Liverpool has now played ten games, seven in the Premier League, two in the Champions League and one in the League Cup. Time for a first verdict on the newcomers in the Liverpool squad. Unfortunately, the negatives outnumbers the positives.
Liverpool signed nine players in the summer. One, striker Divock Origi, was loaned back to his club Lille. The other eight has been tryin to settle in and make a name for themselves.
None has been completely convincing. Here is a player by player check and I start with two of the newcomers, two guys from Southampton. The other six will be scrutinised in upcoming entries.
• Rickie Lambert, signed for £4m from Southampton.
Lambert was a success story during his five seasons with the Saints, of which two were in the top flight. He scored 28 goals in the Premier League. In Liverpool he is struggling. He hardly gets any game-time, has for instance only started one league match, the latest versus West Bromwich. So far no goals from the striker and his general play has been well below par. He seems slow, his first touch is not good and he hasn´t made his mark in the aerial duels either, his strong point. A good sign versus WBA was his work ethics and running at and behind the back four.
Lambert was born i Kirkby and a Liverpool supporter since childhood. He is therefore desperate to prove himself. Nothing is coming off for him though, but if he can get that first elusive goal and play a little more the burden will decrease. His role is to be a valuable squad player and an impact-sub from the bench, a plan B when Liverpool run out of ideas. But so far he has only sporadically and in a small way influenced matches. But he can do better as his performances for Southampton showed. But time is running out for the 32-year old. But I haven´t given up hope, yet, about the big centre-forward.
• Adam Lallana, signed for £23m from Southampton.
Lallana started the season on the sidelines injured and missed the first three league matches. In the other seven cup and league games he has started five times and been substituted in twice. In his first games the rust shone through and he seemed a little lost and wasn´t really sure of his place in the team. In his last two starts, versus Everton and West Bromwich, Lallana has been Liverpool´s best player. He is rapidly starting to show how useful he can and will be for the Reds.
He has a few tricks up his sleeve, is working hard, has two quick feet, moves all the time, combines well with his teammates and can put the ball in the net as he proved against West Brom. If he keeps this up he will easily be worth his fee and definitely help Liverpool climb the table. He was in the Premier League team last season, he is close to that form again in the red shirt. His price tag doesn´t seem to bother him. The 26-year old attacking midfielder is enjoying his football and others should follow suit.
So far Adam Lallana seems to be a really good buy while Rickie Lambert still has a lot to prove.
Whatever the duo is doing in the near future they must tell each other:
We Go Again.