THERE was bitter disappointment for Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers on transfer deadline day as he missed out on Clint Dempsey and failed to sign a replacement for Andy Carroll.
It means Rodgers is left with a worrying lack of firepower between now and January with Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini his only senior strikers.
The Anfield manager was desperate to finally secure the services of Dempsey from Fulham but the club’s owners refused to sanction a £6million move.
Dempsey, who scored 17 goals in the Premier League last season, had rejected the chance to join Aston Villa earlier in the day in the hope that Liverpool would come up with the cash. However, the Reds failed to do so and late last night Dempsey agreed to sign for Tottenham on a three-year deal for £6million.
Fulham claim they turned down a bid of £3million from Liverpool and the ECHO understands the Reds weren’t willing to go above £4million.
The owners were concerned about paying more for a 29-year-old who had entered the final year of his contract and would have little sell-on value. Having off-loaded Carroll on loan to West Ham on Thursday, Rodgers further reduced the club’s wage bill on Friday as Jay Spearing and Charlie Adam were moved on. Spearing joined Bolton on a season-long loan and Adam was sold to Stoke City for £4million.
Reds reserve team striker Nathan Eccleston went to Blackpool on a permanent basis and Danny Wilson is expected to join him at Bloomfield Road on a loan deal. Daniel Pacheco was on the brink of joining Real Valladolid on loan but that fell through and he remains at the club.
Yet despite those outgoings, Liverpool still failed to make a deadline day signing.
Rodgers pursued an interest in taking Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge on a season-long loan but that floundered after the striker made it clear he was only interested in a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge.
Many fans will be baffled how Liverpool allowed themselves to be left with just two frontline strikers in Suarez and Borini with back-up from Academy graduate Adam Morgan.
Thursday night’s struggle to see off Hearts in the Europa League underlined the need for attacking reinforcements and at a press conference yesterday afternoon Rodgers had made it clear how vital it was that he signed another frontman.
“There’s no doubt I need to add goals to the team,” he said. “You saw against Hearts that some of our game was very good but we need to have a ruthless streak.
“The more players of that type I’ve got will help the team. To get goalscorers into the club is the No 1 objective and let’s hope by the time the window shuts we have someone in.”
At 29, Dempsey is at the peak of his career and as a proven goalscorer he would have been an ideal signing at a reasonable price. His ability to play in a number of positions would also have been a huge benefit to Rodgers but now the manager must press on with what he’s got.
The summer transfer window saw Liverpool bring in five new signings in Fabio Borini (£11m), Joe Allen (£15m), Oussama Assaidi (£3m), Nuri Sahin (loan) and teenager Samed Yesil (£1m), who will start off with the club’s under-21s.
High-earners such as Dirk Kuyt, Maxi Rodriguez, Alberto Aquilani, Craig Bellamy and Fabio Aurelio left the club, with the subsequent departure of Carroll, Adam and Spearing also significantly slashing the club’s wage bill.
Cost-cutting measures have severely hampered Rodgers’ bid to overhaul the squad he inherited
“It’s difficult but that’s the situation we’re in,” the manager added.
“This is an incredible club and the challenge of being manager of Liverpool Football Club is massive. The current climate makes it difficult but I love being here. It’s all part of being a manager. I’ve been used to working with limited resources but the demands are different here. I’ve got a tight group and we’re trying to make the first steps to bring us success in the future.”