Liverpool spent nearly £100m last summer on signings, but how did they get on in their first season at Anfield? Phil Thompson takes a look and gives them all a rating out of 10.
The Reds brought in eight new players on permanent deals after narrowly missing out on the Premier League title in 2013/14.
But after a disappointing campaign that saw them finish sixth, did any of them impress Thompson and who has “underachieved greatly”?
Sky Bet Transfer Specials:
Liverpool to sign Christian Benteke this summer – 13/8
Emre Can – 8
THOMMO SAYS: “If it wasn’t for the last six games or so I might have given him a nine – he’s certainly been the best of the lot in my opinion. But I’d probably give him an eight – he’s done well, he’s had to play numerous positions and he just got on with it and adapted.
“I think people forget how young he is too, and that maybe contributed to his bad end to the season, but he’s done really well overall.”
Adam Lallana – 7
THOMMO SAYS: “I’m a great liker of Adam Lallana, so I’ll give him a seven. The problem Adam has was that every time he got a good run in the side he went and picked up an injury, so he’s been unfortunate in that sense. But he’s got great ability and hopefully next year he can stay free of injury and get himself a solid run in the first team.”
Alberto Moreno – 6
THOMMO SAYS: “I’d give Moreno a six out of 10. He showed early promise and hopefully he’ll be better off with the experience of one full Premier League season under his belt.
“He’s another who has had to play in a couple of different positions – left midfield and left-back, where he looks much more comfortable – but I think he’s got the potential to kick on, so long as he learns from his first season.”
Dejan Lovren – 6
THOMMO SAYS: “Dejan Lovren never seemed to get to grips with what was expected of him, particularly when Liverpool were changing from a back four to a back three, he just didn’t seem to understand his role.
“He had a good period in the side in the second half of the season and for that I’ll give him a six, but he hasn’t been anywhere near consistent enough.”
Rickie Lambert – 6
THOMMO SAYS: “Rickie hasn’t had enough chances to actually shine, so you can’t really say he was good or bad. I think he only had six or seven starts in the Premier League – that’s not enough to get going – but I’ll give him a six for his efforts when he was on the field.”
Mario Balotelli – 5
THOMMO SAYS: “It’s a poor five out of 10 for Balotelli. There isn’t a lot you can say about his season – it’s obvious – he’s underachieved greatly. I would be surprised if he’s at Anfield next season. I know his agent has been saying he will be, but I just can’t see it working out.”
Lazar Markovic – 5
THOMMO SAYS: “I’d probably give Markovic a five – he’s just not really done it for me. He had a decent spell when he was playing as a wing-back, when Brendan Rodgers started using that formation, but he’s certainly not done anywhere near enough to justify the hype he had when he first came in.
“We’ve not seen enough of that blistering pace that he’s supposedly blessed with, so I’m expecting a lot more from him next season.”
“Most of these players are going to be at the football club for a few years yet, because they’ve been bought under the Moneyball strategy, but it’s difficult to always make that work in this country.
“So, now, Liverpool’s squad is absolutely crying out for more experience – players in their late 20s with Premier League or Champions League experience – people of that ilk will help the club go forward again.
“That might mean paying higher salaries rather than trying to invest in young gems, but that’s the game these days.”