James Milner, Danny Ings and to a lesser extent Adam Bogdan all resemble decent acquisitions for Liverpool early in the transfer window, however, another signing stands out above the trio.
Although Reds fans feared his departure, Slovakian international defender Martin Skrtel has put an end to the growing anxiety by agreeing to sign a redrafted contract from his employers.
The centre-back had publically stated his disdain over the first heavily-incentivised version thrown his way, but a new three-year deal appears to have appeased the 30-year-old.
This u-turn by Liverpool in order to keep hold of their best central defender is a crucial piece of business.
After apparently bungling negotiations with Raheem Sterling, which have subsequently manifested as the summer’s leading saga, the pressure has been on Liverpool to tie up deals for key players in far smoother fashion.
There was no shortage of interested parties keen on acquiring Skrtel’s services if he’d decided to quit Anfield either, with Italian club Inter leading the charge.
Under Brendan Rodgers the tenacious defender has become the flag bearer for consistency in a backline whose personnel has changed too frequently under the Northern Irishman.
Skrtel has clocked up 69 Premier League appearances for Liverpool over the past two seasons, operating as the central figure in Rodgers’ three-man defensive set-up for large swathes.
Although he only chipped in with a single league goal in 2014/15, the seven he bagged during Liverpool’s 2013/14 title tilt displayed his danger as an offensive weapon at set pieces too.
First and foremost it’s his defensive attributes that render the former Zenit St Petersburg player so integral to Liverpool’s cause over the next few seasons though.
This theory is given credence by the statisticians over at WhoScored.com, who show Skrtel is among the highest clearance makers in the Premier League at an average just shy of 10 per game.
One of Liverpool longest-serving players also senses danger well according to the same boffins, making nigh on two successful interceptions per game.
Of the 14 clean sheets Liverpool preserved last season, the Slovakian was in for the 90 minutes in a dozen of them.
Customers of bwin can put their faith in Skrtel’s ongoing presence helping the Reds hop the designated bar of 17.5 clean sheets in the forthcoming campaign, backable at 17/20.
The collective sigh of relief on Merseyside now Skrtel’s signature has been secured, may just cause the odd roof tile to come lose.