Of course I know I am purely speculating here but if Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano was sold for the best part of £30m to Inter Milan, and the majority was given to Roy Hodgson to spend, what would you do with it? I know it’s kind of playing a game of Football Manager with the funds but if I was Roy, I would split the money into three. £10m on a striker, £10m on a replacement for Mascherano and £10m on a left back.
Left back (Taye Taiwo/Wayne Bridge) – the position is difficult to fill for two reasons, one there are few really decent left backs in the world, and secondly, the lack of home-grown players in the Reds squad means in all likelihood that at least one of the two spots will have to be filled by an Englishman. Wayne Bridge has again been rumoured and with his odds on joining Liverpool moving to 4/6 on by Sky Bet, it is an interesting development because the same thing happened with Joe Cole a couple of weeks ago. Bridge was certainly not on the greatest of form last season, and the arrival of Aleksandar Kolarov at Eastlands from Lazio for £17million, has raised question marks over his future. He will be available for sale but I think Roy should look elsewhere for a first choice left back. Although my first choice would be Benfica’s Fabio Coentrao, he would cost between £15m-20m, and I think the most value for money defender on the market could be Taye Taiwo. The Nigerian full back has a year left on his contract and will be available for a lot less than £10m. He has demanded a transfer and would most likely welcome a move to Anfield.
Central Midfielder (Lassana Diarra/Esteban Cambiasso) – Many who commented on my previous post about five replacements for Mascherano, talked of buying a player such as Steven Defour or Javi Martinez. While they are very good players, I believe a direct replacement is necessary for the departing Mascherano. A midfield enforcer is always necessary to compete at the top level, and although, probably both long shots, I would attempt to purchase either Lassana Diarra of Real Madrid or Cambiasso from Inter Milan. Cambiasso would need to come in exchange for Mascherano so a more likely bet would be Diarra. A good tackler and dynamic going forward, the French midfielder could give the Reds midfield some added bite. If he was available for £10m, we would be getting a very good all round player.
Striker (Klass-Jan Huntelaar/English Option) – With only Fernando Torres and David Ngog as our exclusive strikers with Dirk Kuyt and Milan Jovanovic most probably committed to wider roles, another striking option will definitely be needed for next season. I have stated on a number of occasions that Milan’s Klass Jan-Huntelaar would be my favourite for the role. Still only 26, he is available for transfer and could be bought for £10-12m. He can play either as a lone striker or up front with Torres, which could make him an ideal purchase for Hodgson. Roy may however have to opt for an English alternative to improve home-grown numbers and both Peter Crouch and Carlton Cole have been speculated. Both decent front men who have excellent aerial ability, but are they worth the price if we look at their respective goal returns? Out of the three positions, the striking berth could be the most difficult to fill but there are options out there.
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