Despite the loss of talismanic hitman Luis Suarez to Barcelona for £75 million, Liverpool legend Ian Rush has declared that the club have improved their squad considerably, with a £120 million outlay improving their lineup in his eyes, as reported by the Daily Express.
Nine new players have come into Anfield this summer, with Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Mario Balotelli all joining for fees higher than £15 million. Lallana, who is still yet to make his debut as a result of an unfortunately timed pre season injury, cost £25 million to sign from Southampton.
They have also added Alberto Moreno, Emre Can and Divock Origi, with Origi rejoining Lille on loan for the season before moving permanently to Liverpool next summer.
The addition of childhood Liverpool fan Rickie Lambert for a bargain £4 million was widely lauded, and Javier Manquillo, who was brought in on loan from Atletico Madrid, has impressed in his limited game time.
Rush now believes the squad has improved, even with Suarez’s departure.
He said: “They are all quality players, Brendan has looked at them and thought let’s see what they can do.
“We hope they do well in the Liverpool shirt, they’re all great players.
“The squad now is stronger than last year.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that were it not for the invitation of the Pope to referee a charity match on deadline day, the north London club would not have agreed a £16 million deal to bring him to the Emirates Stadium at the end of the transfer window, as reported by the Daily Star.
Welbeck’s move to Arsenal was confirmed in swift fashion on the final day of the window, with Wenger busy in Rome, refereeing a charity game that had been arranged by Pope Francis.
Had it not been for his absence, Wenger would have only looked for a season long loan deal for the former Manchester United striker, with the club intending to secure an option to buy him at the end of the season.
With Spurs also sniffing around Welbeck, there is no guarantee that Arsenal would have managed to secure the striker. Welbeck showed his talent on Monday by scoring two goals for the England national side.
Wenger said: “If I had not travelled that day, Welbeck would not be here. I’ll explain that a bit later.
“If I stayed at home, Welbeck would not be here today. That’s the truth.”
“Meeting the Pope was an experience I did not want to miss.
“I am a Catholic and it was an invitation I accepted a long time ago and on top of that it was a game for peace and multi-religion understanding.
“He is a great person to meet because he shows humility and is available to meet for everybody.
“He is a supporter of San Lorenzo in Argentina. He is a football fan. You cannot be born in Argentina and not be a football fan.”
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has declared that he will be able to reach the goal that has been given to him by the club’s hierarchy, and says that it is only logical that the club can finish inside the top three by the end of the season, as reported by the Daily Star.
The Old Trafford club have had a significant spend in the summer transfer window, with the club breaking the British record for a transfer fee paid by a club from Britain. They acquired Real Madrid star Angel Di Maria for a huge fee of £59.7 million.
Despite spend elsewhere, Van Gaal has not managed to win a single competitive game since the season began. A loss to Swansea City in the first game of the Premier League season has been followed by draws against Sunderland and Burnley. There was also a humbling 4-0 loss to MK Dons in the second round of the League Cup.
Despite this, Van Gaal believes he can reach his targets, saying: “We’ve spoken about targets. A club like Manchester United has to set targets and I think within the top three is logical.”