Two players strongly linked with signing for Liverpool in the summer scored in the Champions League last night. Are fans right to take this as a positive?
Last night presented many Liverpool fans with a first opportunity to watch Henrikh Mkhitaryan in action over 90 minutes as Dortmund took on Arsenal.
The Armenian made the switch from Shakhtar Donetsk to the German side in the summer, after being heavily linkd with a transfer to Liverpool.
Brendan Rodgers even later admitted the club had been chasing him, but were unable to compete financially with Dortmund.
Another player linked with a move to Anfield was Diego Costa, who ended up signing a new contract with Atletico Madrid where he has been in unstoppable form scoring at a ratio of more than a goal a game.
Both players scored last night for their sides, Costa bagging a brace in Atletico's 3-0 away win over Austria Wien, and Mkhitaryan in Dortmund's 2-1 win at the Emirates.
The success of the pair caused quite a buzz on Twitter with Liverpool fans deciding and asking whether it proved the club have 'finally' got their scouting right.
Goals again for Costa and Mkhitaryan already tonight, just shows #LFC are finally starting to get scouting right.— Shane Hegarty (@shanehegarty87) October 22, 2013
Mkhitaryan and Diego Costa both on the score sheet this morning. Just need Willian to come on and score to further vindicate our scouts #LFC— Nick Sculley (@sculls_6) October 22, 2013
Mkhitaryan and Diego Costa are doing well for their respective clubs. One bright spot is that are scouting network are doing there job.#LFC— Mark McSherry (@mmcsherry80) October 22, 2013
Mkhitaryan, Diego Costa & Jorginho. Players #LFC were linked with. All scoring for their clubs. Makes me have faith in our scouting system.— Na'eem (@NemosBubble) October 22, 2013
Diego Costa and Henrik mkhitaryan proving that Liverpool are at least looking at the right players now #lfc— Mairtin (@Martymckeown83) October 22, 2013
After the disastrous Damien Commoli era and talk about 'moneyball', with cash invested wastefully on players like Charlie Adam, Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing, it's a topic you can't blame Liverpool fans for being concerned about.
It is of course a good sign that the two players they made efforts to sign are excelling. It would clearly be better if they were doing so in a Liverpool shirt, but the supporters are right that the club are on the right path.
What Liverpool need next summer is no more near misses on top quality players. The good will of supporters will only take them so far and tolerate so many 'almost's in the transfer market before impatience takes hold.
Looking at Liverpool's largely impressive start to the season, it really does make you wonder just how good they could have been had they been able to sign one of Mkhitaryan or Costa.
If they can keep their strong performances up, and qualify for Europe, particularly the Champions League, then the likes of the pair could well be signing at Anfield next summer; fans will just have to hope the scouts continue their good work.
Are fans right to take positives? Or is it just clutching at straws?
image: © Валерий Дудуш