Is this topic a bit premature to debate?
Has Liverpool really lost it in the defence department, too? I’d say no.
2012 hasn’t been kind at all to the Reds. Since the turn of the New Year, Liverpool have won three, drawn three and lost nine games. That kind of record reflects the performance of a relegation-threatened club and not that of an 18-time champion.
Much of it is down to the Reds strikers failing to convert their chances—a theory which proved to be accurate against West Brom on Sunday. Liverpool, however, had maintained a tight defensive system on all teams in the Premier League.
At one point, Liverpool’s defence was letting in goals at a rate of less than one per game, a record only bettered by a then-high-flying Manchester City. The partnership of Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger deserves all the praise for that.
But with Agger dropping out of the scene with an injury, Liverpool’s defence record started getting leaky. Three goals in 10 minutes versus QPR followed and pundits were quick to label Liverpool as a shaky defence.
Tough times happened and at one point even two-goal leads wouldn’t assure a Reds victory. Glen Johnson’s silly error against West Brom only asserted the obvious.
The reason for such a drastic defensive slide was of course the lack of talented backup options in the centre-half and full-back departments for Liverpool.
Consider this: Jose Enrique has practically no competition for his left-back position. Even when he was down on form, Kenny Dalglish had to play either Glen Johnson or Daniel Agger out of position to fill in for Enrique.
The centre-back problem became very clear during the absence of Agger. Carragher can’t be trusted with the job anymore. His old legs just don’t have much life left in it.
Coates’ problem has always been a lack of playing time, which he is unlikely to get unless something big goes down.
What Liverpool need then are a couple of defenders who would not only provide competition for places but also are capable of plugging the gaps during another player’s absence.
So, listed here are a bunch of top-class international talents who very much fall under the "reasonable transfer targets" category. Let’s roll…