Liverpool trade on name but Spurs have muscle
The Reds lack the financial resources to break into the top four as they miss out on Willian
IT'S not just Arsenal who are enduring a nightmare summer in the transfer market. Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers (above) is having almost as bad a time as Arsene Wenger, and yesterday he missed out on another target after Brazilian striker Willian elected to join Spurs rather than the Reds.
Liverpool's failure to attract any superstar signings this summer has been overshadowed by their troubles with Luis Suarez and Arsenal's efforts to buy him. But with only a few days left until the transfer window closes there is a growing feeling that Rodgers needs to bring in new players.
It has not been an abject summer at Anfield. Four new first-team players have arrived. Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet came in from Sunderland and saved a penalty on debut against Stoke last weekend, veteran defender Kolo Toure will be an asset, and forwards Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas will pose a threat to opposition defences.
But after missing out on Willian, it "is becoming increasingly clear during this transfer window that Liverpool do not have the resources to compete with anyone", says The Times.
The problem is that Liverpool's owners are intent on balancing the books. "It is a noble and financially astute aim, but top-level football is dismissive of it and the reality they are discovering is that if you don't want to pay the asking price for a player the likelihood is that there will be someone else who does."
That someone is usually Spurs, or so it seems. The fact that Willian has gone to White Hart Lane and another target, Erik Lamela, is likely to follow suit is a problem. Last summer it was Gylfi Sigurddson and Clint Dempsey who chose Tottenham over Liverpool.
"For Liverpool to be overlooked for top four teams is understandable, that Spurs are now perceived as a more likely Champions League participant next season is more galling," says the Daily Telegraph. "It's an uncomfortable truth which has been creeping up on Liverpool for the past few years ... that reputation alone is not enough and Liverpool must get back into Europe."
As The Times puts it: "Liverpool could yet make the kind of signings required to turn them into genuine contenders for a place in the Premier League top four but as things stand they are guilty of over-promising and under-delivering in the transfer market." ·