What on earth is going on right now? As there is not a credible rumour in sight, some scurrilous scoundrels continue to concoct the most rudderless rumours for our convenient consumption. Unwanted reader, know that these rumours are as baseless as they are nonsensical. Liverpool aren't going to sign more than the number of left backs it takes to change a light bulb and will not break the club's transfer record to sign a player from the Primeira Liga.
How can we explain, then, the recent churn of soul-destroying transfer links? It's all part of the game, and in time, real news will come. Perhaps we should think of this as the suffering before eventual salvation, if such a thing exists for Liverpool fans. Last summer, James Milner and Danny Ings were done deals in early June, giving a sense of momentum to the club's transfer business. Adam Bogdan, of course, wasn't a big deal then and isn't now. Nathaniel Clyne, Joe Gomez, and Roberto Firmino were effectively signed, sealed, and delivered before the month was out --setting up plenty of leaning when the Jim White' favourite time of the year officially opened in July. Christian Benteke, a player who is a good bet to thrive elsewhere, was secured before July gave way to August.
What's different this time? Marko Grujić (January), Joël Matip (February), and Loris Karius (May) were all early deals that should help Liverpool's squad become more rounded. Mario Götze appeared to be so set against moving to Liverpool that he parted with his agent, which probably disappointed Jürgen Klopp quite a bit. Still, the 48-year-old is the most important signing Liverpool have made for quite some time. We don't need to fear the call of an alluring club this summer and beyond, which gives the club a direction and a guaranteed presence in trying to restore Liverpool as a truly consistent and competitive outfit.
There has been much written about what Liverpool can expect this summer, how fans need to brace themselves for struggle, and WHY KLOPP MUST GET IT RIGHT THIS SUMMER. While Liverpool cannot afford to slip up and fall behind, the club has been underachieving for virtually this entire decade. 2013/14 was an wondrous exception to an existence of sixth, seventh, and eighth. Make no mistake, even a fifth-placed finish with Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and Premier League champions Leicester City would represent some form of progress.
When a club has finished with -- excluding the 2013/14 campaign -- an average of 58.6 points across five seasons this decade, fans need to adjust expectations somewhat. Which sixth to eighth-placed Liverpool vintage would finish above even one of those aforementioned six teams? This is Klopp's task: to find additions that can help Liverpool finish above at least three of those teams -- Everton (Koeman and money), Southampton (sly stability and signings), and West Ham United (rock star manager and ambition) cannot be discounted either -- to secure Champions League football. If this is not achieved, Liverpool need to be at least appear close to doing so.
Jürgen Klopp's task is not a simple one, but it might explain the silence. Klopp's very work takes root with time to train and prepare for a specific approach to games. He plans for today as well as tomorrow, and Liverpool's signings will reflect that. It's how he worked at Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund with lasting and sustainable consequences. While Klopp certainly wields much power at Liverpool, he did not work alone. Christian Heidel and Michael Zorc supported Klopp, and the departing Ian Ayre will have the same role this summer.
For now, we must plough through the foul stench to reach the unknown. Remember, we never saw Roberto Firmino coming. Do not forget that Loris Karius was among a number of goalkeepers before he became our Highlander. Mario Götze looked like a very close run thing that we didn't need to talk about too often to avoid jinxing the deal until we found out that he just wasn't that into us.
Be prepared to enter once more into the fray, and whatever transpires, we will all dance to the tune spun by the Football Gods. Klopp, too, will play his role as we wait to become whole. It's the surreptitious slither of hope that allows us to endure barren times such as these.