Liverpool missed a trick on “amazing” £51m “machine” this summer - opinion


Liverpool focused exclusively on the reshaping of the midfield this summer after falling by the wayside last season, with manager Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Jorg Schamdtke working tirelessly to get the Premier League club back on track this year.

When the German manager took the reins in 2015, Anfield was in a state of disarray, with the club failing to sustain a spot at the upper echelon of the league ladder and yielding just one Carabao Cup title - in 2012 - since Steven Gerrard's unforgettable ranged volley saved Liverpool from defeat against West Ham United in the 2006 FA Cup final, with Rafa Benitez's side then prevailing on penalties.

Klopp transformed the Reds and has led them to success across nearly every possible front - notably winning the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup - but last season the wheels fell off and Liverpool languished to a fifth-placed finish, missing out on this year's Champions League edition.

To replenish the ranks, James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all left in June upon the expiry of their contracts, while Fabinho and Jordan Henderson were sold to Saudi Arabian sides - Fabio Carvalho also left for RB Leipzig on loan.

Four new faces have been introduced to the centre, and while the 2023/24 campaign is still in its early phase, ten points from a possible 12 in the English top-flight tantalises a season of far greater success.

While the acquisitions have mostly sent the Kop into rapture, there were a few missed tricks on the summer market, with two notable blunders resulting in the unlikely and unanticipated signing of Wataru Endo from German side Stuttgart.

After signing Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai to commence what was promised to be an exciting summer, a rich profusion of optimism sprouted across the red half of Merseyside.

The subsequent £40m sale of Fabinho to Al-Ittihad did open a hole in the defensive section of the midfield, however, and the next port of call was clear for all to see.

Romeo Lavia was the No. 1 target to replace the Brazilian anchor, with Liverpool the clear favourites after pushing for the player for the majority of July, though following a triad of unsuccessful bids, the fan disgruntlement started to be heard.

In a shocking turn of events, Liverpool lodged a £111m bid for Brighton & Hove Albion's Moises Caicedo, and while this staggering offer was accepted by the Seagulls, the player's preference to join Chelsea - who had been in pursuit all summer - stuffed Liverpool's advances and left Klopp and co hot under the collar.

Lavia and Caicedo would both ultimately join Chelsea, with the Stamford Bridge side prevailing in a high-profile transfer battle and leaving Liverpool to delve down a deeper path to sign the experienced Endo.

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