As if they didn’t have enough injury hurdles to overcome, Liverpool learned captain and legend Steven Gerrard will miss upwards of a month due to a hamstring injury he suffered in Saturday’s victory over West Ham.
Tests on Monday came back and the 33-year-old could be sidelined for as many as eight matches, as reported by BBC News, a crucial period of the campaign with the Merseyside club five points behind Arsenal for second place in the Premier League.
Brendan Rodgers's side already proved resilient when forward Daniel Sturridge and defender Jose Enrique went down through February, but until then the Reds have pivotal matches against Tottenham, Manchester City, and Chelsea.
Only so much can be expected of superstar Luis Suarez, responsible for five of the clubs nine goals in the last two victories, and it's unlikely Sturridge and Gerrard will be able to perform at a high level as soon as they return, thus increasing Liverpool’s activity in January’s transfer session.
A sizeable splash move for Cruzerio midfielder Everton could quickly solve both the Sturridge and Gerrard issues. The 24-year-old, who also owns four caps for Brazil’s under-20 squad, was the key playmaker for Cruzeiro’s run for the Brasileiro title, notching seven goals and leading the club with eight assists in 35 starts this past season.
Unfortunately, it appears Everton sees himself helping Manchester United out of their funk, though he hasn’t technically ruled the Reds out of the running. According to the Express, Everton believes he can shore up United’s midfield woes, and says he knows their players due to extensive video game play.
Under contract until 2016, Everton’s market value is actually around the £3 million range, but the range of £10 to £15 million is probably the expected cost.
A slightly more expensive option could be young Hamburg striker Hakan Calhanoglu, a Turkish national who’s also caught the eye of rival Arsenal, according to Daily Mail. Rodgers is reportedly a “big fan” of the 19-year-old scorer responsible for four goals and two assists in 14 appearances this season.
Calhanoglu’s value of £3.5 million could be a bit high, considering his age and lack of playing time outside of Germany. He has picked up a total of 42 caps for Turkey’s national teams, with 15 appearances for the under-19 squad being the most, but how Calhanoglu might react to the EPL remains a big question mark.
But all this attention to other players could distract Liverpool from the interest goalkeeper Pepe Reina is generating around Europe, specifically La Liga’s Atletico Madrid for £4.5 million, according to The Sun.
On a year-long loan with Napoli, the 31-year-old Reina has shown no signs of wear and tear, posting a remarkable five clean sheets, with 46 saves, in 14 starts for the third-place Italian side. The Reds should be a legitimate return option for Reina, especially if they can earn a berth in Champions League. Otherwise a long rumored return home for a stint with Barcelona or Atletico could be Reina’s best move.