There has been plenty of transfer activity for Liverpool this summer with a number of arrivals and departures as Jurgen Klopp has looked to build himself a squad in his first pre-season at Melwood. The latest departure of Christian Benteke, who left for Crystal Palace in a £27 million + £5 mil in add-ons deal means Klopp has now sold a total of five players for around £65 million, almost recouping all of the money he spent on summer reinforcements of his own.
The intelligent nature of Klopp’s transfer business lies with the fact that buy-back options have been inserted in the contracts of those he has sold but still believes to have potential. Though not in current first-team plans, Liverpool could well still see the likes of Jordon Ibe and Brad Smith back at Anfield in the future, as the pair have both been sold to Bournemouth on a conditional basis.
A lot of people were confused when Klopp got rid of 20-year-old Ibe for £15 million, but the German manager has explained why this is a perfect business for the Reds.
For starters, he received excellent value for a highly talented but unproven youngster who can further develop in a smaller club like Bournemouth, and then after a few years, should Ibe fulfil that potential, Liverpool will be first in line to get him back. This move suits all parties.
Similar agreements have been reached for Bradley Smith and Sergi Canos as well. The youngsters left for Bournemouth and Norwich respectively, but with buy-back clauses inserted into their contracts. From Klopp’s perspective, these moves are merely long-term loans. A more short-term actual loan move has been arranged for Jon Flanagan to Burnley meanwhile, and the promising full-back who is back after long-term injury will be back at Anfield for the 2017/18 season.
Other business that has taken place for the Reds this window includes the departure of Joe Allen. The “Welsh Pirlo” starred at Euro 2016 for his national team, but that wasn’t enough for Klopp to keep him in the squad, and after the arrivals of Grujic and Wijnaldum, he decided to let him go.
Stoke City came in with an offer of £13 million, an amount that the Liverpool manager seemingly deems acceptable for a rotational player. Allen was a fan favourite at Anfield and was always respected for his style of playing, but with plenty of central midfielders at the club, he was essentially surplus to requirements.
Martin Skrtel has also left the club after wearing the red shirt for eight years. Klopp appears to be of the same opinion as fans who have grown tired of the Slovakian’s regular errors, and the German boss has already brought in Matip and Klavan as replacements.
Skrtel joined Fenerbahce for £5 million, the same amount that Klopp spent for Matip and Klavan which is further evidence of Klopp’s shrewd and wise management.
Sadio Mané perhaps remains Liverpool’ stand-out summer signing. The forward joined from Southampton for around £30 million and got his first league goal on debut against Arsenal last week. The Reds will be hoping all of their additions can have a similar immediate impact.
As for the rest of the window, the only unsolved problem appears to be at left-back. Alberto Moreno is not playing well, and make-shift alternative James Milner is not a natural LB. Despite being the most versatile player in the league – Milner is rather ineffective with his left foot and is therefore far from ideal as cover for the unreliable Moreno.
Should Klopp address this situation with a strong full-back signing before the end of the month, then Liverpool can consider themselves to have had a fantastic window both in terms of squad reinforcement as well as financially.