Why Liverpool were right to throw money at the problem
After years of reluctance, Liverpool have registered their place among top clubs willing to dominate the transfer window. During the silly season, there is always one club much sillier than the rest. Quite often, it's Real Madrid but last term it was Manchester City in England and Paris Saint-Germain in Europe. City went on a spree that added €213 million in new acquisitions. PSG blew that away simply by signing Neymar. Then they purchased Kylian Mbappe on layaway.
City had to be content with breaking the record fee for defenders by signing Benjamin Mendy for £52 million. They plumped another £45 million on Kyle Walker. The former Tottenham right-back was a tremendous success bombing down the right flank throughout the Citizens' title run. Pep Guardiola was forced to wait until this season to discover whether the investment in Mendy would pay dividends. Injury ruled out the French left-back for almost all of 2017/18.
The Mancunian records turned out to be placeholders when Liverpool joined the fun. After Jurgen Klopp pish-poshed such spending as the easy way out, the Reds forked over £75 million to Southampton for Virgil van Dijk in January. That was only the beginning.
With Naby Keita already promised by RB Leipzig 12 months before, Liverpool started slowly in this window. The £43.7 million with Monaco for Fabinho was all they could muster during the World Cup. Lyon wouldn't part with Nabil Fekir. Following the tournament, Liverpool doubled down, spending £78 million on Alisson Becker to resolve their goalkeeping issues and another £14 million on Xherdan Shaquiri to provide ridiculous depth in attack.
Sir Isaac Newton wasn't thinking about football when he declared that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, but he could have been. The Kops' reaction to more than £200 million in squad investment over two windows was to demand nothing less than a first Premier League title.
It's a reasonable request. Klopp has come close but is yet to win a trophy with Liverpool. He's progressed, first losing an EFL Cup final, then the Europa League and, in May, the Champions League. All he has given Merseysiders is ever greater dreams of what might have been.
Given Manchester City's £380 million net transfer spend for 2018 delivered a Premier League title, it's little wonder Kopites expect the same for £ 257.2 million. On the other hand, there is a built-in excuse for failure when you consider Manchester United's £235 million failed to garner silverware.
Doing the right thing
Liverpool's £182.2 million summer spree addressed the major issues that cost them the Champions League crown: goalkeeping, defensive midfield quality and a creative midfielder to cover during Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's long recovery. The Reds dealt with City 11-v-11 repeatedly before they spent. Now, they intend to carry that success through an entire campaign with some astute recruiting.
This window wasn't about overspending on Andy Carrolls and Ricky Lamberts. It wasn't about gambling on a Daniel Sturridge, Iago Aspas or Danny Ings. No panic buys. Instead, it was about paying a premium for known commodities. All that remains is to follow through.