Liverpool Transfers Rumors: Realistic Targets to Push Reds to the Next Level
Liverpool endured a dismal league campaign in 2011-12 under Kenny Dalglish, but there exists new optimism and hope following the appointment of Brendan Rodgers for the upcoming season.
With over £100 million spent by Dalglish, Rodgers likely faces a rebuilding task under a much tighter budget than his predecessor.
Liverpool need to move to the next level, and that level is getting back into the Champions League.
With clubs such as Liverpool, there are often many names wildly thrown into the ring when it comes to transfer targets. Therefore, it is important to keep an objective and realistic perspective.
Here are six realistic targets that Brendan Rodgers may be able to tempt into donning the red shirt of Liverpool—perhaps England's greatest football team.
Quality midfielders that are proven goal-scorers in the Premier League are often hard to come by and expensive.
Clint Dempsey represents real value for money in comparison.
At £4 million, Dempsey's goal threat would certainly help fuel the Anfield club's strike rate in the league.
One thing that 29-year-old Clint Dempsey doesn't offer Liverpool is longevity, whereas 21-year-old Alan Dzagoev offers it in abundance.
Seen as the next big player to come out of Russia, Dzagoev showed off his impressive ability at Euro 2012 against the Czech Republic.
While there is nothing to suggest Liverpool are interested in the player, he would provide excellent creative flair with an apparent eye for goal.
Liverpool's scoring tally last season left a lot to be desired, despite the magnificent performances of Luis Suarez.
Andy Carroll's form improved towards the end of the 2011-12 season, but a question mark still remains as to whether he will ever reach the often touted benchmark of 20 goals per season.
A player who could perhaps relieve him of some of the goalscoring burden is Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge.
With Fernando Torres likely to be Chelsea's first-choice striker following the departure of Didier Drogba, Sturridge could find himself even further down the pecking order should club sign long-time target Hulk.
In contrast to Carroll, Sturridge offers mobility and pace as well as an obvious goal threat. His eight strikes in 12 league games when playing as a striker for Bolton in 2011 is testament to his potential.
An omission from England's 23-man squad for Euro 2012 could see the player desire guaranteed first-team football in the striking position he craves.
According to the Daily Star, the Reds could be willing to spend £15 million on the player.
With the departure of fan favourite Dirk Kuyt now confirmed by Liverpool, the right midfield position looks particularly devoid of ability at Anfield.
Jordan Henderson's attempts at filling the spot last season were admirable, but clearly the position is not his most natural.
England boss Roy Hodgson opted not to take Manchester City's Adam Johnson to Euro 2012 this summer, which could make the player consider his future with the title winners.
Johnson could flourish with more playing time, and a £16 million bid is rumoured to be in the pipeline, according to the Daily Mail.
With Steven Gerrard's best years behind him, Liverpool need to sign creative players that can supply the forwards with the same type of well-timed and precise passes that the England skipper is known for.
Whilst it has been widely broadcast that Ibrahim Afellay looks set to stay with Barcelona next season, the Dutch winger could have proved an ideal multi-positional player with the ability to inject a spark into what seemed a dull Liverpool midfield in 2011-12.
Barcelona are willing to part with the player for around £6 million, according to talkSport.
Whether Gylfi Sigurdsson alone can lead Liverpool to a Champions League spot is open to debate, but signing the Icelandic midfielder would certainly be a step in the right direction.
Liverpool have to be careful to not sign another Charlie Adam—a player that performed well for a non-cautionary attacking team, but seemingly lacks the ability to shine for a more disciplined club such as the Reds.
Sigurdsson seems to offer a great attacking threat, but attacking threats can often be found lacking on the defensive end.
His reported £6.8 million fee, for a 22-year-old, seems to be a risk worth taking.
Who would you realistically like Liverpool to sign this summer? Please comment below and be sure to follow me on Twitter @petercwebster where I post all my B/R content.