Liverpool have acted sharply in bringing in both exciting talent and established winners in Mignolet and Toure respectively, amongst others – and Brendan Rodgers has brought in a wealth of talented youth and experience. Sturridge's signing back in January signalled a new journey for Liverpool. Much can also be said about Coutinho - deadly around the box and a real live wire with the ball at his feet, he's already being touted as a modern day Peter Beardsley, Kevin Keegan - he gets his head into the game and plays with epic flair, showing both maturity and youthful energy and determination.
On the last few days of the window, Liverpool completed the inevitable transfers of Mamadou Sakho and Thiago Ilori that had been mooted a number of weeks ago. Numerous clubs were chasing the two new arrivals, but thankfully they have been convinced that their ideal home for the next few years is Anfield. Another welcome addition is that of Chelsea’s Victor Moses, an explosive talent with pace to burn and, although he has only arrived on a season-long loan, as with Aly Cissokho from Valencia, there is a feeling amongst Liverpool fans that if they have productive seasons with us, then their transfers may be made permanent, however, it is not clear if there are clauses in their contracts to sign them permanently at the end of the 2013/14 season.
Whilst the biggest potential transfer on people's lips around Anfield involved a certain Mr Suarez, it's shown that you don't always need to put your money where your mouth is. Unfortunately nowadays clubs with talent aim to sell big - we've seen the Reds linked with all sorts of interesting players - from Christian Eriksen of Ajax (now of Tottenham), to Willian of Spurs? Chelsea? Chelsea, of course. It has been evident that Willian slipped out of our reach and the BIG name did not arrive - but the team has a whole has certainly improved with this summer's business. Cissokho was so obviously devastated to pick up a knock against Notts County - almost reducing to tears, applauding Anfield as he left. He'll be back and is definitely one to watch this year. Dozens of names from around Europe have been thrown into the numerous gossip columns, with differing levels of credibility, but it's been an exciting transfer window this summer for Liverpool.
Brendan Rodgers breathes confidence and is one of the best man-managers out there at the moment. You look at how he's handled every occasion in his short time in charge and he's always come out with the same message - the team is the important thing, how we pull together, how we improve, and how we win football matches. Finding the perfect player is what every fan wants for their team and I had every confidence that the boss would surprise us all for all the right reasons come deadline day. Last season with Dempsey, it was clear how disappointed he was to miss a key target. By acting early and signing Mignolet and Toure, he's tried to climb the unconquerable mountain that is replacing JC and both were shrewd moves and have proved fruitful even in the first few games of the season. Rodgers has tightened up with the defence with the capture of the absolute tank that is Sakho, arriving from PSG in France for around £18m – a price worth paying to capture one of the most exciting defensive players in Europe. Personally, I was disappointed to miss out on Christian Eriksen, but give the team at Liverpool tremendous credit in enticing the players that they have to Anfield this season. Thiago Llori has been chased by Rodgers for the last couple of transfer windows and he is delighted to have finally got his man. At £7m, this could prove a real coup and considering the young Portuguese centre back is only 20, he can be moulded into the ball-playing defender that Liverpool hope he will become.
So who’s left Anfield this summer? A few loan departures have been confirmed – Fabio Borini has joined Di Canio’s Sunderland, who are in dire need of a goal-scorer, Osama Assaidi has left for Stoke City and a few permanent transfers out have also been completed. Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll both left for West Ham, Pepe Reina on a season-long loan to Napoli, Jay Spearing (Bolton), Dani Pacheco (Alcorcon, Spain) and Jonjo Shelvery have all left the club, amongst others, but the only departure to raise any eyebrows was Reina’s move to Napoli. Initially, some were questioning the boss’ thoughts in letting Reina leave, but he has not been the same keeper the last few seasons and he needed real competition. Unfortunately for Pepe, this competition was too strong – so strong that he has lost his place in the side and has joined Rafa in pastures new. Simon Mignolet has been one of the best pieces of business the club completed this summer and he looks a real find in his first few games for the club. Saving a penalty, three clean sheets in the league, and master of a defence that has looked water-tight in recent weeks.
With Luis Suarez’s ban completed (in perfect time) for the visit to Old Trafford in the cup, it’s all coming together nicely for Liverpool. They have shown that they can win games without him and Sturridge has well and truly stepped up to the plate in the first few games of the season. We can only hope and wish for a strong season, but with the club at the top of the pile going into the international break, the season has started in superb style for Liverpool FC.
Follow Ryan on Twitter @trezisetime
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