Liverpool have been one of the busiest clubs in the transfer market this summer so far, getting their business done early as they looks to reinforce and build on their squad from last season. Getting business done early means they are less likely to miss out on their key targets during the transfer merry-go-round, which often feels like a very expensive game of musical chairs. It also means Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers has a more time to work with is players and design a tactical system from pre-season in order to get the nest out of his players. New signing 3 weeks into the season can be disruptive and cause a change on formation or playing style, which can quickly take the wind out of the sails of any team.
Liverpool had a relatively poor 2014/15 season, failing to hit the heights of the previous year that saw them finish second on the Premier League table. A lack of goals, injuries and the added demands of mid-week Champions League football really took it’s toll on the Liverpool squad. They ended finishing in 6th place which means no Champions League next season, though they did manage Europa League qualification.
In order to build on that 6th placed finish, Liverpool had signed 5+ players for their first team squad already, lets have a look at those players and what they mean for Fantasy Premier League teams.
James Milner arrives at Liverpool from EPL rivals Manchester City. Milner also has past Premier League experience with the likes of Leeds United, Newcastle United and Aston Villa where he excelled in his midfield attacking role. The English midfielders contract with Manchester City had expired, mainly due to his desire to transfer to another Premier League club offering more playing time. So picking him up on a free is a huge win for Liverpool, as he brings tried and tested quality to their midfield. He’s also a very versatile player, happy to play on either flank or in his preferred center midfield position (he’s even filled in at right back for England on occasions). Given his desire for first team football and his preference to play down the middle, it’s most likely then that James Milner will slot straight in to the starting eleven for Liverpool come Gameweek 1. After all, he could have gone to any club promising more playing time than City. He’ll most likely pair up with Liverpool’s other English midfielder Jordan Henderson, who has been developing in to a real power house midfielder. Milner’s arrival comes after the departure of club legend Steven Gerard, so his experience and quality will surly full that void. Milner is looking like a good option for EPL Fantasy teams this season.
Danny Ings is another player that Liverpool have snapped up after his contract has expired. Danny Ings arrives at Liverpool from relegated Burnley, where he had a solid EPL season. The English striker managed 11 Premier League goals for Burnley last season, that on the back of a 21 goal haul in the Championship the season before. Goal scoring was one of the weakest area’s of Liverpool’s play last season, so they’ll be hoping that Ings can hit another 10 or 20 goals this season. Playing with better players around him at Liverpool, he should have more scoring opportunities. The poor performance of Liverpool’s strikers last season, including Mario Balotelli, meant they often played winger Raheem Sterling up front. So it looks likely that Ings, like Milner, will have a spot in the Liverpool starting 11 come August.
Brazilian attacker Roberto Firmino has been Liverpool’s biggest signing of the summer so far, costing them a reported £21m from Hoffenheim. The 23 year old Firmino played mostly as a central attacking midfielder, scoring 7 goals and assisting 10 more in the Bundesliga last season. Firmino is an attacker how likes to dribble at defenders and hit through balls – but he’s also a hard worker on defense, so will be a hit with Liverpool fans. Follow Brazilian and Liverpool player Coutinho told Liverpool’s press, “Firmino is strong physically, he is fast, agile, very skilful on the ball and he scores a lot of goals.”. Like Milner he’s also very versatile, and can play centrally or an either side in attack. Roberto Firmino represents a significant investment for Liverpool, and looks to have been sign to bring the attacking flair, creativity and energy that Luis Suárez used to bring to their play. He may need time to settle into the Premier League, but Liverpool look to have invested in key attacking area’s which should see them score a fee more goals this season.
Nathaniel Clyne is another young Englishman who arrives from a Premier League rival. Liverpool have completed the signing of Nathan Clyne from Southampton for a reported £12.5m. It’s not the first time Liverpool have done business with Southampton, last season they signed Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren all whom failed to live up to their transfer fees. Nathan Clyne looks like a great signing though, who should tighten things up at the back for Liverpool having arrived from a Southampton defense that conceded just 33 goals last season (second best in the league behind Chelsea). Clyne plays at right back, so that could see Liverpool switch to 4 at the back this season or see Clyne deployed as a right wing back. With Glen Johnson departing from Liverpool after six years with the club, Clyne will arrive as the first choice right back for Liverpool this season.
Photo’s from Liverpool FC’s Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/lfc