Liverpool mounted a surprise challenge for the Premier League title last season, but this season’s sixth place finish constituted a disappointing campaign for the Reds.
Coupled together with the whole Raheem Sterling situation it has not been a great season for the men from Merseyside.
Last summer Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers had the opportunity to build on the Reds title challenge from the previous season and push on this season. However, Rodgers summer work in the transfer market was poor.
The former-Swansea boss brought in Lazar Markovic, Emre Can, Mario Balotelli, Alberto Moreno, Javier Manquillo, Mario Balotelli, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert, as he looked to strengthen his squad after the big money sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.
In truth, only really Emre Can has been a success at Anfield this season. Moreno has shown bits and pieces of his ability, but it has not been enough for a player that cost the club £20million from Sevilla last summer.
Markovic cost around £25million and could be a good player for the future, but for now he is just a youngster with potential and not a player that can deliver consistent performances week-in week-out.
Balotelli has arguably been the biggest flop from last summer’s signings. The Italian maverick has every attribute to become a truly world-class player. However, his talent is outweighed by his poor attitude.
Signing Balotelli was always going to be a gamble because of his off-the-field and on-the-pitch problems and the gamble has failed to pay-off for Rodgers. If Balotelli could send Balotelli back and get a refund I believe he would at this moment in time.
Rodgers spent over £100million and Liverpool look like a worse team than they did this time last year. Not only has Suarez not left, inspirational captain Steven Gerrard will be plying trade in the MLS next season with LA Galaxy.
Steven Gerrard may not be in his prime anymore, but he is still a massive influence on the team and the club. His absence will be noticed in the Liverpool dressing room next season and the Reds cannot just go out and sign a like-for-like replacement for the veteran star.
This is another problem that Brendan Rodgers will have to deal with this summer, ahead of the kick-off of the new season.
Liverpool’s aim for next season will no doubt be to challenge for a top four place and a Champions League spot. At the moment the Reds look like they are a big distance away from achieving their objectives next season.
What makes it worse for the Reds is the fact that the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal are likely to spend big this summer.
All four are likely to strengthen their squads after finishing in the top four and Liverpool are looking increasingly like outsiders looking in at the top four. The Reds are currently fifth favourites with the bookmakers to finish in the top four next season at odds of 11/4.
The furore over Raheem Sterling’s future is one that has not helped the under-fire Liverpool boss. Rodgers has stated he believes Sterling will stay at Anfield this summer, despite rumours linking him with a move elsewhere.
For me it may be best for everybody if Sterling was sold to the highest bidder this summer and the Reds re-invested the money into strengthening the team. The England international does have potential, but that is all it is at the moment.
If Rodgers was given the money to spend this summer, then the club would have the problem of whether he would waste it like last summer, or whether he could bring in the right players to strengthen the team for next season.
Rodgers signings has been one of Liverpool supporter’s biggest grips about the Northern Irishman and it is hard to argue really. His record in the transfer market since arriving at Anfield has not been great.
This summer is a pivotal one in the Liverpool managerial career of Rodgers. There are already those calling for his head due to the Reds poor season. If he is not shrewd in the transfer market this summer then he could be heading for the Anfield exit door in the near future.
Can Brendan Rodgers make the right signings this summer?