Collymore says Liverpool are already ‘streets ahead’ with summer business

Stan Collymore has praised Liverpool for stealing a march on their Premier League rivals with their transfer business so far this summer and believes their activity exposes the ‘over-the-top’ price tags of English players.

Dominik Szoboszlai became the Reds’ second off-season recruit over the weekend as he signed for a reported €70m (£60m, Fabrizio Romano), following on from the initial £35m acquisition of Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton (Sky Sports) just under a month ago.

That’s two shrewd midfield recruits through the door for slightly less than £100m, a figure put in an even more favourable context by the £105m deal Arsenal have reportedly agreed for Declan Rice (The Guardian).

Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, Collymore cited the latter move as one which highlights just how brilliantly Liverpool have done to get two players in for a lower outlay, suggesting that they may have shown up the Gunners in the process.

The former Reds striker said: “Liverpool’s business of signing Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai proves there is an over-the-top premium applied to English players. Liverpool have signed both of those players for almost the same price Arsenal have offered West Ham for Declan Rice.

“Don’t get me wrong, Rice is a good player and one that will certainly improve Mikel Arteta’s team, but he doesn’t have the same CV as the likes of Mac Allister, who has just won a World Cup.

“His price tag is not his fault – but although he’s just played in the Conference League and won it, he hasn’t exactly set the world alight on the international stage yet. So when it comes to teams’ early summer business, Liverpool are streets ahead of everyone else.”

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When you look at Liverpool signing both Mac Allister and Szoboszlai for slightly less than what Arsenal are set to pay for Rice, you can see why Collymore has spoken so highly of the work done by the Reds’ recruitment team so far this summer.

The 24-year-old Argentine is already well versed in Premier League football, scoring 10 times in the division last term as he helped Brighton to a first-ever qualification for Europe (Transfermarkt).

The new Hungarian recruit is only 22 and has already played almost 250 senior matches, along with regularly gracing the Champions League in recent years (Transfermarkt).

Rice is a stalwart in the English top flight and has played in European finals for club and country, although he’s yet to feature in the continent’s primary club tournament, while the West Ham side that he captained last season finished a disappointing 14th in the league (Transfermarkt).

The danger with splurging on one marquee signing is that, should they get a long-term injury, the buyer will find themselves back where they started and be far worse off financially.

That may be why Liverpool ultimately baulked at Borussia Dortmund’s reported £130m asking price for Jude Bellingham earlier this year (Romano) before Real Madrid ultimately swooped for the 19-year-old.

That transfer also backs up Collymore’s assertion about English players carrying excessive valuations, and so long as the Reds can adhere to their Premier League homegrown quota, they can feel justified in finding better value from overseas signings.

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