As a Liverpool fan, I have never found myself fully able to enjoy the transfer window – and I still don’t get why it is such a big deal to everyone else.
What do people find so exciting about a period of time that culminates with a day dedicated to everyone sat in front of Sky Sports News, counting down the hours until Jim White – of all people – makes his way into the studio with such importance, you would think he was Barack Obama?
“Jim White has entered the building, and will be in this seat in approximately four hours.”
Who does this guy think he is?
I can’t grasp what people find so appealing about a day spent listening to the usually gorgeous Natalie Sawyer, screaming like a banshee and frothing at the mouth with false excitement, as it announced Michael Chopra will be on his way to whichever club may have just been newly promoted, or newly relegated.
What is so interesting about a period of time that culminates with the expert opinion of Gerry Francis and Alan Curbishley?
The only positive thing for me about watching Jim White look as though he may spontaneously combust as he announces Chelsea a will be sending another multi-million pound star on loan to a struggling Premier League club – being the football samaritans they are – is that at least I know it’s all nearly over for another six months.
Transfer windows have become a dreaded time for Liverpool fans in recent years.
Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, Fernando Torres, and most recently Luis Suarez have spent the windows in recent years worrying Kopites sick with noises they want out, before hinting at staying, before eventually making their way to Spain or west London, as Jim White relays their claims they will always have Liverpool ‘in their hearts’ with far too much enthusiasm.
But as well as heartbreaking exits in recent seasons, the most worrying aspect of Liverpool’s involvement in transfer windows is their apparent struggle to sign their top targets.
The summer of 2012 – Andy Carroll sent on loan to West Ham – nobody signed as a replacement.
My first concerns about Ian Ayre grew at that point, when it showed his activity on that deadline day in the Being:Liverpool documentary.
The nonchalant manner he was enquiring for – and ultimately rejecting – Fulham’s Clint Dempsey, was like watching a mate gloomily cancel an order at Domino’s Pizza because the delivery time quoted was over an hour.
Where was the urgency?
The club went a long way to rectifying that mistake with the captures of Daniel Sturridge and Phillipe Coutinho the following January – by far and away the best transfer window in recent memory for Liverpool supporters.
But just 12 months ago, Brendan Rodgers missed out on THREE of his top transfer targets, with Henrikh Mkhitarayan opting for Borussia Dortmund, Diego Costa opting to complete an unofficial season long loan with Atletico from Chelsea, and Willian making the switch to Stamford Bridge via a medical at Tottenham.
January proved a similar story, with Mohamed Salah ending up at Chelsea – surprise – and Yevhen Konoplyanka missing out on a deadline day switch to Anfield.
Our ‘marquee’ signing last summer, as described by Ian Ayre, was Mamadou Sakho. As much potential as the French centre back has, really Ian? Come on.
Keeping Luis Suarez 12 months ago was by far and away the best bit of business Liverpool managed, but the club were unable to repeat the trick two summers in a row.
The fact Suarez has completed his £75million move to Barcelona has got everyone worried.
How are we going to replace 31 goals and 12 assists from one player? There is no like-for-like replacement for Suarez on the planet.
Rodgers has essentially swapped the Uruguayan for greater squad depth, but the calls for a big name ‘marquee’ signing before the dreaded deadline day have been getting louder.
Loic Remy failed a medical – when does that ever happen these days? – Alexis Sanchez opted for life in London, Borussia Dortmund don’t want to sell Marco Reus, and Ezequiel Lavezzi is pining for Juventus.
And the latest kick in the teeth emerged today, when morning reports led us to believe we were now the favourites to land Colombia striker Radamel Falcao from Monaco.
Liverpool have the ‘advantage’ in the race to sign Falcao according to a ‘v.good source’ in Italy, came the noises from social media.
By the afternoon, reports had emerged saying Real Madrid had won the race for his signature.
Unfortunately, there are another three weeks of false rumours, speculation, and watching our bitterest rivals land some of the biggest names in Europe.
I trust Brendan and his vision for the club, and think the signings made so far will turn out to be positive.
But a proven goal-scorer is what everyone is pining for, and what you can be sure of is that between now and the dreaded deadline day, based on our record in recent transfer windows – it certainly won’t be straightforward.
I just hope putting up with Jim White and company until then, will all be worth it in the end.
What do you make of our summer transfer business so far? Who will that elusive front man be? Let us know your thoughts below.