Liverpool FC: 6 Squad Players from the British Isles That the Reds Can Afford
I cannot help think that the squad players at Liverpool are not good enough to even be squad players for a team having top four and subsequently title ambitions. With the players that the Reds have at the moment Liverpool will have to punch above their weight to achieve the goals laid down by the owners.
Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing came for a lot of money. Liverpool cannot afford to make that same mistake with buying British again. The problem was not solely buying British but the the prices Liverpool were paying for mediocrity.
There was nothing great about these players. There was potential but nothing spectacular. With Andy Carroll, the case was different, but the remaining two were inappropriate buys considering the situation.
The budget is supposedly limited this time around.
Brendan Rodgers may not have enough pull with good players from other leagues. In such a case, buying from the British Isles is one of the feasible options left.
Let us take a look at who the Reds can get and actually improve rather than remain in mid-table for yet another season.
Wilfred Zaha is an upcoming player from Crystal Palace. He is physically well-built and ideal for the demands of the Premier League. Most fans came to know about this youngster when he tormented Manchester United's players when the two teams met in the Carling Cup.
At only 19, he fits FSG's transfer preferences and will not cost in excess of £10 million. Liverpool have a dearth of players who can make something happen and Zaha's acquisition can go a long way in filling up that hole.
Jordan Henderson and Jordan Ibe are already in the squad of Liverpool adding to the number of players with potential. Liverpool should look at another Jordan in my opinion.
Jordan Rhodes is a very good finisher who plays for Huddersfield and should be targeted by the Reds.
His goal-scoring stats are phenomenal for the last three seasons and he is still only 22. He looks like the fox-in-the-box type of player that Liverpool missed last season so much of. If he proves himself, he may just become first-team material rather than come on as a sub every time to showcase his ability.
Newcastle achieved fifth in the Premier League in the season gone by not only because of their manager and hotshots up front, but also from their defense. Mike Williamson is 28 but he could be great cover for both Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger.
He would not cost much either and it would be worth the pain to bid. In case Skrtel goes to Manchester City for £20 million, Williamson's acquisition might also free up cash for making an expensive marquee signing to add to the attack.
In that case however, he will not be serving as a squad player. That should not be a problem, though, as Mike showed at Newcastle last season.
Gabriel Agbonlahor is one of the fastest players in the Premier League. I personally would have preferred Nathan Dyer, but as Liverpool cannot poach from Swansea at least for a season, I would take Agbonlahor instead.
I truly believe that Agbonlahor has the capacity to terrorize defenses with his pace.
If he gets a bunch of good players such as Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard to play alongside him, great things can come to fruition.
Charlie Adam will also benefit from his acquisition, as Adam will have an outlet behind the defense to use. Liverpool lack anyone with serious pace who will play on the shoulder of the last defender. Gabby Agbonlahor can certainly be that player.
James McClean was one of the star performers for Sunderland last season. He represents more value than Stewart Downing and at a fraction of the price spent of Downing too.
At 23, McClean is still very young and his performances have been giving hints that he will be able to cope with tougher challenges. With McClean, I personally get the feeling of deja vu. I start reminiscing about Adam Johnson of Middlesbrough.
Johnson would have been a very good player, at least better than he is now, if he got regular playing time. I am not sure Liverpool will be able to give McClean that playing time but if Downing is going to be persisted with, I rather have McClean challenge him for the starting spot on the left-wing.
Anthony Pilkington is another strong player like Wilfred Zaha. They both have pace and power. While Zaha has a bit more pace, Pilkington has a bit more power.
Pilkington is 24 and will be soon entering the prime of his career. There will not be a better time for him to shift to a club with higher ambitions. He will not be setting the world alight, but at least he won't cost much either.
Having said that, Dirk Kuyt never set the Premiership on fire through his performances, but still made a place for himself in the hearts of many. Pilkington is a similar bloke who will give it his all and like Kuyt, he has no shortage of energy.
He tracks back like a hound for his team and is physically better equipped to deal with the Premier League than Kuyt. He also has better delivery than Kuyt as Liverpool found out last year.
Kuyt was bought for approximately £10 million in those times. Pilkington will come much cheaper.