Graham Cummins: Liverpool right to spend big to keep up with Man City

Darwin Nunez is the Reds' major summer signing while the champions were able to recruit Haaland
Graham Cummins: Liverpool right to spend big to keep up with Man City

Benfica's Darwin Nunez is Liverpool's big summer signing. Picture: PA.

IT baffles me that some people are scrutinising Liverpool over the signing of Darwin Nunez.

The potential €100m figure that the deal could rise to is being criticised by those I presume aren’t Liverpool fans.

In their battle with Manchester City, what a lot of Liverpool supporters have been quick to highlight is the money their club has spent on players compared to Pep Guardiola’s side.

In a strange way Liverpool fans have tried to use their lack of spending compared to City’s as a way of suggesting they are the ‘good guys’ when it comes to the race for glory whereas City are just another powerful entity who buys success.

Although Liverpool haven’t been shy when it comes to spending big on players, the Reds supporters have always defended their club’s excessive spending by looking at net spend. Jurgen Klopp has up to this summer an average net spend of €32.5m, whereas Guardiola has a net spend of €125m.

The Liverpool manager rightfully receives plaudits for assembling a side - on a weaker budget - able to compete with City - a team that have endless pockets when it comes to finance.

Now that Liverpool have decided to spend big again on a player, opposition supporters are quick to point out that Liverpool aren’t the budget-restricted club that they try to portray. I don’t understand the criticism that Liverpool have received.

They have to improve their squad if they are to overtake City. Guardiola’s side will continue to dive into the transfer market to maintain and build on their success - as seen by the signing of Erling Haaland - and Liverpool have to match if not better City with their signings because they are the ones playing catch-up.

Klopp would be slated if he didn’t want to show ambition by going and spending big on players to try and overtake City.

Winning the Premier League and Champions League not only brings prize money to clubs but also opens up the opportunity for increased finances from sponsors and other investors.

The gap between City and Liverpool is minimal at the moment. Were Liverpool to remain static when it comes to improving their squad and City continued to strengthen, then Guardiola’s side would only increase that gap.

Liverpool had an aging forward line and Klopp should be applauded for being proactive rather than reactive by waiting until further down the line to find Roberto Firmino or Mohammed Salah’s replacements.

If clubs have the wealth to spend €100m on players then why shouldn’t they? It’s not City or Liverpool’s problem that other clubs aren’t able to compete for certain players because of their lack of finances.

The only issue any supporter should have is when a club gambles by overspending to try and get success, because if that gamble doesn’t pay-off; it leaves the club in serious financial trouble, as we have seen many times.

The players in both dressing rooms won’t be concerned that others might claim they ‘bought success’.

CHARACTER

It doesn’t matter to players whether they play for the highest spenders or the lowest spenders in the league when it comes to success. What is important is that there are good characters in the dressing room and that the players enjoy sharing success with their teammates.

Riyad Mahrez was part of the Leicester side that won the title in 2016, a side that won it on a shoestring budget compare to others to achieve the same feet. Yet winning the title with City last season will mean just as much to him as that victory with Leicester despite the difference in budgets between the Foxes and City.

Yes the celebrations would have been different with the supporters but what matters to a player most when celebrating success is to toast their triumph with their family and teammates.

Mahrez wouldn’t worry about what he was on or his teammates when judging which achievement meant more to him.

Liverpool players will be delighted to see Nunez walk through the dressing room door but they will put pressure on him to deliver. The Uruguayan has been successful in the Primeira Liga, a league that is seen as weaker than Premier League, but he will be playing with better players at Liverpool and that will help him improve which will ease that pressure.

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