More good news came in the form of Raheem Sterling signing for Manchester City for the staggering price of £49 million. One wonders what Man City sees in this youngster because I’m left scratching my head. Yes, Sterling shows flashes of potential but he current skill base appears limited to running in a straight line very quickly and firing the laces through the ball now and again. On the opposite side of the coin, he tends to stumble over his own feet, has trouble finishing with any consistency, and clearly is extremely selfish. Not that we should be surprised by that last bit. While at QPR, Sterling chose Liverpool FC when several clubs came courting and his only interest was the most money and signed with Liverpool. True to form, he’s chased the money again and settled at Manchester City. Good for him. Glad he graced us with his presence but happy we cashed him in for £49 million. Best of luck, Raheem.
But even with the recent splash of cash, not all is rosy in the garden of Melwood and questions remain. The most pressing questions center around Rodgers and his sometimes questionable coaching style. Rumors abound he’s looking to sign Christian Benteke from Aston Villa for £32 million but the fan base is largely uninspired by the potential transfer. Though Benteke can score, he’s prone to injury and is a striker thrives on muscling his way to through the box instead of the subtle and precise movement of a Suarez close. From where I sit, I tend to follow the group perspective in saying Benteke does not fit the current attacking system but perhaps that opinion is born from the hangover of Luis Suarez. Liverpool saw amazing success with that player and perhaps the default position believes another player of similar style will guarantee similar Suarez-like results. However, perhaps the creative talents of a hard-hitting midfield will be enough to support a layoff and thumping striker who can finish. Truth be told, I don’t know what to think beyond believing £32 is far too much to spend for such a player but time will tell.
But questions remain. In buying Benteke for such a large price, one feels like Rodgers hasn’t learned from prior errors and is slipping into his old ways and that is a scary proposition. As things stand, Liverpool, though historically a high-end club, is not currently the destination for top-tier players. A sad but true fact. Players are more likely to move toward Manchester United, Manchester City, or Chelsea than Liverpool so in signing Benteke, perhaps this is the best Rodgers can muster as he searches for a striker with rock solid production numbers. Irrespective, things have still improved so my concern now rests with how exactly Rodgers will deploy these new tools. It is time for Rodgers and his new staff to find his best eleven and use them until he runs into the trouble. Last year saw numerous questionable substitution decisions which seemed ill advised. There was also his proclivity to change the formation a handful of times during a match – so often, in fact, the team became fragmented and unfocused. If he can avoid such madness, perhaps there is hope to avoid the mistake of last seasons.
Regardless of how the summer transfer window finishes (though I’d be jumping up and down if Liverpool could sign the scoring vonderkin from Lyon, Andrea Lacazette), there is no doubt Liverpool appear be better prepared to face the trials and tribulations of the 2015/16 Premier League season. Will top-four be the result? That remains to be seen but with Manchester City signing the likes of Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Morgan Scheiderlin, United look like one team prepared for the Liverpool assault.