It's been an eventful 2015-16 season for supporters of Liverpool Football Club what with Jose Enrique leaving the club and all, but everyone knows that summer is the time of year when the real work of winning trophies is done (assuming you ignore the fall, winter and spring). Having only been in charge for two months when the January transfer window rolled around, and given how he has spoken positively of the players already on the club's payroll, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was unsurprisingly restrained in the mid-season transfer market.
However, with the summer transfer window just around the corner and an eventful seven months under his belt, Klopp will now focus his attention on reshaping the squad depth chart in accordance with his vision. Inevitably, the offseason also brings with it a veritable cornucopia of transfer news and rumors, and it can be difficult for the casual observer to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Until there's a picture of a player holding a shirt and standing next to a sheepish executive in a suit, it is very much a guessing game. That said, longtime readers of The Liverpool Offside will have been well-acquainted with the process of assigning probabilities to a given transfer based on various factors. As Marshall McLuhan noted, the medium is the message. You can develop a pretty good idea of whether or not a given transfer is within the realm of possibility if you know what signs to look for.
To aid novice observers in interpreting the well-hidden signs and clues to the likelihood of a transfer, the following is a handy checklist of factual considerations, accompanied by a plus/minus modifier indicating whether the presence of that factor makes a transaction more or less likely. With this checklist in hand, you are now ready to click through the flood of spurious rumors and half-baked conjecture that is just around the corner. You're welcome.
Potential Outbound Transfers
- Have you bought an official jersey bearing the player's name within the past 12 months? Good work tempting fate! +18%
- Is the player represented by Aidy Ward? +22%
- Has Liverpool's outlay in acquiring the player been mentioned in more than 90% of discussion about the player recently? +14%
- Is Arsenal the purported suitor? -33%
- Is Barcelona the purported suitor? +33%
- When the player's name is mentioned in press conferences, has Klopp been observed to disengage his lower jaw in instinctive anticipation of swallowing said player's head whole, like a snake looking at a player who gets caught out of position all the time? +18%
- Is the player an Academy product whose face and name you barely remember? +11%
- Has the player spent more than 3 seasons on loan at one or more lower league clubs with uninspiring animal nicknames? +25%
Potential Inbound Transfers
- Is the source article accompanied by pop-up advertising for luxury watches? -13%
- Have you noticed your computer running more slowly since initially clicking on the source article? -16%
- Does the source article use the phrase "footy" in anything other than an ironic fashion? -27%
- Does the source article include contextual quotes from the player's father/mother/brother/sister/agent/family pet? +12%
- Does the player typically play in a position where the current Liverpool starter's name rhymes with "Shmimon Shmignolet"? +37%
- Is there a photograph of the player sitting next to Ian Ayre with a pen in his hand? You know you can do amazing things with Photoshop these days, right? -5%.
- Is the player currently under contract at Southampton? +30%
- Have you clicked on a YouTube scouting report for the player in the past 48 hours? -15%
- Does the player in question share the same nationality as the current manager? +10%
- Does the source article use the verb "swoop"? -20%
- Does the source article use the word "shock"? -20%
- Are umlauts strangely missing from certain names in the source article? -20%
- Do you support Borussia Dortmund and is Marco Reus the player in question? +99%
- Is the player Arda Turan? -99%