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Do Liverpool need a marquee signing?

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3.22K   //    22 Jul 2016, 19:21 IST
Jurgen Klopp with one of his new signings, Sadio Mane, during a training session

Liverpool are going through yet another summer of transition like they have been since they last won the league title 26 years ago. Things look a lot better for them this time and it is mostly down to their manager Jurgen Klopp. Klopp took over the job from Brendan Rodgers 10 months ago and the Reds now look like a different force altogether having reached two cup finals last season.

But that is in the past now and Klopp is keen to reinvigorate his squad to an extent and have already signed the likes of Joel Matip, Loris Karius, Marko Grujic, Sadio Mane and Ragnar Klavan. It’s way too obvious that none of them can be labelled as a marquee signing and Mane’s £34m price tag doesn’t make him one. 

What exactly is a marquee signing? I would say a marquee player is someone who is world class and has a fair share of popularity. The amount of money spent on the player is obviously secondary to the above-mentioned aspects.

Many sections of the Liverpool fan base crave for a marquee signing and it is not a crime to wish for one when all of Liverpool’s rival clubs are making the headlines with their transfers. However, a neutral football fan would obviously wonder whether Liverpool needs a marquee signing and whether they can sign a big name player.

Does Liverpool have the money and pulling power?

Long gone are the days when teams in the English Premier League feared Liverpool as a formidable force. The league title has eluded the Reds for 26 years and in fact, they haven’t won a trophy since the 2012 League Cup. They don't even have European football in the upcoming season.

But, Liverpool are still the most decorated club in England with 41 major trophies and they have a manager who is one of the best in Europe. The sales of Jordon Ibe, Martin Skrtel, Jerome Sinclair, and a couple of others have already boosted the Merseyside club's war chest.

Christian Benteke, Mario Balotelli, and Joe Allen are expected to be sold which would add at least £40m to their transfer budget.

Liverpool have missed out on so many players in the past and that list consists of world class players like Willian, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Alexis Sanchez. It is obvious that the Reds need to be more precise and clinical in their transfer business or else they will end up missing out on key targets and overpaying for players.

The so-called transfer committee is just a delusion now and Klopp has the final word on all the transfer dealings. He certainly has the money and the authority to go after any player he wants.

Also read: 6 big players Liverpool failed to sign under Brendan Rodgers

Does European Football really matter?

In the last 6 seasons, Liverpool have managed only a single top 5 finish. Considering the level of competition in the league right now, even a top 4 finish requires a huge effort. In order to boost the chances of securing a champions league place, it is vital that the Reds should make signings that would improve the squad significantly and Liverpool tend to ignore this fact.

They rather choose to have a go at those top 4 places with limited resources and once they have achieved that target, go all guns blazing in the transfer market. That is pretty much a poor strategy and the Reds need to learn a lesson or two from what their rivals.

Chelsea have no European football this season just like Liverpool but, they have wrapped up deals for Michy Batshuayi and N’Golo Kante.

Manchester United are playing in the Europa league this season but astonishingly, they have signed Zlatan Ibrahimovich and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. To make this even better for them, Paul Pogba is reportedly on the verge of joining the Red Devils for a world record fee.

It is understandable that having no European football doesn’t really matter in the transfer business if a club has the right manager, the money and the ability to convince players that there exists a flawless strategy to achieve the targets which have been set.

It’s all down to Jurgen Klopp

Apparently, Liverpool have the money and a player would think twice before refusing to play for Klopp but, the Liverpool manager has his own way of doing things. Marco Reus, Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were not the world class players that they are now when Klopp had signed them for a very small percentage of their current market values.

Klopp is someone who believes in coaching players and having a specific system of play to deploy them in the pitch. His adventures with Borussia Dortmund have certainly proved that his philosophies are scrupulous. Liverpool fans need to be patient with him and trust in him after all, he did take the club to two cup finals with an unbalanced squad handed over by his predecessor.

Also read: What's Jurgen cooking at Anfield?

The Bottomline

Having no European football this time around is a blessing in disguise in a way as they would only have one match a week and can focus on their league target. A major reason why Leicester won the league last campaign and Liverpool themselves came ever so close in 2013/14 season was that they had no European football which is a huge advantage over the others in the title race.

Although winning the title seems impossible, a top four finish is certainly achievable.

The fans would obviously want a signing to talk about and which they believe would make a statement and indeed it would but, Klopp knows what he needs and he will only sign the players he really wants as history suggests. It is no doubt that the Liverpool squad needs upgrades in a lot of departments and if a world class player is available then the Reds should seriously consider signing him.

One would feel making a world class signing for the sake it would be stupidity. Liverpool fans will be relying on Jurgen Klopp’s intelligence and he and his team have a lot to prove this season.

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