Two blistering victories and nine total goals have perched Liverpool upon second place in the Premier League despite troubling injuries to the defense and the attack.
A seemingly unstoppable Luis Suarez has guided the Reds with five goals in the two victories over Norwich and West Ham in the last week, and Brendan Rodgers side is showing no signs of slowing down even with 11-goal forward Daniel Sturridge and left back Luis Enrique down for the next two months or so.
Suarez has been magnificent, but he will need help in the coming months. And while the defense has held up, the real test comes in the form of Tottenham next week.
The only goals Liverpool have surrendered during their mini run were an own goal by defender Martin Skrtel and a too-late-attempt score by Norwich's Bradley Johnson in the 83rd minute of play. However, Rodgers won't be complacent considering Aly Cissokho has been unimpressive and John Flanagan is still very green and naturally a right back.
Those facts leave the Reds searching for more depth on the back line and the attack.
First up on Liverpool’s agenda is likely Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke, according to The Daily Star. The 21-year-old is reportedly available as Atletico is planning to chase Chelsea’s midfield duo of Juan Mata and Kevin De Bruyne.
With three goals and eight assists this season, Koke could take some pressure off Suarez, and help the Uruguayan find more opportunities as the calendar changes.
No matter how fitting a tandem Koke and Suarez can be, there are challenges ahead of any switch to Merseyside. Manchester United’s interest and a £16 million release clause in Koke’s contract do complicate things for Liverpool.
Stabilization of the back line could come in the form of Turkish international left back Caner Erkin, who has spent the last three years stalking Fenerbahce’s line after a year long loan with Galatasaray and three years with CSKA Moscow, as reported by The Star on Friday. Erkin could also help out on the attack, as evidenced by his nine assists this season, and he might come cheaply with his contract expiring this summer.
Should Rodgers instead focus on a forward, Burnley’s Danny Ings could be the best choice. Totaling 10 goals in the Championship this season, Ings will cost Liverpool a hefty amount since first place Burnley is vying for promotion back to the EPL, according to the Daily Mirror.
Rodgers was reportedly chasing Ings before Sturridge went down, but interest has likely heated up since. Or the 21-year-old could be insurance if Suarez bolts next summer if the Reds somehow fail to qualify for Champions League.
Currently covering NBA, NFL, MLB, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, focusing on trades, controversy, and injury updates. Joined IB Times in August 2012.