Liverpool splashed a lot of cash this summer. Fueled by returning to the Champions League for the first time in far too long and by the sale of Luis Suarez, Liverpool brought in eight players plus another for the future that cost them a whopping £133 million, though that cost was offset heavily by player sales totaling £100 million.
Despite that heavy investment, though, things haven't gone all that well. Mario Balotelli has been, by and large, a frustrating disappointment up top. Dejan Lovren has been better of late on the back line, but he's also caused more heartache than relief. Lazar Markovic has done little to justify his price tag. Rickie Lambert has barely played, and hasn't impressed much when he has. Emre Can has been hurt more than he's been healthy, and his performances have been a mixed bag.
The only unequivocal successes have been fullbacks Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo, but even they've had their lumps this season. As Liverpool's long spell of uninspiring and unsuccessful performances continue, many have started to wonder if the signing class was a failure.
Not so, says Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool's manager has faith that his signings will come good, especially Lambert and Markovic, and puts the burden of getting their talents to shine on his own shoulders. "It is up to myself to find the solution. We have players that are working very, very hard and still learning about each other.
"Lambert hasn't had many opportunities," Rodgers went on to add. "Goals will come. He has worked tirelessly every day." So far, that tireless work hasn't come to much on the pitch, but patience wins out a lot of the time, especially for a player with Lambert's track record.
As for Markovic, Rodgers noted that the club has "confidence that Markovic will become a big player for us." Rodgers has mentioned in the past that while you obviously hope to get immediate impact with signings, bringing in a kid like Markovic is much more about the long-term picture than the here and now. The Serbian international has a lot of gifts, but he's also taking a big step up from the Portuguese Liga. At just 20 years old, there's going to be lumps to iron out while he makes the transition.
Hopefully Rodgers is right and we see the best these players can offer, and soon. If Liverpool are going to find success in both the league and European competition, they need the entire squad playing well. If parts of it can't keep up the pace, it will hurt the squad. Rodgers has typically found good results when he's put his faith in certain players, so let's all hope that trend continues on.