When this season started, I thought to myself, it surely couldn’t be as bad as last year. Liverpool had a new manager, and Joe Cole. Oh how wrong I was. It really has been a rollercoaster of a season, close to administration, languishing near the relegation zone for a part of the season, I really thought the worse. Than our knight in shining armour, Mr John W. Henry and his company New England Sport Ventures (now Fenway Sports Group) saved us and we could finally relax. The Takeover wasn’t able to rid us off all our problems however as we still didn’t perform on the pitch. Just after the takeover the Merseyside derby was upon us. We lost 2-0 prompting Roy Hodgson to tell the media this was our best performance of the season. I did start to worry then.
I had tried to back “Woy” all the way but with Liverpool struggling, no creativity and no urgency, it didn’t seem like the players wanted to play for him, particularly a certain Spanish Striker. The Kop was calling for Kenny, and when Hodgson aimed his frustration at Liverpool fans after the Wolves defeat I thought enough is enough.
I always feel you have to get behind your own team and manager no matter what the case but I also feel the team needs to give you something back. We weren’t losing games with 20 shots on target. Hodgson didn’t help with his signings either, I think we can all agree that Konchesky and Poulsen have not been good enough for the Liverpool first team. A change was needed, after such a long period of instability under Hicks and Gillette, NESV gave the fans what they wanted and the King returned.
A dark cloud had lifted above the red side of Merseyside and perhaps it was time to look up not down. Fast forward 3 months and Liverpool sit 6th in the Premier League table. Add in a few memorable victories over Chelsea and Man United and it would appear Liverpool are closer to returning to the “Top Four” than the points difference in the league table would suggest. Upcoming games against Man City and Spurs will also paint a good picture in terms of where Liverpool are heading.
However anyone who thinks we are close to bringing the glory days back to Anfield with title number 19 is kidding themselves. While under Dalglish Liverpool have lost away to Blackpool, West Brom and West Ham while drawing at home with Wigan, Everton and Braga. I am not blaming the Scot for this, far from it, but I am highlighting a squad that still needs improvement despite the captures of Carroll and Suarez.
All too often I hear myself saying Liverpool need a threat from wide and more creativity to unlock defences. With this in mind I have highlighted two players that could really take Liverpool further. Man to man against the “Top Four” Liverpool lack real world class quality, but this is where Ashley Young and Fabio Coentrao come in.
Fabio Coentrao – Left Back – Benfica – Cost – £20 – 25 million
Now then don’t be put off by the price, although he is an expensive signing I believe he would be worth it. How often have we seen Liverpool spend £7 mil here or £8 mil there and then see the player offloaded in the summer for half that the year after? FSG have said they are prepared to offer more of the same this summer after purchasing Andy Carroll for £35 mil and Luis Suarez for £22.
Granted that was assisted by the sale of Torres for £50 mil but Suarez was on his way regardless. I could say we get Jose Enrique or Figueroa for £8 mil, but would these players be capable of pushing Liverpool onto the next level? I doubt it very much. I do not doubt their ability but when look at United’s Evra, Chelsea’s Cole, and Arsenal’s Clichy you can’t help but feel jealous over their superior quality. Coentrao has been linked with a number of top clubs, most recently Bayern Munich but a deal is far from the case.
At 23, he could play at the highest level for arguably the next 10 years, making his fee a worthy one. He starred for Portugal in 2010 World Cup and was a shining light in an otherwise disappointing campaign for the Portuguese team. Able to play left back or left wing Coentrao has all the attributes to make him a great attacking full back while having the discipline and reassurance to be able to defend reliably. Should Liverpool line up next season with him on the left and Johnson on the right, it would add a new dimension to their play.
Ashley Young – Winger- Aston Villa – Cost – £20- 25 million.
Okay so probably one of the most obvious choices to choose when linked with Liverpool every other day. However he is linked with Liverpool for a reason; he’s quality. Having spoken to my friends about who they want at Liverpool next season, flying down the wing, there was always one name above others. Young has all the attributes to become a success at the highest level. His speed and delivery make him a perfect outlet on the left or right side of midfield.
Young has been linked with United on several occasions also but if you take a step back and look at United’s options on the wings they are plentiful. Nani, Valencia, Fabio, Giggs, Park, and Obertan it is debatable whether United would even go for Young. Young may see Liverpool as the better option knowing first team would be a guarantee. I am sure his manager could say a few good things about what it is like to play at Anfield week in week out.
With Young Liverpool would have another star player in their squad, to go with the likes of Suarez, Gerrard, Reina, and Carroll, and should all these be able to blend together, their lack of creativity should never be a problem.
I am sure everybody has an opinion on who we need more this summer so don’t hesitate to tell us here at transfer tavern who it is. There are more big names being linked with Liverpool every day now that it is a well known fact we have the resources to compete in the transfer market.
If you think you have better ideas then let me know.
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