During Kenny Dalglish’s second spell as manager of Liverpool, he managed to spend £130.3 million.
Whilst many have criticized the way the Reds legend spent the club’s resources, it must also be acknowledged he brought in a number of players who can be considered successes at the club.
The likes of Luis Suarez, for example, along with Jose Enrique, Suso, Brad Jones, and Jonjo Shelvey were acquisitions that can not be considered entirely wasteful, by their varying degrees of success.
However, his acquisitions of Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam, Sebastian Coates and Jordan Henderson for the most part for excessive transfer fees have left the club and the new manager Brendan Rodgers in the lurch.
Those players combined cost £85.5 million – Adam and Carroll together will make a loss for the club of £22.9 million (providing Carroll signs for West Ham this summer at £15.5 million which represents a loss of £19.5 million all on its own).
Raul Meireles’ purchase and sale effectively made the club £500,00 in profit, whilst Suarez is reportedly the subject of interest worth up to £50 million this summer. If indeed he was sold for that price, that would represent a £27 million profit – his transfer to Liverpool from Ajax was worth £23 million.
However, the likes of Carroll, Downing, Adam, Coates and to a lesser extent Henderson cannot really be considered success stories – not for the money spent on them, at any rate. If only Rodgers had that £85.5 million to spend along with his supposed £20 million ‘kitty’ this summer.
Since his arrival, Rodgers has made some outstanding purchases in Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, Joe Allen, and Fabio Borini along with Oussama Assaidi and Samed Yesil who between them cost £48.8 million.
The first two especially are players of exceptional quality that really can make a big impact on the team as they’ve shown even in their brief outings in 2013 this term.
The club need quality added to their ranks if they genuinely do intend to challenge for the top four in the Premier League next term. That is where a club of Liverpool’s stature should be and that is where the fans want to see them return.
But Rodgers now has limited resources with which to play – he has a decision to make over Suarez which would allow him to be a little more extravagant this summer in the marketplace but he must sell off his best asset to achieve that financial freedom. That is his dilemma and the club’s this summer.
If only he had been the man to replace Rafael Benitez and inherited Dalglish’s budget, things would likely have been very different for Liverpool in the last few seasons – they would not be playing catch up and Rodgers would not be trying to undo the damage of his predecessor.
Targets like Christian Eriksen, Christian Benteke, and Kyriakos Papadopoulos would likely take up most of his £20 million kitty this summer individually, never mind combined. But Rodgers could have bought all three and still had plenty of change left in his pocket from £80-odd million for the likes of Christian Tello, James McCarthy or Callum McManaman just for example.
That kind of wastage leaves Rodgers with a great deal of transfer Svengali work to do this summer, as he did very well in January but he would have been able to go after many many more quality targets had his reign at Anfield not been preceded by some of the most ill-advised transfers in the club’s history. How different things could have been.
image: © dannymol