Liverpool FC: 5 Players the Reds Should Buy and Sell in the Summer
Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli have carried out a considerable amount of transfer business since Dalglish's second stint as manager at Anfield.
His purchases, some would suggest, have not led to instant success. But Dalglish has stuck to his guns and always looks to the future.
With the current season coming into its final stages, the Reds look woefully off the pace for the coveted Champions League spots up for grabs. Although a place in Europe has already been secured through the success in the League Cup, albeit in the Europa League.
A club of the stature that Liverpool has, playing in the Europe's elite club competition is a must and it is almost a certainty that the Reds will once again be heavily involved in the transfer market come the end of this season and the start of the next.
There are some players that will be sold or no longer involved in the playing staff and others that will be brought into the club.
The following are five players that should be playing for Liverpool next season, and five that should be out.
Out: Maxi Rodriguez
The Argentine international was picked up by Rafa Benitez on a free transfer from Atletico Madrid in the January transfer window of 2010.
Since arriving at Anfield, Maxi has struggled to hold down a regular first-team place, however seemed to have the goal-scoring touch when playing.
Maxi can operate on either the right or left of midfield and is considered as a winger. Despite this, the Reds' problems on the flanks persists and Maxi has unfortunately not been a solution.
Though Maxi is a fairly useful squad player to have, he is not playing as a first-team player should. This coupled with his age does not bode well for the Argentine.
Maxi's stay at Anfield should not be viewed as a failure at all, in fact he has done better than many others, but it is time to thank him for his services and move him on.
The Reds would be better off looking to fill his spot in the first-team squad with a younger, more dynamic player.
Out: Fabio Aurelio
Fabio Aurelio has spent nearly six years at Liverpool, having signed in July 2006 but has only made 133 appearances for the Reds.
Injuries have dogged the Brazilian for so much of his time at Anfield.
Various issues, such as his age, the acquisition of Jose Enrique and the emergence of young talent has led to Aurelio not figuring much in the starting line or even on the bench these days.
A left-sided defender and occasional midfielder with a sweet left foot, Aurelio has given good service to the Reds, when he has been available for selection.
There were a few games a couple of seasons ago where he was used as a central midfielder and played well there, it must be said. But his time at Anfield should now be drawn to a close.
It is more than likely that Aurelio will leave Liverpool at the end of this season.
Out: Charile Adam
Charlie Adam was signed by Kenny Dalglish for £5 million in July last year after the Liverpool manager earmarked the Scottish midfielder as a key component to his midfield plans.
When arriving on Merseyside, much was expected of Adam, but in truth the Scot has not lived up to expectations.
Early on in his Liverpool career, he seemed to disappear from the game in its later stage. His stamina and fitness came under the microscope.
Having improved this, it is now his overall game that just does not live up to the highest requirements.
There are too many comments from fans that he is a great Championship level player, but just does not have the quality to perform at the higher Premiership level.
From his recent performances, there is evidence that this could be the case.
The Liverpool midfield needs more than what Adam can provide and maybe he is not cut for the bigger stage.
Out: Stewart Downing
Over the years, Liverpool's lack of width has certainly been something that has held the club back in terms of competing at the top level consistently.
The signing of Stewart Downing from Aston Villa for £20 million was supposed to be the answer and in particular a solution to the left side of midfield.
On paper, Liverpool were right to have signed Downing. All the indications were that they were signing a player that could solve so many of their problems.
But Downing has been a huge disappointment this season.
He lacks the ability to throw in a trick or two, beat his defender and whip in a tasty cross. He seems content on receiving the ball and stopping, cutting inside or passing sideways.
If Downing is sold, it should not be taken as a failure on Kenny Dalglish's part of bringing in the wrong player. Downing is the right player, but he has simply not performed.
It will be a gutsy decision but one that needs to me made—Downing needs to be shown the door.
Out: Jamie Carragher (to Retire)
Jamie Carragher has been at Liverpool for his entire professional career and has been a great servant to the club. But it is now time that Carragher calls time on his professional playing career.
In a previous article, I proposed that it was time for Carra to retire. The Liverpool defender still has so much to offer the club but it would be better served now as a coach to the younger players and maybe as a possible future manager.
Due to his age and style of play, Carra seems to be a yard too slow for the top level now and the more time he spends off the pitch only seems to extenuate this when he is on it.
