6 Liverpool Players the Club Must Get to Sign Longer Deals
Liverpool have started the Premier League season in almost the worst possible fashion. Brendan Rodgers' side lost two out of three matches before the international break, and the Reds had to settle for a draw in a match they should've won against defending champions Manchester City.
These are not good times for Liverpool.
Fortunately, one look at Liverpool's youth squad tells you good times could be coming sooner than you think.
Raheem Sterling won over the Liverpool fans years ago, and now, the young English winger has established himself firmly in Liverpool's first team. And he's not the only one.
Liverpool may have some business to do in the January transfer window, but before that, there are some players Rodgers and Fenway Sports Group need to lock up before it's too late.
Thankfully, they've already taken care of Jonjo Shelvey.
With his versatility in defense, Martin Kelly is invaluable to Liverpool. His height makes the 22-year-old perfect in the center of defense, but his pace and quality on the ball make him very capable as a right-back.
Kelly is sturdy at the back but has the potential to turn a match on its head when he bursts forward in attack.
The only thing holding the England international back has been injury. If the Reds can keep him on the pitch for the majority of this season, their fortunes could turn around quickly.
Kelly has been at Anfield since the beginning of his footballing career, and he's someone the Reds need to stick around for as long as will benefit them.
Liverpool have had trouble scoring the last couple seasons, and this season could be headed in the same direction.
Spanish forward Suso could alleviate those problems, if not solve them all together.
The 18-year-old, who was originally brought to Merseyside under Rafa Benitez (shocking, I know), has yet to make a competitive appearance for the Liverpool first team, but he's spent enough time in the Reserves at this point.
He's impressed fans, teammates and coaches everywhere he's been, and given that he can fly down either wing and score from anywhere, he's someone Brendan Rodgers will be thankful to have at his disposal.
Rodgers admitted the transfer window did not go as he planned, and youngsters like Suso will get opportunities to prove themselves in the coming months (via The Independent).
Steven Gerrard is a once in a generation player. Well, it's time to look to the next generation.
Conor Coady has never seen more than the substitutes' bench in his senior Liverpool career to this point, but he's ready for bigger and better things.
The 19-year-old, Liverpool-born midfielder captained the England U-17s to their first European Championship in 2010, and with an injured midfield and defense, Coady could see more first-team action for the Reds this season.
That's something Reds fans would love to see.
Raheem Sterling is so far the biggest of Liverpool's young stars, and England and one-time Reds manager Roy Hodgson rewarded his early season success with a call-up to the national team.
The Jamaican-born winger came to Liverpool in 2010 and made a few substitute appearances for the first team last season. This year, it's clear he's firmly in Brendan Rodgers' plans.
If the Reds are to pick themselves up from a very poor start in the Premier League, Sterling will be at the heart of it. He has great pace and crossing ability, and when your team struggles to score, a talented winger is a godsend.
Sterling will likely see plenty more action as the season goes on, so it won't be long before someone tries to lure him away.
First, Liverpool need to finally get Dani Pacheco on the field. Then, they need to make sure he stays there.
Pacheco hasn't had many opportunities in the first team, but he's capitalized on the ones he's received.
The 21-year-old Spaniard can play as a striker, attacking midfielder or as a left winger. He can score from anywhere, is a great crosser of the ball and can be deadly in a dead-ball situation.
Reds fans have clamored for Pacheco almost since he arrived at Anfield from Barcelona in 2007, and after five years in England (with a loan year back in Spain), this youngster is ready to play with the big boys.
Looking Ahead.....Lucas Leiva
Lucas Leiva is one of the more maligned Liverpool players in recent history, besides Joe Cole. The Brazilian midfielder eventually defied all his critics and turned into an indispensable player for the Reds, unlike Joe Cole.
The 25-year-old has a contract keeping him at Anfield until 2015, but come next summer, that may be worth looking over once again.
Leiva's injury last December crippled the Reds for the rest of the season as the midfield could not control games as well, and the defense was left unprotected far too often.
With Lucas out once more this season—hopefully for a shorter stint—it remains to be seen just how valuable he can be on the field for the Reds.
While he recovers, Brendan Rodgers is making sure he stays busy, acting as a scout.