Liverpool Transfers: Why Clint Dempsey Is Still a Good Choice for Reds to Chase
That will certainly not be the end of the arrivals, though, with the Reds looking to add more names before the closure of the transfer window.
One of the names most often linked with Liverpool for this summer is Fulham's versatile attacker Clint Dempsey, who as far back as the middle of July was said to be on the verge of a move to the Reds, according to the Daily Mail.
The mooted move hasn't come to fruition just yet but there is still time for Rodgers to seal the deal.
Here are five reasons why Dempsey would still be a good signing for the Reds.
Ability from Wide Areas of Attack
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Liverpool have switched formations this season to a much more attack-minded 4-3-3 under Brendan Rodgers.
While the defense remains untouched and is strong, especially with the return to fitness of holding midfielder Lucas Leiva in front of it, Liverpool's final third needed some work this season.
Joe Allen in midfield and Fabio Borini up front have helped to add quality, lower the wage bill and also lower the average age of the squad—but more work is required.
In the wide areas of Liverpool's forward line, Borini and Stewart Downing look to have the lead at present, but only Joe Cole represents their senior replacement.
Clint Dempsey is more than capable of playing in either wide position and would add depth as well as quality to the club.
Experience Throughout the Squad Is Needed
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Liverpool have been more active in the transfer market this summer, shifting players out of the club rather than in.
Fabio Aurelio (32 years old), Dirk Kuyt (32), Maxi Rodriguez (31) and Craig Bellamy (33) have all exited the club, which along with helping to reduce the wage bill significantly (an estimated £12 million per season), means that the squad is considerably younger than last season.
A re-built side is always going to be constructed primarily from younger players as the new manager looks to start fresh with players who can learn his methods and be part of the team for years to come—but retaining experience is also important.
Young potential stars of the future—Jonjo Shelvey, Joe Allen, Fabio Borini, Jack Robinson etc...—need older players to learn from, look up to and retain a squad hierarchy.
The Reds have experience in key areas throughout the squad except for up front now that Maxi, Bellamy and Kuyt have left the club, and Clint Dempsey would fill that role well.
Good Value at Reported Price
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There can be little doubt that Rodgers is looking to bring a wide forward in this summer, and plenty of the rumours surrounding Dempsey are indicative of him being one of the top targets.
Compared to other players who, though perhaps are of a different style still operate in the same positions, Dempsey could represent a very good financial deal for the club.
Dempsey's age and his situation of having a single year left on his deal mean that Liverpool might be in a better bargaining position than with some other reported targets.
Goals from Other Areas on the Pitch Key for Reds
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Here's a key area Liverpool need to improve on from 2011-12: goals.
Last season only Luis Suarez managed to hit double figures in all competitions, with the Uruguayan forward netting 17 goals in total.
To have a chance of success in cups and progressing significantly in the league, Liverpool need four or five players to be capable of reaching the 10-goal mark.
Clint Dempsey scored 17 goals in the Premier League alone last term and scored a total of 23 goals in all competitions.
Playing from mainly a deep-lying central attack role, Dempsey linked up well with the forward and his fellow midfielders, but also played as an out and out forward and from the right side.
He'd offer goals both scored and created for Liverpool if he joins.
Versatility in the Final Third
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Liverpool would be most likely to use Clint Dempsey on the right side of their front three, with Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini seeming to be favourites to tie up the central and left sided roles respectively.
The Reds do not, however, have such a squad depth or a big transfer kitty this summer that they can afford to bring in players who have one specific role in the squad.
Dempsey would not only be effective on both flanks as an inside forward, but can also perform admirably in the centre forward's role and the advanced midfield role—particularly important if Liverpool are unable to keep Steven Gerrard fit for more matches than last season.
A player who can play in all four forward roles for the Reds would be a big boost to both depth and quality in key areas for Brendan Rodgers.