Liverpool Transfer Rumors: Evaluating Top Attacking Targets for Reds

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2012

It's not a big secret that Liverpool desperately need some depth at the forward positions. The team has endured a tough start to the season, and only Luis Suarez has provided the team with consistent class in that regard.

So what players are out there that Liverpool can snag come the January transfer window? What attacking options could help improve this team?

It should be noted that the players listed below have been linked with Liverpool recently. While there are surely better overall attacking players out there, these are the top rumored targets of the team, at least in terms of forwards.

Let's play matchmaker.

Theo Walcott, Arsenal

As Matt Law of the Mirror notes, Liverpool have serious interest in the Arsenal winger (and Daniel Sturridge, but we'll get into that in a moment). The problem is, it doesn't seem likely they'll land him:

The Liverpool boss has told the club’s American owners he wants to sign hitman Theo Walcott and make a new loan move for ­Daniel ­Sturridge.

But Chelsea now want to sell Sturridge ­permanently for around £15million to fund their bid for Falcao.

And ­although Liverpool are ready to offer Arsenal £10m and Walcott a £5m-a-year deal, the striker is unlikely to join a club not in the Champions League.

Other questions come with Walcott. Will Brendan Rodgers be willing to play Walcott centrally, a role he seems to prefer? And will Arsenal sell him at a reasonable cost to another Premier League contender? 

Though his game has some holes—you would think he could consistently offer a good cross at this point—I like Walcott. His pace is a game-changer, and he can be a nightmare in one-on-one situations for defenders. Plus, he has a touch of the spectacular that drops jaws when he's in top form.

He would certainly fit Rodgers system, though I still prefer Walcott out wide. I'm guessing he'll be atop Liverpool's shopping list in January, unlikely as his transfer to Liverpool seems.

Daniel Sturridge, Chelsea

If Chelsea truly are interested in landing Atletico Madrid striker Falcao—and it seems just about everyone in Europe is these days—selling Sturridge would be the logical precursor to that splashy signing.

Sturridge is the sort of forward that Rodgers can utilize in a number of ways. With his pace and creativity on the ball, he can play centrally or out wide. At Liverpool, I envision him playing more centrally. He's a pretty tidy finisher when he gets the opportunity, so I think he could thrive with the Reds. 

If Liverpool only wants him on loan, however, things could hit a snafu. This move makes a lot of sense to me, but the Reds may have to be willing to make the move permanent.

Darren Bent, Aston Villa

Liverpool are thought to have some interest in the striker, according to Hassan Talib Haji of

Darren Bent and Daniel Sturridge have been highlighted as potential targets by Anfield officials in recent weeks, with both players likely to be available within Liverpool's January budget of approximately £10m-£12m. 

There's that Sturridge guy again.

Bent isn't the sexiest name on this list, but his pace, cutting runs and general style of play will fit this Liverpool team well. No, he's not great with his head, but if Liverpool was concerned with having a striker proficient with his head, they would have kept Andy Carroll. 

Well, maybe proficient is an overstatement...

Of the three, I think Bent is probably the most likely to end up on the Reds. He should come cheaper than the above players and he'll be a steady force for Rodgers in the attack.

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