Liverpool Transfers: 5 Candidates to Be Their Next Big Signing
Liverpool's most recent Premier League result merely served to reinforce the notion that everybody already knew: The Reds are going to have to be proactive in the January transfer market and bring in more quality.
For Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers it is about bringing in the player in the right position with the right skills to help the team. For the owners—they who sign the cheques—it is about making sure the club gets fair value for that player.
Age, transfer price, wages and re-saleability will all be factors to be considered.
The Reds won't make all their signings big-name or big-fee players, of course; Rodgers will need a blend of squad and first-team players to make the entire group his own.
It is likely, though, that at least one and possibly more first-teamers will be recruited in January.
For a big signing, much of it is subjective, but a transfer fee generally above £10 million, an international reputation or a player coming from another big club, perhaps playing in the Champions League, would all be termed as key.
Here are five candidates that the Reds might be looking toward.
Christian Eriksen, Ajax
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Ajax's attacking midfield playmaker Christian Eriksen fits the bill perfectly in terms of the criteria for a big signing.
He is coveted by some of Europe's biggest sides, including Liverpool, according to reports, and would certainly command a hefty transfer fee of perhaps around £20 million.
The Danish international is already a veteran of two major tournaments having featured at both World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 and at age 20 has already played in nearly 100 Eredivisie matches for Ajax.
Not usually renowned as a goalscorer, Eriksen has scored six this season as he tries to improve this part of his game.
Rodgers has operated with two advanced central midfielders since the return to fitness of Lucas Leiva but it is still evident that the Reds lack a little edge of creativity in the final third at times. Eriksen would provide that for sure, though he is not yet the man who would satisfy the Reds' goalscoring woes as well.
Nonetheless, he would be a huge capture for the Reds and a good step up in quality for the squad.
Daniel Sturridge, Chelsea
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Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge is a forward who divides opinion amongst fans over just how well he could do the job required of him at Liverpool, but there is no doubting he would be a big signing.
The former Manchester City youth player is an England international and possesses a fair rate of scoring in the Premier League considering he has been played mainly from a wide position and handed substitute roles for much of his fledgling career.
He averages a goal every 3.7 games in the league, which the Reds would hope to improve upon if he was playing regularly as a starter, but his attributes certain indicate that he should be capable of hitting double figures for the season regularly—even from a wide forward position.
Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe has investigated the tactical reasons why Sturridge might be a success, and with the Guardian suggesting he might cost around £12 million in January it would be one positive step forward for the club to bring in an attacker of his calibre.
Burak Yilmaz, Galatasaray
Some fans and pundits believe the way for Liverpool to go is to bring in a pure centre forward, and the media have previously linked Galatasaray striker Burak Yilmaz as the potential candidate.
The 27-year-old striker has hit 15 goals this season including six in the Champions League, and is rated at around £13 million.
Whether Burak Yilmaz can indeed be prised from the Turkish side mid-season remains to be seen; they progressed from Group H in second place behind Manchester United and will find out later this week who their opponents are in the knockout phase of the Champions League.
They are also five points clear at the top of the domestic league table, one game shy of the halfway stage.
Keisuke Honda, CSKA Moscow
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Liverpool have been linked with a move for Japanese star Keisuke Honda for several seasons, and the most recent stories emerged just this month that the club were still interested in bringing the CSKA Moscow midfielder to Anfield.
Honda has been a regular for the Russians since his move from Holland three years ago, playing mainly in an advanced midfield role.
He would bring the sort of creativity that it was hoped Nuri Sahin might offer, though from a more naturally higher position on the pitch. Technically he isn't on the same level as the Turk at his best, but Liverpool are clearly looking for someone who can help unlock defences—and contribute to scoring goals.
Honda has scored seven in 19 games this season in the Russian Premier League and is rated at around £13 million.
Alexis Sanchez, Barcelona
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There exists the possibility that Liverpool sign no big players in January.
One or two squad additions might be the direction that Brendan Rodgers chooses to take until his preferred targets are more readily able to be persuaded to move, or perhaps have lower asking prices, in the summer.
Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez has been linked with Liverpool throughout the winter and while we can't imagine it would be a strong possibility to happen over the next eight weeks, a summer move might be a different question.
It would depend on the Chilean perhaps not rediscovering his best form over the remainder of this season, Barcelona maybe looking for a replacement from within and Liverpool certainly improving their standing in the Premier League, but it's within the realms of possibility.
Alexis cost more than £20 million when Barcelona signed him from Udinese and would likely cost somewhere around the same figure, but he has already shown that he is a vastly talented attacker with attributes to heighten the quality of Liverpool's attack enormously.
statistical and financial data from transfermarkt.co.uk