Liverpool Transfer Rumours: The Top 6 Players Linked with the Reds in March
Something that is often forgotten in the footballing world is that, while the transfer window might not be open, teams are still on the prowl to secure new talent and strengthen their squads.
Liverpool are certainly one of those teams. In the midst of a very disappointing season, Kenny Dalglish will have realised that his squad is not good enough to compete with teams with similar Champions League ambitions, and the upcoming summer is sure to be a big one in terms of purchases made for the Reds.
March was a big month for the Merseyside club in terms of players being linked with a move to Anfield. Here are the top six players who were mentioned in the same breath as Liverpool in the past month.
6. Moussa Dembele
In the past six transfer windows, Liverpool have signed a whole eight central midfielders. The transfer policy regarding purchases of players in this position appears to be quantity over quality, and, as a result, the Reds still lack quality in the middle of the field and still have a hole in the team.
Dembele joined the Cottagers from AZ Alkmaar for £5 million in August 2010, and since then has become arguably the London club's most important player.
The 24-year-old Belgian is a typical attacking midfielder, who is at his best when in the attacking third of the field. A versatile offensive player, Dembele has attracted the interest of top clubs because of his creativity and technical ability, and it seems only a matter of time before he steps up to become a key player at a Europe-competing club.
5. Seydou Keita
When Lucas Leiva went down with a season-ending ACL injury on November 29th, Liverpool's season hopes got a whole lot dimmer. Lucas has been one of the club's key players over the past few seasons, and without him, the midfield falls apart.
According to talkSPORT, Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita has opened the door to a possible move to Anfield, saying, "A challenge elsewhere would appeal to me, and Liverpool are a great team with great players."
The main reasons for the club's struggles (five wins, four draws, nine losses in the Premier League) since Lucas' injury is the lack of a top-drawer defensive midfielder. A hard-working player who can also anchor a midfield pairing with a more attacking player (like, maybe, Steven Gerrard), Keita has been a mainstay for the best team in the world for the past four seasons now, and appears ready to move on to new opportunities.
He has the energy and skill to be the most important midfielder for any team (except Barcelona, who are bursting at the seams with midfield talent), and alongside Lucas, could provide the spine the Reds need for players like Luis Suarez to really thrive.
4. Jakub Blaszczykowski
When the Reds signed Stewart Downing this summer, it was expected that he would solve the team's winger problems for the long term. With the exception of the odd spark of brilliance, Downing has failed to do so, and the problem that existed then still persists.
According to Footy Latest, Kenny Dalglish's search has led him to the Bundesliga, and winger Jakub Blaszczykowski.
Blaszczykowski has been an integral part of Borussia Dortmund's rise to the summit of German football. Arguably one of the most underrated players in Europe, the 26-year-old Polish international has played the role of being a calming influence alongside youngsters like Mario Götze and Moritz Leitner, all the while providing an excellent offensive touch and an impressive playmaking ability.
Blaszczykowski, affectionately nicknamed 'Kuba' by his supporters, has all the qualities of a prototypical winger, and the Liverpool side would look a whole lot stronger with him in the team.
3. Matias Suarez
It is clear to all how much creativity has been lacking in the Liverpool team this season. Dalglish's men have so often been stopped by opposing defenders purely because they don't have that special player who can make a clever run, or play a threatening penetrating pass, or fire a dangerous attempt at goal.
According to The Daily Mirror, "Liverpool are preparing to buy another Suarez," this being Anderlecht striker Matias Suarez.
The namesake of Liverpool's best attacking player, Suarez has become a dominant force for the Belgian Jupiler League champions. While he is of no relation to the Reds' superstar, Matias plays a pretty similar game to Luis.
A player who has contributed with 18 goals and 16 assists through 34 games this season, the 23-year-old Argentinian can play a variety of attacking positions and brings class to all of them. He is a very tricky player, perhaps in the Cristiano Ronaldo-mould, who has made his name by putting his mouthwatering skills on full display weekend after weekend.
The £20 million price tag supposedly placed on his head may be excessive, but he has the potential and talent to be a truly marvelous Premier League player, and Liverpool should definitely jump at any opportunity to sign him.
2. Mauricio Isla
There is no doubt that the Liverpool defence has been the team's saving grace this season. Stellar performances from Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique and Martin Skrtel have kept the club afloat. That said, with Glen Johnson under-performing and Martin Kelly playing out of position, the right-back position could certainly use improvement.
Isla, a 23-year-old native of Chile, would bring all the attributes Liverpool need in buckets. He has made his name with his speed, flair, and sheer technical ability, and would add a whole new dimension to the Reds side.
While he, as a player with a tireless work rate and the ability to be a threat both offensively and defensively, is typically recognized as a stereotypical South American wing-back, Isla is incredibly versatile, and can play anywhere in defence or midfield.
His acquisition would change the look and flavour of the Liverpool team, who with Isla would not only become stronger defensively but, more importantly, drastically improve going forward as well.
1. Giuseppe Rossi
Liverpool's defence has been nothing short of stellar this season, with the 33 goals given up through 31 games being good for fourth in the league. Had the attack, which has scored just 36 goals, good for 13th in the league, been anywhere near as good, the Reds might not be in eighth right now.
Clearly, Liverpool need to improve their attack corps. According to a report by The Daily Mail, Liverpool have been monitoring the status of Villareal forward Giuseppe Rossi.
Giuseppe Rossi is a tremendous goalscoring talent who has quietly put up a number of very impressive seasons at Villareal. A player who has been able to grow and develop in the shadow of La Liga stars such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the 25-year-old Italian has established himself as one of Europe's premier attacking players, and certainly has worked hard enough to deserve the opportunity to challenge himself with a club at a higher level than the midtable Spanish team.
If Liverpool want their Champions League dream to become a reality next season, they need to look beyond Giuseppe Rossi's Manchester United past and sign the Italian for however much it may take.
Follow Jake Ware on Twitter at @JacobWare95