Following the arrivals of Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto, Kolo Toure and Simon Mignolet - have Liverpool spent wisely in the transfer market this summer?

Anfield has already seen four new arrivals this summer

After so many summers of upheaval and transition at Liverpool, there has been a more methodical approach this summer.

Not the binge on British players of 2011, or Brendan Rodgers’ over-generous trust in his old boys of 2012 either. Liverpool have not – with the exception of Philippe Coutinho – bought desperately well over the past few years. This year, though, they are moving more cautiously and carefully, adding depth where it is wanted but not necessarily embellishing the first team too much.

Liverpool have bought four players so far, two youngsters from Spain and two more experienced heads from the Premier League. They should provide more attacking quality and more defensive solidity.

Iago Aspas is a feisty little striker who has spent the last two years dragging Celta Vigo in the Spanish top flight and keeping them there. Of course Luis Suarez is a unique footballer, and Aspas is not as good as him, but he does replicate in part that ferocious movement, relentless competitive tenacity and firework burst that Suarez brings. If the Uruguayan is to get his move to Real Madrid, Aspas might be the closest Liverpool can get to him on their budget.

Luis Alberto does not have the same La Liga pedigree as Aspas but is thought to have special potential. The 20-year-old spent last season on loan at Barcelona B from Sevilla, playing in Spain’s second tier but impressing with his remarkable game intelligence, comfortable between the lines as an attacking midfielder or a False 9.

In Coutinho, though, Liverpool already have one of the most exciting young creative players in the league. He settled unusually quickly last year and while he might not be able to replicate that all the way through his first full season in England, Alberto is not here to replace him in the side immediately.

Both Aspas and Alberto show Liverpool’s desire to reinforce a front line that might be about to lose its most important part. Few teams last year were more dependent on one player than Liverpool were on Suarez and with him agitating to go the problem is obvious. Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge are there too, but Suarez is different and if he were to go Liverpool might need a different category of player.

There is interest in Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Shakhtar Donetsk’s clever Armenian, but he is increasingly likely to join Borussia Dortmund instead. Liverpool used to be able to challenge for the most exciting players – it was only six years ago they signed Fernando Torres – but they have slipped far since then.

In defence, too, the additions have been useful rather than transformative. Kolo Toure is one of only six players to win the Premier League with two different clubs, and was better for Manchester City in 2012-13 than in previous seasons, but his role is likely to be closest to Jamie Carragher’s last year. Unless Daniel Agger or Martin Skrtel can be moved on they are likely to be the pair next year.

The most likely change will be in goal where Simon Mignolet will surely replace the fading Pepe Reina. Mignolet, like Kolo Toure, is a known quantity after three good seasons at Sunderland. He should provide focus and sharpness where Reina, looking like a man in need of a new challenge, had let it slip.

All of these buys are promising, and all of them will probably be better than Charlie Adam. Liverpool are moving cautiously in the right direction, adding solidity at the back and options up front. But they finished 12 points off fourth place last year and their best player wants out. You almost wonder if they might be better advised to risk again.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Amis: Taken to task over rash decisions and ill-judged statements
booksThe Zone of Interest just doesn't work, says James Runcie
Life and Style
life – it's not, says Rachel McKinnon
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
travelFrom Notting Hill Carnival to Zombeavers at FrightFest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home