It has been the talk of the town since January this year, the Reds need a 20—goal—a—season striker.
Fabio Borini has been brought in, but he hasn't answered the call of fans who demand instant impact and success.
To be fair to Borini, I think his movement is something Liverpool have lacked since Torres left. However, his first touch can definitely improve and considering that he is only 21, I think most fans will understand that.
So, that still leaves us with a striker in the poaching mold of Miroslav Klose for one, as the biggest need for Liverpool in the January Window. For all you know, even Stewart Downing may start getting assists is this problem is actually addressed.
Downing in my opinion though is leagues behind Raheem Sterling and even Oussama Assaidi, after his performance against West Brom.
Both can beat their man as opposed to Downing, who overly relies on his pace, whatever he has left of it at his age, and space in front of the defender. I bring this up as a winger was a need for Liverpool. I don’t think it is now anymore considering Brendan Rodgers plays a 4—3—3 and there are enough players to fill the advanced three.
Wide men certainly don't come under Liverpool’s biggest needs.
I believe Liverpool have missed Lucas’ battling qualities in midfield. The current setup would enjoy and benefit from the Brazilian dispossessing the opponents in Liverpool’s half and releasing the likes of Sterling for a counter.
With Liverpool now having more speed through the field, Lucas’ value rises not only as a defensive midfielder but as the focal point for starting counter—attacks. The Reds have missed him because he covered up for mistakes by other more flair players.
Had he been fit, Liverpool may just have beaten Arsenal as I don’t think the buildup for either goal would have sustained.
Thus, the second biggest need for Liverpool is surely getting a quality cover for Lucas. I wanted Rodgers to go for Mohamed Diame but perhaps his heart condition may have been a factor.
If you ask me, I still think it is a little too early to predict what the Reds might need in January.
A striker is a must at the end of September but seeing Nuri Sahin score two from midfield the other day gave me immense satisfaction and belief that the Liverpool midfield will score more than just a few this season.
Moreover, I believe that if Assaidi is given a chance with Luis Suarez, Liverpool will wreak havoc. Suarez loves to receive the ball just outside the box with some space to dazzle into the box and have a shot. Assaidi was able to find men in a similar position on countless occasions against West Brom.
I like the look of progress that the team is undergoing with the youth making such rapid strides and that is why I say that come December end, these opinions might have to be reassessed.
If you thought you needed a playmaker, Suso has put that to bed. If you thought you needed a winger, Sterling has made that vanish. Jack Robinson is the reason why Rodgers may not be scouting left—backs anymore.
Perhaps, Samed Yesil, Adam Morgan, Borini or maybe even Jerome Sinclair can allay fears of reaching February without having signed any striker.
And the same may hold true for Conor Coady with respect to the defensive midfield position.
It was sad to hear Pep Segura leave, but you can see why the “kids” have taken to the system so well. Tiki-taka was always in their education.
For a final word, let us go back to the West Brom game. The side Steve Clarke put out was very decent. The howler from Brad Jones so early added to Liverpool’s woes. Having just seen so much bad luck on Sunday, the “kids” could have let it get to them. They did not.
Yes, Sahin got the two goals, but it was not a one man crusade similar to Michael Owen’s against Arsenal in the FA Cup final. You could not have predicted the ages of players involved in all the passes for the second goal.
There is as Rodgers termed it, “arrogance” within these youngsters in the nature that they pass it around. Perhaps they have been drafted in a year too late, that they show signs of being able to walk into the first team rather than facing a need to develop gradually.
However, we shall not get ahead of ourselves but I do believe that minimal or no signings should be made in January to help give more chances to these gems. If none of the young strikers or defensive midfielders step up and show promise, then undoubtedly Rodgers will have to delve into the transfer market.
Please feel free to opine in the comments section. Whom would you want as a striker and a defensive midfielder? And would you like to add to any other "biggest need" that the Reds should address in January?
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