Liverpool Football: Much Better Options Than Clint Dempsey

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Liverpool Football: Much Better Options Than Clint Dempsey
Younes Belhanda

Following the not-so breaking news that Clint Dempsey wants to leave Fulham, Liverpool have understandably been crowned his new suitors despite no firm contract offer ever being handed to him.

Dempsey is a top player and I'm sure he would offer some much needed midfield goals to the team.

But the issue for me is that I believe he is just another Charlie Adam; two very different players but both shone at smaller teams and I think both will fail to reach similar heights at Liverpool.

Dirk Kuyt and his industrious style of play will be missed now that he has moved on but I don't believe that Dempsey is a great replacement just because he can also play in numerous positions.

Even if Dempsey isn't seen as a replacement, I still think a should-be perennial contender like Liverpool could attract a better calibre of player.

If you want a player who can play off the striker, either wing or even up front, I can think of a few better options from around the footballing landscape.

With a goal every 3.7 games for Fulham, Dempsey does provide a spark but there are better, younger players with similar versatility and far more long-term potential.

I just don't see Dempsey getting any better.

A fee of £10 million for his services is a fair one but spending an extra 5 million on top of that for someone quite a bit younger presents better value in my eyes.

One such player is Dries Mertens of PSV Eindhoven.

Capable of playing all of the same roles as Dempsey, the 25-year-old is four years Dempsey's junior and also a better overall player.

I understand that some may view Dempsey as a striker but I will never consider him an out and out forward.

Mertens moved to PSV only a year ago but he has already receive interest from huge clubs like Bayern Munich.

The Belgian international has also been linked to Inter Milan and due to the demand, PSV would be looking for around £12 million.

A fair price when you consider he signed a five-year deal only a year ago.

He scored 25 goals in 43 games last season.

A second player who could be a nice alternative to Dempsey is Younes Belhanda of Montpellier.

The 22-year-old Morrocan is also a very versatile player who was a vital contributor to the Ligue 1 winning side last season.

Belhanda was given the 'free' role last season and being allowed to play as a secondary striker really allowed his creative instincts to flourish.

He was named the best young player of Ligue 1 and his stellar form led to interest from Arsene Wenger and Arsenal.

Belhanda has already said he is open to a move away from France and Liverpool would be making a smart move if they were the ones to snatch him up.

Valued at £10 million, PSG are being linked with a £20 million bid for the playmaker by  www.metro.co.uk, which definitely is crazy money.

But, to be fair, PSG have been linked to any decent players and so unless something is in the pipeline, a cheeky bid in the region of £10-12 million would be smart.

The third and final alternative I can think of is Gaston Ramirez.

Ramirez has already been linked with Liverpool but a fee of around £12 million had been reportedly agreed between his club Bologna and Southampton.

Contrary to most reports, www.football-italia.net reports that Bologna club president Albano Guaraldi is not yet happy with the deal Southampton are offering; despite Ramirez himself saying it was almost finalised.

It seems nothing has been accepted on Bologna's end

Either way, Bologna's annoyance at Ramirez's agent and the offer on the table allows Liverpool a second bite at the cherry and they should definitely be looking into another approach if or when this deal collapses.

Ramirez too can play pretty much anywhere in midfield and in attack and would also present good value due to the fact he is only 21 years old.

Bologna want £15.8 million which is a lot of money, but better value than spending 10 million on Dempsey.

I still think Liverpool will end up signing Dempsey but he isn't an impact player that will catapult Liverpool into the Champions League or even towards the top four; but I believe my alternatives would have a bigger say in doing so.

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