Liverpool Need Better Back Up


Liverpool have had a pretty successful 2014 so far. They took their title challenge to the final day, finishing second has seen them return to Europe’s top table  (the Champions League) and they have tied down the manager (Brendan Rodgers) who has been responsible for turning around the clubs fortunes.

But this summer isn’t a time for owner John W. Henry and managing director Ian Ayre rest on their laurels or for them to think the job is done. The fact is the dreams at Anfield will just get bigger and now is the time to improve the squad, so they can challenge for the league next term and also cope with the demands of the Champions League.

Last term, Liverpool had a great one to eleven. But once the season reached April and injuries/suspensions took their toll, thats when we all noticed the squad lacked quality in quantity.

The clubs hierarchy will need to recruit better squad players that can challenge the sides top players and add stiffer competition for places. To do that they need to invest.

Obviously they are guaranteed Champions League money as they head straight into the groups stages after finishing as England’s runners up. They can also try and get rid of the deadwood that currently lies within the squad, that could bring in transfer fees and free up wages in the budget.

Players that could head out of the door are; Pepe Reina, Oussama Assaidi, Sebastian Coates, Iago Aspas, Suso and Fabio Borini.

I also think question marks are hanging over the futures of Daniel Agger and Lucas Leiva.

Agger was the best partner for Martin Skrtel last season, but Rodgers just doesn’t seem to have confidence in the Danish centre back. He was left out in a few of the bigger games in the title run-in and that could be a sign that Agger’s days at Anfield could be numbered. If that were the case then I’d expect Liverpool to go back into the market to bring in a ready made replacement. Swansea’s Ashely Williams, Cardiff’s Steven Caulker and Southampton’s Dejan Lovren have all been linked with the ‘Reds’ so far this summer.

The last few years haven’t been kind to Brazilian Lucas as he has had a terrible time with injuries. In big games, towards the end of last season, Leiva looked tired and void of any pace! That could mean that injuries have taken a permanent toll on the twenty-seven year old. If he can’t return to energetic best this pre-season then the time might be right for both the club and the player to part. Liverpool know that versatile midfielders are needed to improve the squad and are already sounding out the likes of Bayer Leverkusen man Emre Can and Southampton captain Adam Lallana.

Liverpool also see a new left back as a priority with Jose Enrique continuing to suffer issues with his injured knee. The club are believed to have made a £16m bid for Sevilla’s Spanish international left back Alberto Moreno. The talented twenty-one year old is in Vicente del Bosque’s provisional World Cup squad and has also been linked with Real Madrid and Rafa Benitez’s Napoli side.

Pepe Reina will return to Melwood after the World Cup, spending the last year in Naples. The former number one is no longer seen as a player that fits the bill at Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers will want to get the keeper off the wage bill and hope that a side like Atletico Madrid or Tottenham can lure the Spanish international away from Merseyside. That departure won’t happen until after this summers World Cup and that might mean Rodgers has to wait before pursuing a replacement. After Swansea signed Lukas Fabianski today, it would seem that Dutchman Michel Vorm could be reunited with Rodgers. Vorm would come in and instantly challenge Simon Mignolet. Healthy competition is a good thing for goalkeepers. The side should have plenty of fixtures to look forward to and that should mean plenty of games for both goalies.

Liverpool scored a barrel load last term but they still need adequate replacements to come in and take some pressure off Daniel Sturridge and Luiz Suarez. Fabio Borini had a decent season on loan at Sunderland and could be given a chance to prove himself again at Anfield. But even with that, another forward will be needed if Liverpool are to challenge on all fronts.

I don’t think top world-class strikers like Mario Balotelli and Alexis Sanchez would come to the England’s north west unless they are guaranteed first team football and I don’t think they will be offered that while you have Suarez in the squad.

Thirty-three year old Samuel Eto’o is on the lookout for a new club after he was released by Chelsea, the Cameroon international striker proved he can still grab vital goals both domestically and in Europe but he has no resale value.

A better option could be seen in French internationalist Loic Remy who is available for a modest fee of around £8m, he can also play on the right wing. Talking of wingers, bringing in Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri or Barcelona’s Cristian Tello could be another smart move as they could be used as makeshift frontmen if needed and if they could snap up one of youngsters then they’d help aid the teams cause with a few goals from the wide areas.

Liverpool have done the right thing and done a deal with boss Rodgers first. Its a sign that they see a healthy future with Brendan in charge and that chopping and changing the manager is a thing of the past at Anfield. That makes it easier in recruiting top-class players.

Obviously Liverpool would prefer to tie down new buys before the World Cup starts, successful tournaments can hike up prices and buying before July means that new stars can arrive for the start of pre-season training. But unfortunately for the ‘Reds’, players want to focus fully on the international competition rather than deciding their futures, plus agents are keen on pushing clubs to the limits and getting their clients as much money, in terms of wages, as possible.

Liverpool have started this summer with a lot of positivity but need to push on and keep up the momentum. The squad has a great foundation but certainly needs to be improved upon and the quicker that happens the better.

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