Trans­fer win­dow’s big­gest win­ner and loser

Mail & Guardian - - Sport -

The Premier League’s start­ing pis­tol will let off an em­phatic bang this year. Thanks to a vote by the clubs, the trans­fer win­dow closed yes­ter­day, slam­ming shut on the fin­gers of man­agers who didn’t get their busi­ness done in time. No Au­gust mid­night rush, no “dead­line day” bo­nanza on Sky Sports.

Big­gest win­ner: Liver­pool

Liver­pool is cool again. Jür­gen Klopp has turned them into win­ners who are easy to cheer for and fun to watch.

Now, with a few pru­dent ad­di­tions, it’s not hard to en­vi­sion the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal­ists chal­leng­ing for the league.

They fi­nally have a keeper more worth­while than a lamp­post. Like the old woman who swal­lowed a fly, the last at­tempts to fill this po­si­tion didn’t go so well. Si­mon Mig­no­let was never able to touch the con­sis­tency of Pepe Reina, whereas his own up­grade, Loris Kar­ius, quickly proved to be more of a li­a­bil­ity than a re­place­ment.

But in the £65-mil­lion Alis­son Becker they have one of the world’s best, and he will only get bet­ter.

In the cen­tre, Fabinho, Naby Keïta and Xher­dan Shaqiri will pro­vide both im­me­di­ate im­pact and depth. Shaqiri in par­tic­u­lar has shown enough flashes to re­mind us why Bay­ern Mu­nich once con­sid­ered him a solid prospect. It’s a slight gam­ble, but a fluid Reds side might just see him ex­cel.

As for de­par­tures? Noth­ing of note, un­less you de­rive an ir­ra­tional sat­is­fac­tion from watch­ing Emre Can am­ble about in mid­field.

Sor­est loser: Man

United

José Mour­inho has spent the past month hav­ing a good old-fash­ioned moan. He’s cried about the lack of sign­ings, taken shots at the club’s board and al­leged that not giv­ing Alexis Sanchez the right sup­port is a hu­man rights abuse.

Iso­lat­ing your­self is prob­a­bly not the best use of the pre­cious time in this year’s win­dow; es­pe­cially if you’re out to dis­prove the no­tion of a third-sea­son curse you may or may not have.

The Red Devils needed big names to prove they haven’t been re­signed to noisy neigh­bour sta­tus. Fred has ar­rived from Shakhtar Donetsk but is hardly a mar­quee sign­ing. Diogo Dalot is an in­ter­est­ing ri­val to An­to­nio Va­len­cia but he’s still young and raw. Backup goal­keeper Lee Grant is ex­actly that.

Add in the undy­ing spec­u­la­tion about Paul Pogba and the at­tempted de­ser­tion of An­thony Mar­tial and Man U are in trou­ble be­fore even kick­ing a ball this sea­son.

Worth it: Alis­son Becker has glue on his gloves

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