With reports that Liverpool have pulled out of a move for Jude Bellingham, the club are threatening to repeat last summer’s transfer mistake…
LIVERPOOL reportedly ended their interest in Jude Bellingham and I think the reaction was warranted, to be honest.
Disappointment in the owners, Fenway Sports Group, and even Jürgen Klopp is fair and reasonable at this stage. After all, Liverpool missed out on their top target last summer and they seem to have repeated the trick ahead of this one.
John Henry and company seem to have once again failed to back their superstar manager with the requisite resources for the rebuild that was needed this summer, and suddenly they will find that they’ve left their transfer team with much more to do.
FSG have got so much wrong as Liverpool owners, but their biggest crime in the eyes of many is their lack of investment into the playing squad, which will no doubt be the biggest legacy they leave behind whenever they finally decide to sell up.
It may well prove that their biggest legacy is that they wasted the best years of this manager and his star players, which looks increasingly more likely with every low ebb season that sits between the years of success.
Trophy-laden dynasties were never built on success being limited to every other season, and it is for that reason that suddenly this era isn’t looking quite so dynastic from the outside looking in. That doesn’t mean it was any less fun, though.
Because the problem is that there is no perfect solution to any of this. Manchester City through the same period may well be viewed as a dynasty, but only in a domestic sense. They hired Pep Guardiola to win the Champions League and he hasn’t yet done so. Klopp beat him to the trick within his first four years and the Spaniard is currently in his seventh.
Paris Saint-Germain only have Ligue 1 titles and domestic trophies to show for their years of financial dominance. Real Madrid and Barcelona have always invested heavily, but operate within a league that is heavily weighted in their favour in terms of resource allocation and governance.
Liverpool should have won more league titles by this point in Klopp’s reign, I’m sure he himself would agree with that sentiment. There’s a strong chance they would have if they invested as City have, but there are no guarantees of anything, and our Champions League win — and two other finals appearances, double that of City — is proof of that.
There are no guarantees in this Bellingham situation either. One thing you can guarantee is that he wants to go wherever he feels he has the best chance of winning the biggest prize in European football. Based on the last decade, that list is a short one and it contains zero state-owned clubs.
That’s not to say he won’t sign for a state-owned club. The only evidence we have so far to suggest he won’t is that he said the following on Borussia Dortmund’s BVB-Podcast back in July 2022…
“You can have all the money you want from playing football, you can buy whatever you want. But being appreciated like that for creating so many memories for so many people — winning the league, winning however many cups, winning the Champions League — that lives longer than any car you could buy or any house you could buy. That’s the thing that motivates me.”
People may argue that doesn’t completely close off a move to a City, for example. After all, they have won the league and however many cups. There’s at least an indication that he’s not exactly in this industry to make the perceived money-spinning move, though.
If he wanted the most surefire route to winning the Champions League, Real Madrid would seem his best bet, given the vice grip they have over the competition. They’re well stocked for young, up and coming midfielders — including last season’s top Liverpool target Aurelien Tchouameni, but that may prove more of a draw than a dealbreaker.
(As a side note, if Bellingham does choose Madrid, can we *please* go for Federico Valverde? We’ll still need a belter and I’m not having that signing about six lads and seeing what sticks is truly the way to go, we have enough evidence in recent and our own past to prove that.)
Nothing is guaranteed, so Jude’s family may yet decide that the best thing for his career would be another season in Dortmund. Wait and see just how much the clubs scrapping in summer aren’t purely posturing and trying to deny another club getting his services, as much as thinking about what he could bring to their own ranks.
That’s the biggest concern for Liverpool now. If they are truly done pursuing and he’s clear to move to a rival in the summer, he could end up really boosting that team’s odds of success — and if it’s City then that would feel another huge obstacle to being able to challenge for the league.
The club can’t afford to allow next season to fall so below expectations as this one has. They’ll need to ensure that whatever they do in the summer propels them straight back into title contention. To my mind at least, that means still going out and securing at least one world-class signature. The kind that makes fans of other clubs fume.
Right now it’s ours that will be fuming. The club have to deal with the fact that their briefings (or their strategy as a whole, assuming this isn’t just a negotiation tactic) have caused this level of fume. It should make us no less supportive of the lads on the pitch between now and game 38, though.
Because this manager is still our man. Seeing the tide turning against him is just fickle modern-day, merry-go-round bullshit and we shouldn’t be having it. We can’t accept mediocrity, but mediocre this man is not.
