This summer, it was looking like being Timo Werner until Chelsea and Frank Lampard got in on the act, and now it could well be Thiago Alcantara.
Every summer at Anfield, there is a transfer saga, and last summer’s edition will soon be lining up against the Reds – or at least is very likely to come off the bench.
Like this year, talk in summer 2019 was rife of Divock Origi perhaps not being quite at the standard required for Liverpool as their back-up option for their stellar front three.
Nicolas Pepe was deemed the answer as links persisted with the then-Lille player, but Liverpool were insistent that they would not be going near him.
They certainly would not have paid £72 million for the then-24-year-old Ivory Coast international as Arsenal and Unai Emery did, with Lille seemingly using supposed ‘interest’ from Liverpool and others to successfully up Pepe’s price-tag.
Many Reds fans were anxious that Liverpool would be made to regret the decision not to sign Pepe, nor any other attacker; instead, Jurgen Klopp’s side won the Premier League title faster than any other team ever has, with seven matches to spare.
Speaking on the Behind Enemy Lines podcast, Arsenal fan and Blood Red regular Guy Clarke explained that Liverpool, as always with Michael Edwards at the helm, made the right call.
He said: “I don’t think Liverpool have missed out but I don’t think Arsenal have bought a dud. He’s contributed to 16 goals this season – eight goals and eight assists – and he has shown glimpses of brilliance.
“He’s looked good in the Europa League for Arsenal and there have been flashes of brilliance. There are worrying signs but at the same time, I do think there is a player in there – it’s just whether Arsenal can play to his strengths.
“But I don’t think – and for a £72 million player, this is probably damning – that his quality necessitates Arsenal having to change the way they play to cater for him.
“He needs to get on board with what Arsenal need to do because they will be far stronger as a collective rather than relying on the skillset of Pepe.”
Pepe has been adequate enough for Arsenal, and is probably still an upgrade on Origi. He could even yet score the winner against the Reds at the Emirates Stadium.
But for Liverpool to choose to spend £72 million on any player would require them to be a game-changer. One thing that Pepe certainly has not been so far for Arsenal is transformational.
So while the clamour for signings goes on, Liverpool have been served a warning: expensive arrivals do not guarantee success.
But Edwards and FSG knew that anyway – hence why their line has always been that is likely to be a quiet summer.