Liverpool’s season has been turned around dramatically since the return of the King – Kenny Dalglish. Since his arrival, Liverpool have taken 20 points from a possible 30 in the Premier League, no mean feat for a season that has shown that anyone can beat anyone, on their day. What makes it even more impressive is that if the season had started in January, we would be sitting right at the top of the pile, ahead of Manchester United and Arsenal.
As we reach the final straight of what has been an up-and-down season, the excitement is brewing on who the club will sign this summer.
There is no doubt in my mind that Kenny’s temporary managerial role will be made permanent, and it will be up to him and Damien Comolli to spend the money wisely on new additions.
Obviously the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea will look to splash the cash, Manchester United are bound to strengthen and Arsenal will probably sign a few 12-year olds, so it’s even more important this summer that we sign the right players. As a fan, I’m not too worried about us making the same mistakes as we did last year. FSG and John Henry have made it clear that we will target young players with talent, so rest-assured fellow Liverpool fans, another Poulsen is off the agenda.
After listening to the opinions of other Liverpool fans, on who they want the club to sign this summer, I thought I’d give my own. It is clear for us all to see, despite the recent revival of the team, there are several areas of the squad which need vast improvement. So without further ado, here are five players who could solve our problematic areas on the pitch.
1. Leighton Baines
The Everton left back has proved he is one of the best left backs in the Premier League since his arrival from Wigan in 2007. The quick, attack-minded full back has become a key player in the Everton side, linking up well down the left flank and offers excellent delivery into the box from wide areas.
Glen Johnson has adapted well to his new role on the left-hand side, since the emergence of Martin Kelly who has seemingly made the right back position his own. However, Johnson still looks a bit suspect defensively. With Baines, I feel we would get the best of both worlds, defensively and in attack. He also offers another option from set-pieces, a bit like Fabio Aurelio, Baines has been known for scoring the odd cracking free-kick.
It would be a big ask to prise him away from Goodison Park, as Everton will do whatever they can to resist selling to their local rivals. However, Baines is a boyhood Liverpool supporter, so could possibly force through a move.
2. Ashley Young
What Liverpool have lacked for a long time is a fast, creative winger, someone like Ashley Young. In terms of his set-piece delivery and crossing, Young is one of the best in England at the moment. With the big man, Andy Carroll, up front, the two of them in combination would be a recipe for success. Young’s fantastic delivery and Carroll’s great aerial ability surely means goals.
The signs are that Young will leave Aston Villa at the end of the season, and there are few teams said to be interested, namely us, Manchester United and Tottenham. If it was me with the transfer kitty, I would make Young a priority signing. He has Premier League experience and he is an England international. Therefore, we wouldn’t have the worry of ‘will he cope with the English style’, that comes with signing a player from abroad.
I wouldn’t have thought we would have to break the bank to sign Young either, seeing as he will be entering the last year of his contract; Villa may be forced into selling him. That is, if we can avoid getting into a bidding war with the likes of United or Spurs.
3. Charlie Adam
Charlie Adam has been one of the stars of the season as far as I’m concerned. Blackpool have shocked everyone with some of their performances this year, and Charlie Adam has been at the centre of them all.
At first I had my doubts whether Adam was really good enough to play for Liverpool, but the more I have watched him this season, the more he has impressed me.
We have never really replaced Alonso in the midfield, but Adam shares some of the qualities the Spaniard brought to Liverpool. Very much like Alonso, Adam can pass the ball from one end of the pitch to the other, and he can play the eye-of-the-needle through balls we have missed ever since Xabi left. Adam has great vision and he’s not bad at free kicks either. If you haven’t seen his free-kick against Blackburn, I thoroughly suggest doing so.
4. Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez was one of the names I pondered on whether including in my five player wish list, because he’s not the out-and-out right winger many Liverpool fans feel we need. However, the reason for his inclusion is very simple, he has bags of class.
Without a doubt Sanchez is one of the best young talents in world football. He is a versatile attacker who can play on either wing, or behind a striker. Due to his searing pace and awe-inspiring technical ability, obvious comparisons have been made with Cristiano Ronaldo. Although, I hope he doesn’t moan as much Ronaldo does.
Sanchez isn’t the type of winger who will hug the touchline though; he is more of an inside forward who likes to cut in. Although, he does have fantastic ball control, he can beat a man and can deliver a good cross.
The biggest problem is his price tag. Reports emanating from Italy suggest that Udinese are looking for at least £30 million for the Chilean winger, and just about every top European club are linked with him.
FSG say they want to sign young and talented players. Alexis Sanchez is young and has talent in abundance. It will be tough to sign him, but if we did, Sanchez would be an extremely good signing.
It was a toss-up between a defensive midfielder and a back up striker for the final place on my wish list. Ultimately I went with a striker, as I think we definitely need to improve backup for Carroll and Suarez. In my opinion, and it seems to be an opinion shared by most Liverpool fans, N’gog isn’t good enough.
Personally, I think the amount of money we spend on a striker will depend on the formation Kenny chooses to go with next season. If he wants to go for a 4-3-3, I can see him going for an expensive option, to play alongside Carroll and Suarez. But if he wants to keep the pairing of Suarez and Carroll, a player like Bojan would be perfect support.
Bojan would bring quality, depth and competition to our attack, plus he’s young. There have been other strikers mentioned as possible signings, such as Napoli’s Edinson Cavani and also Ezequiel Lavezzi, or perhaps Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente. However, all of which would cost a lot of money, money that could be used elsewhere on more pressing concerns.
Bojan doesn’t play regularly for Barcelona, therefore he could be interested in moving, despite only signing a new contract a few months ago. But we all know contracts don’t count for much these days.
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