While Liverpool’s transfer window remain in flux, it’s hard to have any final thoughts about exactly where it leaves feelings about the squad…


WELCOME to an email in flux.

Writing for The Anfield Wrap on a Friday has loads of perks. You can go for the pre-match anticipation angle or Saturday morning coffee table approach.

You try to capture a mood based on what’s happening. In the spirit of the 2023 summer transfer window, I’ve been left picking up the pieces by an ever-moveable beast.

At the time of writing, people are wondering why a people carrier they suspect to be carrying Liverpool’s latest signing has stopped near the Shell garage on Queens Drive.

Ryan Gravenberch is due to become the fourth midfield addition of this summer. I hope they find it in them to do something at centre-back, or right sided centre-back, or right-back.

This has been one of the oddest windows in recent history. The emergence of the Saudi Pro League’s interference into the dealings of Premier League clubs has left many shaking fists at clouds.

It’s a situation which has connotations for all clubs. It has increased Chelsea’s penchant for silliness. Has led Liverpool to a more dramatic midfield overhaul than many expected and has finally rid us, once and for all, of N’Golo Kante turning up twice a season to throw in a man of the match performance against us.

Yet it hasn’t lit a blue touch paper in the same way Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain did in the summer of 2017 – a transfer which set in motion Liverpool’s ability to later sign both Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.

Perhaps that will come with time. But, at present, it feels telling that when you look around the league you see a shortage of options now combined with a shortage of time.

Manchester United look horrible at full-back and six positions. Arsenal need a striker and a centre-half. Newcastle still feels all a bit underwhelming. Everton need, well, everything.

Liverpool may have arguably pulled off the biggest coup in Dominik Szoboszlai. He looks the gear in every sense.

Alexis Mac Allister will grow into the role with aplomb. Wataru Endo is a project. Gravenberch is currently untested. Alongside them is a rich blend of youth and experience. In front of them is box office entertainment.

Behind them, I remain underwhelmed. Jürgen Klopp is displaying cryptic moodiness around Ibrahima Konate’s latest injury. The referees association have decided to adopt a more schoolteacher and police officer persona, and will throw the book of contradictions and hypocrisy at Van Dijk following his sending off at St. James’ Park.

I’m not delighted that it will be Joe Gomez and Joel Matip for any run of games – not least because of their ability to break down.

There is still time to do something. Liverpool’s third or fourth choice centre-back is also their backup right-back. The fifth choice is completely unproven, despite being promising.

Whatever happens, it won’t be perfect, but imperfection is across the board, and will make for a season of jeopardy.

Manchester City remain the obvious outliers, but the reality is they will until Pep Guardiola decides he’d rather study the New York ballet scene’s resemblance to team shape and structure for a bit than monotonously consume English football titles.

For now, that’s Arsenal’s worry. They are already showing symptoms of ‘City-itis’ with their baggy-eyed approach to points.

They’re living in a world where two points dropped before the August bank-holiday leaves you resembling a dramatic close-up of Cillian Murphy incongruously fighting with his conscience.

Liverpool look young and look like they’re having some fun. There is definitely more spring in their step.

They are unpredictable but steeped in quality. They might go on to improve incrementally, while also leaving you muttering the phrase “you never know, you know”.

One more through the door today, maybe two. An email in flux with everything still a possibility.

The certainty is a mammoth task on Sunday and the need to bring ourselves in full voice and angry protest.

These have our points. We’re about to go on a journey with this new thing.

It needs to be all of us, together.

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