After releasing a number of experienced internationals in a bid to slash Liverpool’s wage budget, manager Brendan Rodgers sought to replace them, especially with players he has worked with before. So, how did his new signings fared this season?
Fabio Borini – Forward; £10 million:
Initially being deployed on the right-flank in Rodgers’ 4-3-3 formation to accommodate both him and Luis Suarez, Italian U-21 international Fabio Borini never looked comfortable in the wide positions. A return of one Premier League goal and one goal in a Europa League qualifier, coupled with a succession of months on the treatment table, Rodgers’ first signing definitely needs to make a huge improvement next season to avoid going down the path of former Reds’ flops Andrei Voronin, Robbie Keane and Milan Jovanovic.
Joe Allen – Midfielder; £15 million:
Brought over from Swansea City with Rodgers, Joe Allen’s form nosedived after a few promising performances. After showing he could tough it out with players twice his size like Yaya Toure and Marouane Fellaini, he could not produce much else other than safe, sideway passes that gradually frustrated the Kop. With the emergence of the more forward-thinking Jonjo Shelvey, return to form of the energetic Jordan Henderson and return to fitness of fans’ favourite Lucas Leiva, Allen fell down the pecking order and out of favour. He was supposed to be the man that was going to help Rodgers’ implement his fluid 4-3-3 onto this team, but it even seems his biggest fan, Rodgers himself, could not trust him post-Christmas onwards.
Daniel Sturridge – Forward; £12 million:
11 goals in 15 appearances tells you everything you need to know about his debut half-season. Instantly striking up a connection with Luis Suarez few worried could not be done, Daniel Sturridge has impressed further in the Uruguayan’s absence with some fine finishing, movement and link-up play with other January signing Philippe Coutinho. However, he seems to turn it on only every other game, it will be seen if he can find more consistency and maintain his early promise into next season.
Philippe Coutinho – Attacking Midfielder; £8.5 million:
What a steal Philippe Coutinho seems to be proving to be already. Having the eye for a pass is one thing, executing it with such perfection is another. At just 20 years of age, he is only going to get better. Coutinho is just what Liverpool is looking for, a new, fresh source of creativity that has been so dependent on Steven Gerrard, and more recently, Luis Suarez for so long. A handful of assists and three goals in a healthy return in his first taste of English football. Coutinho has shown he can deal with the physical nature of the league, and it will be interesting to see what more he can do next season.
Other signings not mentioned due to their minimal impact: Oussama Assaidi – Winger; £2.3 million; Samed Yesil – Striker; £1 million.