Brendan Rodgers says that he has faith in Liverpool’s misfiring Summer signings and he believes that they will come good and are improving each time they play together this season.
The Liverpool boss brought in nine new faces to the squad after losing Luis Suarez in a £75m move to Barcelona, but the players signed with that windfall have failed to cover the loss of one of the best players in the world – and the club’s history.
Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert, two forward additions, have managed just two goals between them – and zero in the Premier League so far, which has compounded the loss of Daniel Sturridge to injury for most of the season so far.
The other new faces in the squad have failed to live up to expectation and their price tags so far. The £20m signing from Benfica, Lazar Markovic, has probably been the player who has made the least impact since arriving at Anfield. He has barely managed to offer a contribution of note and looks a long way off the required standard. He is still young and needs a chance to settle into a new team and league, however.
Spanish full-backs Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo have both made solid starts, but haven’t been obvious upgrades on Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson as yet. But Moreno did score one of the goals of Liverpool’s season so far as he strode forward from his own half to seal a 3-0 win against Spurs at White Hart Lane.
Emre Can has only recently got going after an injury saw him miss the start of the season aside from a substitute appearance at Manchester City in the second game of the season. He is showing signs of progress, however, and looks one of the brighter additions to the squad.
Defender Dejan Lovren, a £20m capture from Southampton, has been one of the biggest disappointments. He has failed so far to provide the calmness and leadership at the back that was missing from the Liverpool defence last season in the absence of Jamie Carragher, who had retired in the Summer of 2013.
Adam Lallana, another signing from Southampton, has looked bright though. He missed the opening games of the season after picking up an injury while training on the tour of the US. But he has since recovered and got his first Liverpool goal in the 2-1 win over West Brom at Anfield a few weeks ago.
The most talked about signing is Mario Balotelli, of course. He has big boots to fill in the absence of Luis Suarez and hasn’t got anywhere near making up for the loss of the Uruguayan with just two goals so far. But Rodgers is not too concerned.
“The players that are available are working very, very hard and we’re still learning about each other,” he told his press conference this afternoon..
“I think that sometimes goes amiss – you get new players in and with not as much preparation time, you’re learning about them in games.
“I can see each day the relationship growing within the players and the connection. Whenever your players are out it makes it that bit more difficult, but you need to find the solutions in different ways. That’s what we’ve been trying to do and gradually as each day goes by, I sense and feel we are getting better.”