By 90Min
June 30, 2019

When the transfer window opens, everyone wants their club to go wading into the market to secure some new signings, and give you something to analyse in lieu of actual club football action. 

Last summer we didn't get a break from it. Fabinho and Naby Keita were both Liverpool players by July 1st, while Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson both followed within a couple of weeks. There was no need for, say, entirely fabricated speculation surrounding Kylian Mbappe

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But that is what happens in a quiet summer, even after the incumbent squad finished the season with 97 league points and a Champions League trophy. 

It's something that is necessitated by the fans flooding Liverpool's reply and comment sections all over social media, inundating them with shallow responses about how the club is 'finished' for next season if Manchester United 'beat' them to Bruno Fernandes, or how 'the first team is fine but there is nothing on the bench.' 

That sort of frenzied attitude likely isn't reflective of the wider fanbase, who generally accept that not much is needed in the way of transfer business after an incredibly successful season, but the frustration levelled by some at the lack of movement throughout June is nonetheless worth addressing. 


Benefit of the Doubt

It would be a worthwhile criticism if the club's current transfer strategy, which has facilitated the arrivals of Alisson, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Fabinho, Andy Robertson and pretty much the entire spine of the current first team, wasn't one of the most effective in world football. 

Virtually every transfer decision made over the last three years, including signing off on Philippe Coutinho's departure, has led to an obvious improvement in the first team. Waiting six months on Virgil van Dijk rather than panicking and moving for an alternative when it didn't happen in the summer of 2017, is another. 

It's not a decision made out of laziness, a lack of funds available, or out of managerial oversight; there is nothing about the club in recent years that would suggest any of these things. So surely, then, when the club are seemingly opting not to invest heavily for the first time in recent memory, we owe them the benefit of the doubt that it is the right call, regardless of what our opinions may be on the strength of the squad.


Still Coming Together

It's difficult to fathom, especially after winning the Champions League and performing so consistently throughout the season, that the current group of players aren't yet at the peak of their powers. But they are still gelling as a group. 

Alisson, Fabinho and Keita - three players who will have to be on it if the Reds are to replicate their success - have played just one season of football with the current group, as has Shaqiri. Van Dijk is entering only his second pre-season, while Oxlade-Chamberlain is entering his first, as he returns from a year on the sidelines, and will have to be introduced like a new signing given how the team has evolved since his last run in it. 

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Actual new signing Sepp van den Berg will require a slow introduction, Rhian Brewster is yet to debut, while Harry Wilson could also find himself in the picture, on top of the one or two additions who are expected from here.

It's clear then that as good as things are at present, there is plenty of work left to do on squad chemistry. Throw another major ego in there, and you run the very real risk of upsetting the fragile balance of a squad that is on the precipice of something remarkable.


Change of Pace

The very fact that there is no clear room for a major signing is a positive sign. Previous squads have had gaping holes and the looming prospect of more being created, with key players being linked with moves away, but the current situation couldn't be farther removed.

There is no player realistically available that would improve on the current front three, and with the sheer depth of what is  available in midfield at present - with Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana as things stand - there isn't much breathing room there.

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The defence - as the best in the Premier League, with three positions sewn up and the other being contested by Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and now Van den Berg - speaks for itself, while there arguably isn't a better goalkeeper available, realistic or otherwise, than Alisson. 

In terms of outgoings, only a mind-bending offer would be enough to pry away any of the established first-team players as things stand, and that position is only solidified due to Liverpool now being a club at which players know they can compete on every front. Luis Suarez left for Barcelona to compete for silverware; Mohamed Salah will not be doing the same. 

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All this isn't to say that the squad, as things stand, is perfect. Having just one left-sided defender is less than ideal, while the drop in quality behind the first-choice front three is stark. But if Klopp's tenure so far has shown us anything, it's that he knows better than us, so we should be safe in the knowledge that he has a plan to address whatever minor issues that do exist. 

Rather than getting anxious about a lack of movement, we should be breathing a sigh of relief, and enjoying the break from the necessarily hectic nature of recent summer windows. The season will be back soon enough. 

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