Liverpool News: Transfer speculation due to mount at LFC
By Kevin Morley.
Brendan Rodgers is a man with a plan. He is not the reactionary type, he is a thinker, a planner and someone who has a strategy of how he wants to build the club. This means he is not the type who is going to be panicked into the transfer market, not a man who will spend £35 million at the last minute on an unproven striker. That is why his comments after the Manchester City clash at Anfield yesterday were even more intriguing.
In his post match interview, the Liverpool manager revealed that "...If we're going to strengthen then hopefully we can get a few more in." As you would expect, no names were mentioned, but the fact that the manager suggested more than one potential new signing means we can expect some interesting events at Anfield between now and 31st August. Here we speculate on exactly where the manager may be looking to strengthen and who Liverpool may be looking to add to the squad over the coming days.
Firstly, Liverpool need to score more goals - that is not even up for debate. Achieving this quickly will mean getting in a proven Premier League goal scorer. While Fabio Borini has undoubted potential and will be future star at Anfield, he will take time to develop his game at the club and to achieve his full potential. The current number nine, Andy Carroll, has had a question mark over his Liverpool future since Brendan Rodgers arrived and his brief showing against Manchester City yesterday will not have done anything to convince the Liverpool manager that he can be a twenty goals a season man in the new style Liverpool are implementing.
This means Brendan Rodgers will definitely be considering bringing in an additional striker over the coming weeks, regardless of whether Carroll leaves or not. The first name most often mentioned with Liverpool over the past few weeks has been Fulham's Clint Dempsey. It is clear the player is looking to move on, and equally clear that Liverpool are interested. There is more to this than just media speculation and, despite interest from other Premier League sides, it would be no surprise if Liverpool were to add the American to the first team squad before the end of August. Liverpool will not be held to ransom though and , if Fulham hold out for too much money, expect Liverpool to consider Jordan Rhodes, Jermain Defoe or Daniel Sturridge as an alternative.
The new style of play Liverpool are implementing will rely on technical players who play with speed of mind and fleet of foot. This means players will need to stretch the opposition and exploit the full width of the pitch. Wingers are essential to achieving success with this style. Last season Liverpool spent £20m on Stewart Downing yet seventeen year old Raheem Sterling was selected ahead of the England international yesterday and he did not let his manager down - arguably contributing more in one game than Downing did in the whole of last season.
Given this need for wide men who are technically astute, expect Liverpool to look to add strength in this area of the pitch. Adam Johnson was suggesting as a potential signing but it appears that Liverpool did not even make an enquiry prior to him moving to Sunderland. Other suggestions have been Ricardo Quaresma but a move for a player who has struggled over the past few years seems unlikely. Liverpool have clearly been interested in both Tello and Afellay of Barcelona and don't be surprised if a loan move for either of these is secured before the transfer window shuts.
Defence is an area that has caused concern for Liverpool in the opening Premier League games, with five goals conceded in only two matches. Compared to the solidity show last season, Liverpool have demonstrated a worrying weakness in this area. Despite this, it is not clear whether Rodgers will look to add strength here. Martin Kelly and Coates are both highly valued as back up, with both Jack Robinson and Jon Flanagan adding further cover in the wide defensive positions. Key to any defensive additions will be whether Daniel Agger remains at Anfield - something which is looking increasingly likely.
The final position where Liverpool may look to strengthen is goalkeeper. Pepe Reina has been an ever present between the posts for Liverpool and he has had very little challenge in the last few seasons. Both Brad Jones and Alexander Doni have been bench warmers who have only enjoyed the ocassional run out in the Carling Cup. This has mean Reina has had little competition and Rodgers is rumoured to be looking at young England keeper Jack Butland, someone who would definitely be looking for first team football and would therefore bring undoubted pressure in the goalkeeping position.
Whatever happens, the next few days will be full of rumour and speculation where Liverpool FC are concerned. Most of this will be conjecture that is based on nothing more than players being available. The new manager has already shown with the signing of Assaidi from Heerenveen, that while he is a planner, he is also someone who keeps his cards close to his chest - don't be surprised to see him pull one or two surprises out of his pack before 11.00pm on Friday.