THE closure of the transfer window brings the curtain down on an unprecedented spending spree in Liverpool’s history.
A rebuilding job which began in dramatic fashion back in January with the £57.8million outlay for strikers Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll continued apace this summer.
Boss Kenny Dalglish’s burning ambition to bring success back to Anfield has been backed up by the hard cash of Fenway Sports Group.
Following their £300m takeover last October, principal owner John Henry delivered a promise to supporters.
“We regard our role as that of stewards for the club with a primary focus on returning the club to greatness on and off the field for the long term,” he said.
“We’re here to win. We have a history of winning.”
Henry and FSG have been true to their word. January’s spending may have been financed by the sales of Ryan Babel and Fernando Torres but over the past three months the Americans have invested heavily in a squad in desperate need of strengthening.
After the dark days under Tom Hicks and George Gillett when Liverpool sold off the family silver and returned a profit in three successive transfer windows, it’s been an exciting show of ambition.
FSG and Dalglish inherited a bloated squad high on numbers but low on quality. Together they have set about putting that right this summer.
There has been a welcome injection of talent with seven new faces brought in at a cost of around £56m. Areas of weakness have been addressed. No fewer than 17 players have gone in the opposite direction with the coffers boosted by around £20m.
Director of football Damien Comolli and Dalglish kicked off their spending in June with the acquisition of Jordan Henderson from Sunderland.
The deal was done discretely with Liverpool moving quickly and decisively to secure the services of the England Under-21s midfielder.
Eyebrows were raised at the £16m fee but Henderson's performance against Bolton, which he capped with his first Reds goal, suggests he may live up to the price tag.
Dalglish is a long-term admirer of the 21-year-old and had monitored his progress since he broke into the Black Cats’ side two years ago.
Charlie Adam’s arrival ended Liverpool’s six-month pursuit of the Scotland international. The 25-year-old feared he had missed the boat when Blackpool spurned the Reds’ advances in January but Dalglish finally got his man.
At a cost of just £6.75m, Adam looks like one of the bargains of the summer. His eye for a pass is exceptional and the Reds appear to have belatedly found a replacement for Xabi Alonso. Adam already looks at home at the heart of the Liverpool midfield and his dead ball deliveries are a potent weapon.
Brazilian keeper Alexander Doni came in on a free transfer from Roma as cover for Pepe Reina at a time when all eyes were focused on the acquisition of Stewart Downing.
Liverpool had been crying out for a top class winger for a decade and Downing was always Dalglish's first choice for that role.
It took a king's ransom to take him from Aston Villa as £20m changed hands but he's an established England international and has already made a huge impact.
Having successfully boosted his midfield options, Dalglish and Comolli turned their attention to defensive recruits.
Signing a left-back was vital. Since John Arne Riise left Anfield three years ago, Fabio Aurelio, Andrea Dossena, Emiliano Insua and Paul Konchesky had all tried and failed to nail down that spot.
After missing out on Gael Clichy, Liverpool set their sights on Newcastle's Jose Enrique and after lengthy negotiations they landed the Spaniard for £5.5m.
His left-sided partnership with Downing is already blossoming and together they offer the Reds a much better balance.
Having brought in players proven in the hustle and bustle of the Premier League, Liverpool looked further afield for the centre-back Dalglish needed to compete with Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel for a starting spot.
Speculation about Bolton's Gary Cahill proved misplaced as the Reds swooped for giant Uruguayan Sebastian Coates. The 20-year-old will need time to adapt to life in England's top flight but a fee of £7m for a defender voted the best young player at the Copa America looks a sound investment.
Having got most of their business done with time to spare, deadline day was about whether Liverpool could land Craig Bellamy. Hopes of landing the Welshman had been dented by his failure to agree a pay-off with Manchester City but once those issues were resolved the Reds were free to snap up the striker.
It's a dream return to Anfield for a lifelong Liverpool fan and bringing him back on a free transfer was a no-brainer for Dalglish who was in need of back-up for Suarez and Carroll having sold David Ngog to Bolton. There will no tears shed over those who have left Anfield. Dead wood has been shifted with the folly of last summer's transfer activity highlighted by the fact that most have moved on.
The past three months have underlined FSG's commitment to put the Reds back on top of English football. Liverpool's squad is leaner and meaner.
Having stopped the rot, Dalglish now has the tools to ensure the Reds' revival goes from strength to strength.