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Two Goal-Scoring Midfielders On The Anfield Horizon?

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IT is no secret that Liverpool’s Achilles heel this season has been failing to finish off the chances that they have managed to create.

With the worst chance conversion rate of any team in the Premier League for 2011/12, Reds manager Kenny Dalglish must move to rectify this problem before the start of the next campaign.

One of the major areas to address is the lack of goals from midfield.

Gerrard, Kuyt, Maxi, Adam, Downing and Henderson have managed just 14 Premier League goals between them this season, a paltry return and not nearly enough for a club whose fans expect, at the very least, Champions’ League qualification from their team.

Mail Online and the Daily Mirror in England report that Liverpool are keen on signing 24 year old midfielder Rasmus Elm from Dutch Club AZ Alkmaar. Elm has scored on twelve occasions for AZ this term, after recovering from illness and injury which blighted his first two seasons at the Dutch Club and is known to have aroused Liverpool’s attention, with Damien Comolli sending Chief Scout Steve Hitchen to run the rule over the highly rated Swede.

Comolli’s departure from Anfield hasn’t dampened Kenny Dalglish’s interest in the player, who is known for his passing and his free-kicks as well as his goal-scoring prowess. Elm, who has made 22 appearances for the Swedish national side, was described by former Sweden Head Coach Lars Lagerback as “the biggest talent Sweden has produced since Zlatan Ibrahimovic”. He is valued at around £7 million.

Another name heavily linked with Liverpool in recent days is that of Spanish attacking midfielder Manuel Agudo Duran, also known as Nolito. Nolito currently plies his trade with Benfica in Portugal, where he has netted 10 goals in 16 starts in the Portuguese Liga Sagres so far this season.

Although the player is on a five year contract in Lisbon, Portuguese newspaper Record has reported that the club would be willing to listen to offers of around £15 million for Nolito’s services, with TalkSport and Mail Online claiming that Liverpool are the clear favourites to land the Spaniard. Nolito has worked his way up the ranks in his footballing career and is no stranger to hard work, something which very much fits in with Kenny Dalglish’s and Liverpool’s ethos and way of doing things.

The player’s agent confirmed that there is interest in Nolito, who scored twice at the weekend in a 4-1 win, from the Premier League but played down any suggestion that a deal is imminent, saying:

“Several intermediaries have called me to ask about the situation of the player and to say there are clubs interested, among them English. But there is nothing more concrete. The player is very happy in Lisbon and his target is to be a success here.”
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In other news, Alberto Aquilani’s stay in Italy may come to an end this summer, with AC Milan seemingly reluctant to sign the midfielder on a permanent deal. Aquilani, who cost Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool £20 million, arrived at Anfield nursing an injury which delayed the beginning of his Liverpool career.

The Italian’s slow recovery and inability/unwillingness to adapt to life on Merseyside led to loan deals: first with Juventus and then with Milan. Milan have a binding agreement to sign Aquilani for around £5 million as part of the current loan deal, which is due to finish at the end of the season. However, this clause only becomes active if Aquilani makes 25 appearances for the Rossoneri this season (substitute appearances only count as half) and the Italian giants appear to be making sure that that doesn’t happen, with KopSource stating that the main reason for this is Milan’s interest in Riccardo Montolivo.

The failure by Milan to complete the terms of the deal could see Aquilani return to Anfield in the summer, something which is unlikely to please Kenny Dalglish or F.S.G., as they attempt to reduce the club’s wage bill. The Italian has two years left to run on his contract and is believed to earn around £100,000 a week.

You can catch Neil on Twitter @Neil1980 or on his blog http://itsallinthegameblog.wordpress.com/

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  • Red4Life says:

    How about keeping kurt and maxi, selling downing, he do and Adam and buying proven european talent to help us in Europe next season?


  • Liam says:

    Whats wrong with aquilani? Can someone please explain this. There’s a reason why rafa bought him in the first place.

  • vishnu says:

    Forget about B grade players…..like Elm,Nolito,we should be looking at getting Erikksen,M’Villa,Marko Marin…..players who will make an impact upon arrival rather than rubbish like Downin,Hendo,Adam……y do we continuously waste our money on players of average quality………if we keep up that norm…..we rather play in the Championship………also who’s the long term replacement for Stevie G……Adam,Hendo!!!!!!!!If that’s the case then we will continuously win nothing,no CL,the league will slipping further away from us…….spend now on quality,so the club&fans alike can bask in the glory once again…..too long have we been overshadowed,the time is now or never

  • Red4Life says:

    Liam – agree – aquaman when fit put in ‘some’ impressive displays. would like to see him back next season.

    Bring in the Special One please NESV !!!!


  • Chan says:

    Yes Liam, can someone explain what is wrong with Aqua? Why KD is hell bent in giving clowns like Hendo, Downing and Adams extensive playing time only to prove that they Championship players at best but not give an Italian International a game?

    Is it any wonder under KD we are now a cup and mid table team with relegatio a real prospect?

  • Neil Patterson says:

    Pretty simple. He doesn’t like merseyside. Can’t/doesn’t speak the language, earns far too much and wants to play in Italy. Add to that, neither Milan nor Juve want him. He isn’t that good, he’s not committed to the club, and he costs us a fortune. Need any more reasons?

  • Sir Bob Paisley says:

    Chan; in 2 years you will be saying how good Henderson is! i will bet you were one of the “supporters” slagging Lucas off for 2 seasons!

    Anyone that watches football can see Henderson has “got it” and he will prove it too!

  • I Think henderson and Carrol will come good, but Adam n Downing are not good enough for liverpool.Bad signing for the club.In Rafa we trust.YNWA

  • anssen says:

    We need quality players not the like of English players(expensive & useless)We have the worse midfield in the premiership.Bring back RAFA.

  • daboy says:

    Downing and Adam can exit dont care where either its time these scouts earnt their money but i would like to see Hoilett on a free Marin belhanda.
    Back that up with a central defender to replace Carra and Agger and they will be right.

  • Flauvio says:

    What we need in order of priority is: 1) a right winger or one who can operate across the line, 2) defensive midfield cover/competition for Lucas, 3) young hungry striker with pace to push both suarez and caroll, 4) left back cover for Enrique. Some suggestions

    1) Adam Johnson, Gaston Ramirez, Eriksen
    2) Yann M’villa, Javi Martinez,
    3) Luuk de jong, Luc Castaignos,
    4) ?

    In addition to this Danny Wilson (CB), Jack Robinson (LB), Conor Coady (DM), Raheem Sterling (W), Suso (CM/AM/W), and Adam Morgan (ST) should be given more game time at a higher level, perhaps via next seasons Carling Cup, to develop.

  • GG says:

    If we want EPL experience and immediate impact, we should go for M. Dembele and Taarabt (QPR) as creative midfielders.

    Major focus should be up front and the Sigurdsson at Swansea (a Hoffehiem player)would be an excellent addition.

    If we get a top defensive midfielder (hopefully left footed) we should be OK for 2012/13.

    I think FSG would find these acquisitions reasonable. With the release of Maxi, Aurelio and possibly Aquliani, Cole as well as Kyut, it should be relatively easy to acquire the 4 players needed to move LFC forward.

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