Two summer splurges from Liverpool, but there seems to be more of a purpose this time

Anfield Night

Nine arrivals last summer, and a busy summer a year later. Is there more clarity to Liverpool's transfer business this time around?

Last summer Liverpool bring in as many as nine players, this summer they are on the brink of signing their sixth player - you could be forgiven for thinking they are splashing the cash and could be signing a whole host of players who just aren't going to cut it at Anfield.

But this summer feels a little different. No-one knows how the new signings are going to settle, but all the players that Liverpool have been linked with, or have signed, seem to have a purpose. 

With the proceeds of the sale of Luis Suarez last summer, Liverpool splashed the cash on nearly every area of the team. Brendan Rodgers wanted a bigger squad in order to have more of a Plan B and change the game from the bench, something which he couldn't really do as the Reds improbably challenged for the Premier League title. 

Rickie Lambert looked to provide a different dimension on the face of things but was in no way a replacement for Suarez, and the Reds ultimately ended up buying Mario Balotelli in an attempt to fill that particular void, but he quickly fell out of favour with the manager and didn't have the desired effect. The Italian was clearly a panic buy and it's difficult to establish whether the signing really had Rodgers' blessing or if it was the work of the infamous transfer committee. 

Dejan Lovren was bought to try and stabilise a leaky defence but hasn't worked out so far, while Adam Lallana may have struggled with injuries during his debut season but has provided further depth in the attacking midfield area.

Emre Can was signed as a midfielder but played mostly as a defender and Lazar Markovic struggled during his opening season at the club and was played in all manner of positions while Alberto Moreno seems to be one player who has consistently played one role.

Turning to this summer, James Milner provides a lot of experience and energy to the Liverpool midfield and seems like the kind of player that would suit a Brendan Rodgers team at their best - his experience will count for a lot given the departure of Steven Gerrard.

Danny Ings will arrive at the club having scored more goals for a relegated Burnley side than the rest of Liverpool's forward options, and has plenty of development left in him, while Adam Bogdan seems a like for like replacement for the departed Brad Jones when it comes to goalkeeping cover.

Roberto Firmino brings a goalscoring edge to the side and is versatile, as he can play off the front man, out wide and as the main striker. After a season where Liverpool scored nearly 50 goals fewer than the previous campaign, and with the departure of Raheem Sterling looking all the more likely, the thinking behind the Brazilian's arrival is there for all to see. 

Nathaniel Clyne looks to be next in at the club from Southampton and the signing of the highly rated right-back is essential given Liverpool's shortage of reliable options in that area, while the links with Christian Benteke suggest the reasons for Liverpool's interest is similar to that of Ings - while some would say he is a more mobile version of Balotelli - though that seems a little harsh. 

The one signing thus far that doesn't seem to fit, at least not right now, is that of Joe Gomez from Charlton Athletic. The defender could be cover for the Reds, but he may be a player the club fancied for the future and they could want him to go out on loan.

But there does seem to be a bit more clarity to Liverpool's approach in the transfer market this summer overall compared to last summer. Players are coming in to perform different roles, regardless of the system the manager will want to play. 

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