The summer before the start of Liverpool's season is always a potent mixture of optimism and an impending sense of doom, and while this one's followed a fairly similar pattern, the club's early business in the transfer market both coming in and going out has inspired more positive sentiment than usual. Henrikh Mkhitaryan didn't end up coming and was probably set for Dortmund the whole time which means it's the last time I ever embed one of your stinking tweets Artur Petrosyan(!!!), but aside from that whole fiasco--and the verbal diarrhea sweeping through AM sports talk radio in Uruguay--it's been a solid two-plus months for Liverpool. And, if you indulge your grandiose side a bit more, you'll be happy to hear that Brendan Rodgers is confident the club will end the summer in even better stead.
"Our recruitment team are doing a great job behind the scenes in compiling lists of players that we can afford and might be available for us. What we've done in the early part of the summer is to improve the squad. That's something I feel we've done with the players we've brought in. Now what's important over the next three to five weeks is improving the team. That's something the club is working very hard at. I'm sure by the time the end of August comes we'll be ready and we'll have a terrific squad ready to challenge."
Rodgers' distinction between squad and team appears to be important; it may very well be reading too much into words that are often interchangeable, but it does seem to indicate that the club are looking to bring in additional first-team talent, or at least players who will be challenging for a consistent role in the starting eleven from day one.
There's an argument to be made that three of the four who have already arrived fit that bill, as Simon Mignolet will certainly push Pepe Reina if the Spaniard sticks around, Kolo Toure is designed to support and challenge for a spot in central defense, and Iago Aspas is, at the current time, already set for a start in most minds. Luis Alberto will probably be brought along more slowly, but he'll also be getting plenty of minutes if Rodgers' earlier comments about his signing hold true.
From there, I don't think we'll be surprised by the areas addressed--the manager clearly wants to add a midfielder in the mold of Mkhitaryan, and while concrete links with further reinforcements defensively have faded, it seems clear enough that there's going to be something happening over the next few weeks. Business on the way out isn't likely over either, though loan deals will likely compose the majority of the outgoing action.
We can complain about Mkhitaryan, moan about Suarez, lament the failings of transfer windows past, and talk about how all of it combines to leave Liverpool even more irrelevant than they were before. And what fun that would be!
Or, we could acknowledge that it's July 11th--or 12th maybe for some of you, time zones are weird--and the club are in better shape than they were to end last season, with plenty of reason to believe that they'll make continued improvement as preseason kicks into full gear and the season starts.
I mean, we can at least wait until the season's over before we talk about what a failure it was, right?