On Friday night at 11pm the transfer window closed along with the hopes of many Liverpool fans. True it was never expected that Brendan Rodgers would lead a miraculous revolution at Anfield, but there were certainly hopes of European qualification and an improvement on last seasons 8th place finish. Yet after Friday’s deadline day debacle, conversation on the Kop has turned to survival as opposed to development.
The glaring frailty in Liverpool’s squad is of course the attacking department. With only Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini as recognized strikers, Rodgers’ decision to let Andy Carroll leave without a suitable replacement lined up was so disastrous it’s almost comical. Even if they had signed Dempsey, Liverpool could hardly expect the American to resolve their woeful form in front of goal.
Yet Dempsey has been and gone and Liverpool certainly need a striker to tide them over until the January window. Some may say that the solution lies with the youth academy and they might be right. Raheem Sterling has been an integral part of Rodgers’ side since being blooded in this season, whilst Adam Morgan and Samed Yesil may prove just as vital whilst Liverpool suffer their striker shortage.
However, whilst I’m all for getting these young lads involved (you only have to look at Arsenal to see that throwing youth in at the deep end isn’t all that bad) I still think Liverpool need someone who will definitely score goals. Luis Suarez has hardly looked red hot in the opening stages of this season, whilst Fabio Borini is yet to really find his feet in English football. So, its too the free agent market that we now turn.
With Michael Owen already being signed by Stoke this afternoon, Liverpool’s options are already restricted. Other names thrown in the hat include Emile Heskey, Florent Sinama Pongolle and Robbie Fowler to name a few yet I can’t see Brendan Rodgers being that desperate. However two names do crop up in the list of available players and both may just be what Liverpool need in this time of crisis.
Didier Drogba’s position in Shanghai is reportedly uneasy. With the Chinese club experiencing ownership difficulties, Drogba could soon be free to walk and will have many suitors thanks to his fine form last season. Rodgers would most certainly be interested should the former Chelsea man become available and so he should be.
The 34-year-old has the combination of skill and power that Rodgers craves in a centre forward. Liverpool may have reservations about Drogba’s age however as well as his ridiculous wages, rumoured to be around £200,000 a week during his time in Asia.
Another option is another 34-year-old ex Chelsea man who could be a shrewd buy for the Reds. Eidur Gudjohnson is a well-travelled striker, appearing at the top level of English and Spanish football and most recently tried to make his Premier League comeback with Stoke City. Yet the Icelandic international’s failure at the Britannia may be more due to the style of play. Gudjohnson is an experienced head and could fit into a passing style more readily as well as being available immediately.
The key thing is that Liverpool need to act and quickly if they are to move past their poor work at the close of the transfer window. Bedding in the youth players looks like and increasingly reality over the next few months at Anfield yet they are simply not enough. Reds owners Fenway Sports Group expressed how they didn’t want to spend riskily yet that doesn’t excuse them from not spending at all.
It might be too late now also. The risk factor of Gudjohnson might be too large to convince John Henry to open his chequebook, whilst the American owners are unlikely to meet Drogba’s wage demands. Needless to say, it’s going to be a long few months for Liverpool fans yet let’s look on the brightside. Perhaps Andy Carroll might find his form just in time to be recalled in January.