Three Free Men and a £Million Teenager

Three Free Men and a £Million Teenager
July 1, 2015 Chris Rowland

by Chris Rowland.

So it looks like we’re getting our transfer business done quickly, early and decisively. Since this initial flurry we’ve added Firmino and look set to conclude three more deals, with Benteke, Augustinsson and Adinkanye. Meanwhile Gerrard, Johnson, Jones, Aspas and Coates have all departed, and there may be several others yet to pass through the frantically revolving Anfield doors – Lambert, Borini, maybe Balotelli, Lucas, Luis Alberto – and Sterling. That could amount to eight in and 11 out. Has there ever been a net movement of 19 players in and out during a summer?

But we kicked off all our summer transfer activity by signing two English players and a Hungarian goalkeeper, all on free transfers, and another ‘promising English youngster’ for £3.5m. With Gerrard and Johnson already departed and the possible departures of Sterling and Lambert, Milner, Ings and Gomez will join Henderson, Sturridge, Lallana, Ibe and Flanagan, and maybe even still Sterling, in our home-grown quota.

Milner and Ings both fall under the general heading ‘unspectacular’, and neither fit the ‘marquee signing’ bill that many are crying out for – it feels like we still need some stardust, though maybe Firmino fits that bill. But they will add some much-needed physicality and are undeniably players who will ‘put in a shift’ (the term ‘English workhorses’ seems almost tautology), though hopefully they’re both a bit more than just that. But the questions remain – what qualities and quality will they also bring to the side, and what will they end up costing us, for vastly differing reasons – in Milner’s case, a top end salary, and in Ings’, the agreed compensation fee, given Tottenham’s random intervention with a £12m offer which appeared to serve no other purpose than to drive up the final fee Liverpool have to pay.

And Adam Bogdan – well if we were to take the uniformly bleak view, he’s come from a Championship team in Bolton Wanderers, and wasn’t even their first choice.  And at 27, he’s no promising youngster. The positive view – he’s only 27, much younger than the departing Brad Jones and surely an upgrade on the Aussie. He was MoM against us at Anfield last season – as quite a few keepers were.

James Milner

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