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Liverpool 14/15 Season – What can we expect

22 August 2014

By Andrew McGoff - Follow @KopGoff

This coming season will be a true test of Brendan Rodgers managerial skills. After finishing second in the league last season Liverpool are no longer flying under the radar. There is no bigger stage to have your shortcomings exposed than the Champions League.

What was remarkable about our surge from 7th to 2nd was we did so with a paper thin squad. Thankfully since the 13/14 season ended LFC have been very active in the transfer market. Whilst it was hard to take losing a mercurial player like Luis Suarez, the upside was the loss gave us an additional £75m to upgrade our squad. It was clear last season that we did not have a game changer on the bench. No plan B. The Suarez sale added to the kitty to rectify this. To date we have signed Emre Can, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Lazar Markovic, Javier Manquillo, Dejan Lovren, Divock Origi (loaned back to Lille), Alberto Moreno, Kevin Stewart and have agreed a fee for Mario Balotelli. The first 8 on this list have been specifically targeted to fit Rodgers style of play and should be viewed as definite upgrades for players who were underwhelming last season: Lucas, Moses, Agger, Glen Johnson, Aspas and Alberto.

The Balotelli transfer has come out of leftfield after Rodgers categorically denied they would make an approach for the Italian striker. It appears that the asking price was reduced significantly which undoubtedly swayed Rodgers decision. In an ideal world we would also bring in a GK to challenge Mingolet for the number 1 slot. Whilst a number of the aforementioned confirmed signings do not sound terribly exciting to LFC fans, they are undoubtedly a step up on last season’s squad. Balotelli is clearly the exception to the rule here. It’s important to note that apart from the pending Balotelli transfer and Alexis Sanchez (when we tried to gazump the Arsenal deal) Liverpool have managed to complete the transfers of all their priority targets.

In mid-May my unpopular opinion was that we could sell / loan as many as 13 players, excluding players in the Reserves. Admittedly I did cheat a little and include Moses and Cissokho, who were due to return to parent clubs, in this.

In hindsight I’m not sure that Johnson and Enrique will go this window but I still believe Agger and Lucas will be sold. Assaidi clearly is not in Rodgers plans and will go if we can find a buyer (Stoke seemed to have cooled interest). With Toure committing to another stint Coates could also go and Borini appears to have been told he can leave with Sunderland bidding a reported £14m. In terms of loan deals I would not be surprised if Ibe and Suso joined Ilori, Teixeira, Alberto, Origi and Wisdom on loan.

I already consider this to be a fantastic transfer window for Liverpool. The only way it could get better would be if we could bring in a Goalkeeper and replace Lucas and Borini. (I do not dislike either of these players but I feel they are both no longer up to the level we require).

Top 4 must remain our goal for this season. I expect it will be considered more important than advancing from the Champion’s League group stage, which should be used for valuable experience and revenue.

Prediction: Naturally I would be ecstatic if we won the league, and it’s what I hope for every season. Given the extra games this season, and the change in the squad bought about by the new signings I believe we will finish 3rd.

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