Virgil van Dijk was brought in for world-record money. Naby Keïta is coming to Anfield this summer, also for a top-30 all time sum. Liverpool owners FSG have shown that if the player is right and the manager is on board, they are willing to splurge to improve their squad. The challenge, then, for a club that is among the ten richest in the world, yet only the fifth richest in their domestic league, is that not every signing can be a record-setting one.
That may fly for clubs bankrolled by oligarchs and corporations with bottomless pockets — particularly as Financial Fair Play seems to have no deterrent effect — but in Liverpool’s case, still building a squad that can compete on two or three fronts for a full season, every big-money player must be balanced by a shrewd acquisition of some sort; identifying an undervalued asset, developing a teenager, picking up a player whose contract is running down, etc.
The current squad has all these; Mohamed Salah’s former club were compelled to sell the Egyptian due to financial troubles, Joël Matip, James Milner and Dominic Solanke were free transfers, and Trent Alexander-Arnold has been with the club since the age of six, climbing the ranks of the academy.
Given this broad approach to transfer policy, one wouldn’t be surprised to find the Reds poaching young players with expiring contracts from their top four rivals, as is the case with Isaac Christie-Davies and Javairõ Dilrosun.
Chelsea winger Christie-Davies has been informed by his current club that his contract won’t be renewed, and is currently having a trial on Merseyside to decide if he will play the next chapter of his career in red. On his end, Manchester City’s Dilrosun is being chased by a number of clubs across the continent, including Benfica, RB Leipzig, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and Valencia.
Whether either player will end up at Anfield remains to be seen, but that’s two pacy, dribbly wingers yet to make a career senior appearance, available on free transfers from direct Premier League top four rivals. Not the worst way in the world to add cheap talent to your squad.