Liverpool Transfer News: 4 Positions the Reds Must Address This Summer
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Liverpool's season has been a disaster. The club faces a crucial summer if it is to compete in the Premier League and return to the Champions League.
There is no point in analyzing what went wrong this season. A combination of injuries, bad luck and poor play are to blame for one of the worst seasons in Liverpool history.
The Reds must be active players in the transfer market this summer if the team hopes to return to prominence. Something must be done to rid Anfield of the malaise currently residing over it.
Liverpool are not in a terrible position. The club has a talented roster and money to spend.
An overhaul is not needed but some parts desperately need upgrading. Liverpool could easily be fighting for a Champions League place next season but only if they make the right moves this summer.
These are the four positions Liverpool must strengthen.
Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez will need some help next season.
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
There is no need to turn this into a debate over Andy Carroll. Liverpool would be wise to keep him around in hopes that he finally settles. He certainly has shown at times that he may be able to do the job.
Liverpool has very little up front beyond Carroll and Luis Suarez which leads them to missing a striker who gives them depth and quality.
The Reds constantly struggled to score goals this season. Teams seemed to have few problems handling Liverpool's attack which has to be a major concern for Reds fans.
Liverpool needs a striker who can come in and give the team a different look from Suarez and Carroll. The rumor making the rounds is that the Reds are interested in signing Dimitar Berbatov (Fox Soccer)
Newcastle's Demba Ba would seem to make more sense. He was linked with Liverpool during the winter. The Senegalese striker is more dynamic than Berbatov and could also play on the wing if needed.
Jamie Carragher has past his prime.
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger are a smart defensive pairing and it seems like Liverpool will have no problems holding onto both players this summer.
It gets dicey beyond these two, however. Sebastián Coates is clearly not ready to be playing at a professional level yet and may be better suited heading out on loan next season.
Jamie Carragher is past it at this point. He should only be playing in case of an absolute emergency. The dip in quality between the first choice defensive pairing and Carragher has to worry fans.
Liverpool does not need to go out and break the bank. All that is needed is a solid, experienced center back.
Alessandro Nesta is out of contract but it is hard to see him being able to cope with the pace of the English game.
Raul Albiol is an interesting name, especially if a certain Spaniard returned to the Liverpool dugout. It is not known now if he is available, but would be worth asking about.
Newcastle's Steven Taylor is another name perpetually linked to Liverpool. The Toon had no problems coping without him this season and may be willing to finally let him leave.
Lucas Leiva's season was ended early by injury.
Michael Steele/Getty Images
The turning point of Liverpool's season is the injury to midfielder Lucas Leiva. Prior to his ACL injury, he was having a fantastic season.
The club was not doing too poorly either but the wheels started to fall off for Liverpool without the Brazilian.
The problem was that the Reds had no player capable of filling Leiva's role. No matter who Kenny Dalglish stuck in Leiva's position, he could not provide the same impact as midfielder.
Liverpool will certainly be looking for depth in central midfield. Between a lack of cover for Leiva and the Charlie Adam failed experiment, it is an area the Reds need to upgrade.
Athletic Bilbao's Javi Martinez is the one player Liverpool fans covet most. The versatile midfielder/defender would be a massive coup for the Reds, but the Basque man will have plenty of other suitors.
Fiorentina's Riccardo Montolivo is out of contract. He would be a combative presence in the center of the park, however, the last Italian midfielder Liverpool signed did not exactly pan out as expected.
Kenny Dalglish's return has not gone as expected.
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Kenny Dalglish was given an unenviable task when he took over as manager at Liverpool. He has steadied the ship and managed to guide the club through trouble waters.
Now is the perfect time to thank him for his effort and relieve him of his duties. The Scot was a short-term solution. The club now needs someone with a long term managing plan.
Liverpool is still attractive despite the club's struggles as of late. The fan base, history and challenge makes manager one of the top jobs in world.
It is not going to be an easy job, but the right hire could send Liverpool back on the path to glory.
The latest rumor has Wigan manager Roberto Martinez linked with the Liverpool hot seat (ESPN). This is unlikely to be a hire that will impress too many Reds' fans.
The obvious choice is bringing back Rafael "Rafa" Benitez. He is probably the most qualified and talented manager Liverpool can get.
He already has the players and fans respect. He also has enough good will built up to endure a rocky season.