Transfers: 4 Wingers Who Could Make Liverpool a Contendor for the Top 4
Liverpool's preseason tour of the United States might be over, but the transfer window is not. Far from it.
Indeed, the only thing certain on Merseyside right now is the total lack of uncertainty. The club you have watched Rodgers trot out thus far is far from a finished article.
A number of players will leave and a few more should be brought in.
If preseason form is any indication, expect Charlie Adam, Nathan Eccleston and Jay Spearing to be sold to the highest bidder. You may also see some of the younger lads go out on loan.
With these moves in mind, it becomes clear that Fabio Borini will not be the only major signing of the summer.
Both Borini and Lucas Leiva need suitable reserves at striker and defensive midfielder respectively. Furthermore, although Jordan Henderson is a presumed starter, the new manager may want to have a contingency plan in place.
However, the biggest area of need continues to be on the wings.
Luis Suarez is set to star on the right flank behind Borini in 2012/13. The other side of the pitch remains a question mark. Raheem Sterling, Joe Cole and Stewart Downing are the presumed competition.
Yet, would any of those players warrant serious consideration on any of the other Premier League clubs vying for a Champions League place? I think not.
What follows is a list of world class wingers that might fit the new 4-3-3.
1. Pedro Rodriguez
Perhaps the most speculative entry on the list, Pedro would be an excellent addition.
He is well-versed in the tiki-taka system made famous at Barcelona that Rodgers is trying to implement. Pedro also possesses the tactical ability, speed and creativity the new manager prizes in his wide players.
Most will say that the winger will not leave such a large club to come to eighth-place Liverpool. They have a point.
But Rodriguez would start every game from day one. With the rise of Cristian Tello and Ibrahim Affelay combined with the return of David Villa, that may not be the case in Spain. Perhaps then, he could be sold on the idea of a potent strike partnership with Borini and Suarez.
2. Clint Dempsey
Speculation continues to run rampant (per NY Daily News) that Dempsey is on the verge of joining the Reds.
Some doubt the wisdom of signing a player of his age (29) from a middle-tier club. They think he will be a solid addition, but will not make Liverpool as strong a side as needed to make a serious push.
Personally, I'll take his 23 goals from all competitions from last year. Dempsey is tactical and unselfish, yet manages to score without leading the line.
He may only be good for three or more years. Yet, he is inexpensive, mature and an attainable prospect due to his diminished value. Thus, I think he is worth the expense.
3. Gaston Ramirez
The Uruguayan has been first on the lists of most fans all summer.
It just seems to make sense.
He is incredibly talented and fits the adaptable mold Rodgers looks for in his wingers. Furthermore, he has immediate chemistry with Suarez to offer (both play for the same national team). Finally, Liverpool could offer a step up from his current club, Bologna.
Ramirez has already scored once at the Olympics off of a fantastic free kick. It will not be long before his fee rises beyond the reach of the Fenway Sports Group (FSG).
4. Thomas Muller
After bursting onto the scene for Germany in the last World Cup, Muller has seen his star diminish somewhat.
The forward has found starting minutes hard to come by at Bayern Munich. With the trio of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Mario Gomez playing up front, he has often become the fourth man left out.
With his confidence waning, he turned in an average performance at the European Championship this summer. Thus, Andre Schurrle and Marco Reus have become competition for his place on the national team as well.
The 22-year-old needs a change of scenery. Liverpool offers a regular place in the first XI.
Muller's stock is relatively low, making him a shrewd purchase. This is the same game-winner from two years ago. Perhaps a place at Anfield will remind him.