Deal broker: Jurgen Klopp’s summer signings have been a bit hit and miss. We investigate
Mohamed Salah was hailed as a good signing for Liverpool, but few predicted that the Egypt international would be such an instant success at Anfield. As the player and his manager Jurgen Klopp admitted, Salah’s opening 30 minutes in the Premier League were worrying at Watford.
However, he quashed any doubts with a goal in the second half. He hasn’t looked back. Salah has scored a steady stream of goals in all competitions. Salah scored twice in a 4-1 win against West Ham last weekend as he used his devastating pace and understanding with Sadio Mane to give the Hammers a torrid time. He has scored goals against big teams, too.
Salah netted in a 4-0 demolition of Arsenal before he scored a consolation goal in a 4-1 loss to Tottenham. The summer signing will face former club Chelsea in three weeks with a point to prove.
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Liverpool signed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in a £40m deal from Arsenal ahead of interest from Chelsea on transfer deadline day. The 23-year-old admitted his move to Liverpool had been motivated by his desire for a fresh start, while reports suggested that he wanted the chance to prove himself in a central role on a regular basis.
However, Klopp has used the England international sparingly. Indeed, Oxlade-Chamberlain had to wait until Liverpool’s home clash against Maribor to secure his first Champions League start. He scored in the away fixture before helping Liverpool to a 3-0 win against the Slovenian side at Anfield. His Premier League start came in last weekend’s 4-1 win at West Ham.
He notched up his second goal for the Merseyside club at the London Stadium. It’s been slow progress for Oxlade-Chamberlain so far, but with time when he acquires a greater understanding of Klopp’s methods and tactics, he should prove a success.
Klopp finally appeared to address Liverpool’s weakness at left-back in the summer. Andy Robertson moved to Liverpool in an £8m deal from Hull City. However, in a surprise turn of events, Alberto Moreno has managed to turnaround his Liverpool career.
The Spain international has done enough to convince Klopp that he merits a regular starting spot. Indeed, he’s even managed to get a recall to La Roja’s set-up. It means Robertson has been limited to two Premier League starts. With the fixture list starting to clog up, hopefully Liverpool fans will get a chance to see more of Robertson in the coming months to evaluate whether he will be a hit at Anfield.
Another player who will be hoping for more first-team opportunities is Dominic Solanke. While he impressed in pre-season, Klopp has used the striker as an impact substitute.
With a lack of starts, it’s proven difficult for the England Under-21 international to find his momentum. He perhaps warrants a chance to shine against teams who are content to “park the bus” at Anfield given his size alone. The 20-year-old has made seven substitute appearances in the Premier League, plus one appearance off the bench in the Champions League.