the line will also have disappointed Klopp as Liverpool need alternative ways to progress the ball to the forward line, which Lemar's vision and technique would have greatly helped with.

RealSport verdict: B-

They may have missed out on a crucial centre-back and another creative force, but keeping hold of Coutinho is massive for Liverpool's aspirations.

Not only that, Salah has made Liverpool's frontline even more dangerous and Solanke and Robertson are likely to have a big say in the near future.

Liverpool may not have enough to win the Premier League yet, but should have enough to finish in the Champions League places once again, with a keen eye on the future.

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Harry Brooks


Harry graduated from UAL in Elephant and Castle with a 2:1 BA Hons degree in sports journalism.

He has an NCTJ diploma and also coaches football and teaches PE in schools.

Harry loves to talk football tactics!