Why Liverpool Should Have Signed Wolfsburg Striker Bas Dost

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2012

Photo Courtesy of VfL Wolfsburg
Photo Courtesy of VfL Wolfsburg

Liverpool was wrong to ignore signing Heerenveen striker Bas Dost.

Arguably, what the Reds sorely needed last year was a pure goal scorer.

Luis Suarez can be unplayable on his best day, but he may be a much better creator than finisher. And of course there's the heavily criticized Andy Carroll. He ended the season very strong, but has yet to really prove himself with the club.

With the Europa League in the upcoming season, it's important that the club have a very deep squad. With the departure of Dirk Kuyt, the only players capable of playing striker are Craig Bellamy, Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll.

There is no way the Reds can make it through an entire season with European football with three strikers.

This is a problem that goes beyond depth, though.

In the past few years, Liverpool has lacked a clinical finisher. One of Rafa Benitez's biggest perceived failings was that he was unable to provide a striker partner for Fernando Torres.

Dost is the exact kind of striker that the club needs right now.

This past season, he scored 32 goals in 34 league games and five goals in six cup matches. Dost also added nine assists in all competitions.

Those numbers have gotten the Dutchman noticed across the globe.

West Ham reportedly lodged a £7 million bid for Dost at the end of May. Then, on June 1st Wolfsburg swept in and signed him for a fee of around €8 million.

At a price like that, the Reds would have been foolish not to give Dost a look. The questions surrounding the manager didn't help the club, but if they were serious about signing him, it wouldn't have been a problem.

This summer might be a very sobering one for Liverpool supporters who have come to expect the club to be in the hunt to sign the best players in the world, last summer notwithstanding, as the plan was to buy British.

It's doubtful Brendan Rodgers will be able to spend the kind of money that Kenny Dalglish did, as ownership is looking to trim spending. Signing Dost would have given Liverpool a capable finisher without eating too much into the transfer budget.

Coming in for a low fee would have greatly benefited Dost as well. The pressure on him to succeed would have been far less, as he wouldn't carry the kind of price tag he'll likely never justify, as with Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll.

Last season showed that good finishers could be had for a modest price.

Nikica Jelavic (£5 million) scored nine goals in 13 matches for Everton. Papiss Cisse (£10 million) tallied a staggering 13 goals in 14 games for Newcastle and his striker partner, Demba Ba, did him two better, with 16 goals.

Ba arrived on a free transfer, so if you combine all of their transfer fees, it's still £9 million less than Aston Villa paid for Darren Bent and £20 million less than the transfer of Andy Carroll.

Speaking of Carroll, you have to wonder if he can fit into Brendan Rodgers' system. Carroll is not inept with the ball at his feet, but his greatest attribute, his heading ability, won't be fully utilized.

It probably won't be a huge problem, but Dost is the kind of player who can also play as a lone striker. Heerenveen often played a 4-3-3 with the Dutchman up top. He is the prototypical target man.

The knock on Dost at this point is that he has picked up a ton of goals in the Dutch league. There have been plenty of players to top the Eredivisie in scoring, only to flop in moves to other leagues.

At only 23, though, his best football is still ahead of him.

Jelavic was heavily rumored to be coming to Anfield last January, but the move never came to fruition. One can only wonder how Liverpool might have fared if Jelavic moved to the red half of Merseyside.

Now supporters can only ponder if the same will be said of Dost.