WITH just a few days until the international transfer window SWINGS OPEN (imagine that cretin Jim White from Sky Sports News screeching that for maximum dramatic effect), we have done very little in terms of bringing people in.
Is this going to set the course for the rest of the window?
Are we trying to make the best of what we have or are we going to bring some quality in?
As far as I’m concerned, we need to strike a balance. The biggest task that Brendan Rodgers has is to try and get the best out of some of the players who massively underperformed during last season.
Can he get Pepe Reina back to his best? Can he get Enrique back to his excellent pre-Christmas form? He tailed away tragically last season. Can he gets Stewart Downing to develop a backbone and take people on instead of passing the ball five yards backwards or sideways every time? Will he play Jordan Henderson in his correct position of central midfield and if so, can he develop him into the player he could be? Because a wide man he isn’t. Can he get the best out of Andy Carroll in a way that fits into his footballing philosophy?
These are all questions that Kenny Dalglish was ultimately unable to answer and doing so will become a fundamental part of Rodgers’ job.
However I’m of the view that we’re going nowhere if we don’t bring some more players in. We need a goal machine, a poacher, a tap in merchant, someone in the right place at the right time. We’ve been heavily linked with Fabio Borini from Parma/Roma, who does fit that description. However that move appears to have lost any sort of likelihood after the convoluted bidding process ended with Roma winning the golden envelope race for his signature. There is an argument that this will only serve to make the move easier but that’s not something I buy into. We were interested though by the looks of things.
Another issue that needs addressing is the lack of goals from midfield. We have looked to address this with firm interest to sign Gylfi Sigurdsson from Hoffenheim. The Icelandic international spent half of the season on loan at Swansea where he became a consistent goalscorer with a penchant for scintillating free kicks. At the time of writing, there is talk that Spurs have entered the fray and have offered him more money (Editor: They have now had a bid accepted) but I am pretty confident we’ll get that deal done as Sigurdsson has spoken at length about his admiration for Brendan Rodgers. There is always a concern that he could be the next Charlie Adam, who also had a good goalscoring return and was renowned for his set pieces. We all know how that one worked out.
For me we are also missing a bit of guile and trickery. I think Downing has the ability to be a functional winger if he had the mentality. But right side, we have none and have had none for a while. Henderson is a central midfielder, that’s all there is to it. We’ve lost both Kuyt and Maxi, who have moved on to pastures new and taken around about ten goals a season with them. Both were important squad players but neither what you would call out and out wingers.
We need to add some trickery and guile, someone who can go past a man with speed and then crucially pick out their man. We need someone LIKE, not necessarily them, Walcott or Oxlade-Chamberlain. Obviously we’d have no chance of signing Oxlade-Chamberlain and probably not Walcott, but that’s the sort of player I mean. Walcott needs work on his end product but is nonetheless a good player who can get in behind defences and is still young. We’ve also been linked with Younes Belhanda from Montpellier who has the guile and the skill but plays a little more between the lines than out wide.
Either way, we need to start making our forays into the transfer market. In my opinion our squad is better than 8th in the league and ultimately that’s why Dalglish lost his job. But we want to be in the top 4 and we have some work to do in order to get there – both with what we have and with what we haven’t got yet.
In the unlikely event you want to hear more from Dan, you can follow him on twitter (@TLW1Dan) and you can also catch him as a regular writer in The Liverpool Way fanzine and on TLW forums. Please be aware that any content from Dan may contain sarcasm.
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