With the final acts of the transfer window set to play in the next few days, there have been a flurry of reports suggesting Liverpool are shopping a number of their assets.
Before we get into who and how much, let's ask why.
Poor Conversion Rate
If the encouraging showing against Manchester City is any indication of things to come from the Brendan Rodgers era, then a few positions need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
There were chances-a-plenty at Anfield on Sunday, but the finishing saw only three out of 16 strikes on frame. One chief concern Rodgers needs to address is to find a center forward with the ability to convert more of those chances into shots-on-goal.
A team can have 100 shots in a game, but it's shots-on-goal that matter, nothing else. The more shots-on-goal you have, the higher the probability of scoring becomes.
Freeing up some funds would go a long way for Rodgers to secure a front man with a high conversion rate by Friday. Depending on how much he can get through sales and a bit more allowance from Fenway Sports Group, the possibilities of signing a top-shelf striker are intriguing.
The other gap that needs to be addressed before the window closes is depth, and quality depth at that. Rodgers has already started this process with the signings of Fabio Borini, Oussama Assaidi and the most recent loan acquisition of Nuri Sahin from Real Madrid.
Unfortunately, Borini still hasn't fully grasped the Premier League's style of play yet. There's no reason to believe he won't, as he shows signs of promise, but it's a process to acclimate a player to the EPL. Borini has a head start given his brief history with Chelsea at the start of his career and Swansea in the Championship before they were promoted.
Assaidi looks promising and certainly has the skill set Rodgers would like to apply on the wing, but at £3 million, the Moroccan international amounts to nothing more than a low-risk-high-reward gamble. He will likely get his EPL start come September, but by that time it will be too late to bring in more depth if the payoff isn't there with him.
Nuri Sahin is by far the most promising signing of the lot thus far. The midfielder has experience playing in top European sides, and his presence in the center of the pitch will pay dividends. We may see him start as soon as the second Europa leg with Hearts this Thursday. .
UPDATE/EDIT - Joe Allen
A disgruntled reader posted that I forgot to mention Joe Allen. He is absolutely right, it was a gross oversight on my part. Firstly, I would like to apologize to readers.
Secondly, let's talk about Joe Allen. The 22-year-old followed Rodgers from Swansea and has, as expected, fit right into the Norther Irishman's plans. If the two EPL matches he's played in so far are any indication of things to come, Liverpool's midfield is set for years to come.
As pointed out by my disgruntled reader, Allen has completed an astonishing 96 out of 100 passes in just 112 minutes of play. He is very much the facilitator in the midfield for Liverpool, and his shifts in the center of the pitch have been tremendous thus far.
It's becoming more and more apparent with each minute Stewart Downing spends on the pitch that he will never be a premiere force on the wing in this league. He simply doesn't have it, and if he hasn't gotten it by now, there's no reason to believe he will any time soon.
Luis Suarez is being pegged as the center forward to start in matches, and is being moved to the wing as players get subbed in. He is much better suited to cut in from the wings and take on defenders at an angle, rather than taking them head on from a central position. Until depth concerns are addressed, Suarez's potential will remain untapped as long as he's being utilized out of his natural position.
As you can see, depth on the wings is still a concern, and even though Raheem Sterling impressed beyond anyone's expectations, the rest of the wingers on the squad leave something to be desired
Warnings: The next few slides are a long list of constant underachievers. They are not recommended for faint of heart.