I count four smart moves made by Liverpool in the summer transfer window. Jürgen Klopp now has a deeper squad buoyed the talents of Fabinho, Naby Keita, Alisson Becker, and Xherdan Shaqiri. FSG brought out the big checkbook this summer in order to land a couple of these deals but there was nothing frivolous in the club’s business this time around. It was clear from the start of the off season that the manager had identified his targets and Michael Edwards was getting the good work done.
But the manager did leave some room for spontaneity in all the preparedness. Klopp has been adamant that he never changed his opinion of Loris Karius after the blunders of the Champions League final. But when Alisson’s availability became known, as well as, the Brazilian goalkeeper’s desire to play for Liverpool, it was a deal they would be crazy not to pursue.
“The Champions League final had absolutely nothing to do with our transfer business,” said Klopp.
“Everything was already fixed and clear what we wanted. All decisions were made to that point already. I think our areas were obvious.
“If Alisson was not on the market, we don’t move for a goalkeeper. He was on the market so we went for it.
Fabinho arrived immediately following Liverpool’s defeat to Real Madrid in the final. Poof, he was there. Emre Can had been slowly leaving for a whole year and Klopp was prepared with both a replacement and an upgrade in Fabinho. The deal was a signal that business was going to get done and Liverpool were going to exaggerate their swagger a little bit more this coming season.
The deal for Nabil Fekir never panned out due to knowledge learned during the Frenchman’s medical. But Shaqiri was brought in as a plan B, on the cheap from relegated Stoke City, and has looked a player so far this pre-season.
“That we wanted to have more options offensively - that was clear long before the final, Klopp said. “I think Shaqiri is a fantastic example of how you can do it.
“He ticks different boxes, he can play wide, he can play 10, it looks like he can play eight, too, and that is cool.
“As for Fabinho, we knew a bit longer that Emre (Can) would not extend his contract so Fabinho was clear as a target, but not clear that we would get him.
“Naby was clear. One left, one came in. Phil (Coutinho) left before, then Naby came in. It is not the same type of player but it is a similar position at least.”
Liverpool could still use a couple more players but you’d be hard pressed to find too much to question after this transfer window.