He’s made the past few years the best ride of any manager in most of our lifetimes, arguably of any manager in Liverpool’s history. We celebrate him, whatever you think of the owners. We never have and never will celebrate owners, a la City and Chelsea. There are no John Henry songs. There are several about Klopp. The cult of the manager is our thing.
Get behind him. Get behind them. That’s as much a message to FSG as the fans, but we can’t forget who and what led us to the dance here either.
It’s been going on longer than Who shot JR?
Sigh. What a mess. And so many questions.
1. I want them to be worldbeaters as much as the next man, but should we *really* have bought three new strikers – including one costing upwards of £75m – if we were too skint to buy the one key midfielder we wanted?
2. I’m all for wooing a player and I do get the sense that Jude would like to play for us, but to go all-out Romeo with a lute for two years and then surrender two months before the transfer window even opens is laughable. We end up without the player we all (know we) wanted and yet are also diminished in the process.
3. This raises serious question marks over squad management. We didn’t settle for option B when it came to Ali or VVD – but it’s ok this time? Why? Because the whole midfield needs a makeover? Well, how about starting with Jude, Baj, Fab and Trent next season and seeing how that goes? Or is it just easier to abandon ship and watch him sail off to City or Madrid, with the inherent risk of us being left further behind?
4. How can we have *one* bad season and immediately we’re skint, while United have mediocrity for a decade and they can apparently still compete for his signature?
5. Serious questions should be asked about why we’re having so many injuries. If we were to experiment with Trent in midfield, that means a fit Ramsey, but the lad has barely played since we signed him. I’m not even talking about the older brigade who have loads of seasons in the legs – Kaide Gordon, the Baj, even the young lads seem prone to medium or long term injuries.
6. I’m not FSG out, and I think on balance they have been good owners, but this isn’t smart, innovative or even ballsy. It’s a concession. What happened to No one having a clue who we were going to sign until he was holding the jersey and doing the website interview? How have we managed to lose senior non-playing personnel all over the gaff while retaining players who should have been shipped on a year or two back (Naby, Ox, etc)? When did we reach the tipping point where we needed a massive overhaul rather than fine tuning from a position of power?
FFP has been a disgrace, Klopp has done it all, city will hopefully be stripped of titles and we have been to the mountaintop, but we can’t stop improving and it looks like we have. It’s so disappointing. There are only two ways this “strategy” works out: either he stays put in Germany for another year and we get him in summer 2024, or somehow the players we do buy (the next Jude for a tenner from Halifax Town?) become greater than the sum of their parts and greater than the sum of all the other teams, meaning we don’t look back at all this with a huge amount of regret.
I’d like to think so, but I wouldn’t bank on it.
FSG are throwing Jurgen Klopp to the wolves.
More pressure from fan groups and fan media on FSG is needed
It looks like City and Madrid have made it clear that they will pay whatever Dortmund want and City will win a cash race. FFP has been a farce from the beginning and will strangle football in the end. No harm in trying to sign him but when it becomes an auction we have to drop out early.
Liverpool pulling out of the race to sign Bellingham if this is true. It’s false economics you have to invest or fall behind there is not only City the is Newcastle with loads of money and ambition. There worst outcome would be if Jürgen decides he has had enough .
You know that friend you lent a toy to as a kid and he didnt treat it with care and it came back broken, so you never let him have any again until he learnt to appreciate it and look after it properly,,
That kids is Liverpool’s medical and training staff, until these departments are revamped from top to bottom, and the pitches and everthing else at Kirby is checked fully, why would you let them anywhere near a shiny new toy, as Judes father is protective and wants best for his son, right to stay away from this shambles.
Kornmayer with his reportedly messiah complex, Klopp with blind loyalty, Linders banging on about intensity when players are knackered physically and mentally ,Bajectic being injured by training methods was last straw, ruininng careers,and why dont have ready neccessary squad to get top 4. The stats on injuries speak for themselves, completely unacceptable and must be accountability ,since return from injury Jota, Bobby, Virg, Gomez, Matip, Fab, Robbo, Curtis, Nunez and Hendo have not been the same players, expect Diaz to be the same,
Until act like a proper football club do not even deserve a Jude Bellingham, He clearly loves us though so stays one more year with Dortmund see if Liverpool can get their act together.
Bellingham or no Bellingham, the squad needs about £150m invested into it.
FSG can say Bellingham is too expensive, but they still need to spend £150m upwards this summer.
My view is that they are actually saying “there’s no money for bellingham and no money for anyone else!”