Being a huge fan of Carra, it is not easy to propose this, but being a bigger fan of Liverpool FC, I have to put my head above my heart and say Carragher should hang up his boots.
Just to be clear, hanging up his boots does not mean that Liverpool lose the services of Carra, they do not, just that the services are slightly redefined.
In: Seydou Keita
Despite being long in the tooth and contrary to the transfer policy of Liverpool FC these days, Seydou Keita has emerged as a possible signing for the Reds.
The 32-year-old Barcelona midfielder has more energy about him that his aging legs would suggest.
Furthermore, the Reds have sorely missed the qualities of Lucas this season and Keita could also deputise in this position if necessary.
But it is his box-to-box qualities and experience which are most attractive to Kenny Dalglish.
Having expressed an interest to come to Anfield, and Barcelona open to offers, a fee of around £7 million could be agreed upon.
Liverpool would get a quality midfielder for a bargain in this market.
In: Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard could be the answer to Liverpool's continual width problems, as well as their complete lack of creativity in the midfield.
The Reds have first-hand experience of what Hazard is capable of, having come across Lille in the Europa League.
Hazard has tremendous dribbling skills, a rocket shot and all the energy needed for the English Premier League.
Having picked up personal award after award in the last few seasons, it may well be time for a move to the big time for the Belgian.
Liverpool will need to splash the cash if they are to lure one the brightest young talents in European football. This coupled with the fact that others are also after Hazard may prove too much for the Reds.
Liverpool must secure Champions League football to be in the hunt to sign Hazard, as this may be crucial to any deal.
But a Liverpool midfield with Hazard in it would be a mouthwatering prospect for fans and Kenny Dalglish.
In: Mauricio Isla
Chilean international Mauricio Isla fits the bill perfectly as a future Liverpool signing and the Reds have expressed interest in him.
It is Isla's versatility that attracts Kenny Dalglish, especially his ability to operate on either flank.
Currently playing at Italian club Udinese, Isla has had to be more conservative than he would like to be and if Dalglish can convince him that he will give him more freedom to express himself, a deal could be done.
Udinese will look for about £12 million for the 23-year-old, as he is considered one of their best players.
Isla has all the pace in the world, as well as good stamina. His close control and ability to beat players on the wings will be a major draw for Liverpool, as they have a complete lack of this talent in their first team currently.
Isla would be seen as a top signing if all goes to plan this summer.
In: Diego Godin
Liverpool have been after Diego Godin for quite some time now.
There was interest last summer in the Uruguayan international defender and this summer could be the time they land their man.
It would be an intriguing prospect to bring to club level Godin's international central defensive partnership with Sebastian Coates, already a Liverpool player.
Godin is the prototypical Central American defender—quick, strong and tough as nails. The English Premiership would certainly not scare the big Uruguayan.
The 25-year-old is seen as one of the top central defenders in the European game of late and a move to Merseyside might suit him right down to the ground.
With the likes of Coates and Luis Suarez already at Anfield, Godin would not be lonely.
In: Edinson Cavani
Without a doubt one of the hottest strikers in Europe at the moment, Edison Cavani is at the top of his game.
Liverpool's lack of goals is extremely worrying and an expert finisher is a must. If the Reds had converted only those chances that have hit the woodwork this season, Champions League football next season would not seem so far off.
Cavani was on the radar and Liverpool looked to be interested in January, but nothing came of it. But in the summer, the Reds may intensify their pursuit of the Uruguayan striker.
Currently at Napoli, Cavani is looking to make a move to a bigger club. The Reds would need to be able to offer him Champions League football next season, if they are to have any chance to bringing the striker to Anfield.
Other top teams, with Champions League places for next season, could tempt Cavani there, but with international teammates Sebastian Coates and Luis Suarez already at Liverpool, Cavani would be next.
Linking up Uruguay's successful striker partnership of Cavani and Luis Suarez sounds an awesome prospect.
Money will certainly have to be thrown at Napoli and they will want to get top dollar for one of their star players and offers in excess of £25 million would more than likely have to be tabled.
With other top team in the hunt, Liverpool will have to flex their financial muscle if they want one of the game's top strikers.
Goals are what Liverpool need and in Cavani they will certainly get them.