The January transfer window is just around the corner and Liverpool will presumably be one of the busiest with strengthening of some areas unfulfilled in the summer and a new manager in Brendan Rodgers still looking to assimilate some more worthy pieces.
So whom shall Liverpool sign? Whom shall they go all out for with what is supposedly not a substantial enough budget, according to me at least, before the summer of Financial Fair Play?
It is actually embarrassing that this, even though quite obvious at this stage, has to be emphasised by me. The Reds need strikers, at least two at that, and if Rodgers can manage the “budget” well Liverpool fans will be lucky to get one world class striker.
Rodgers has already almost signed Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea. However, I am not too impressed by Rodgers’ approach. Am I excited? Yes, I always have been whenever Liverpool have signed new players (well except Paul Konchesky and Christian Poulsen).
Will I support the player? Yes, I will because I want Sturridge to appreciate Liverpool fans and acknowledge us as one of a kind along with owning the responsibility to repay us.
Even so, I think a different strategy would have served the inconsistent Reds better. In Sturridge Rodgers has just that—inconsistency. It will bode well for Liverpool when Sturridge fires, but what about those days when he does not? It will again become that all too familiar story of the Reds ruing their missed chances.
Well I seriously have had enough of that.
When the same pretext continues for more than a year I think you cannot help but feel bemused. This is the reason for my unhappiness with Rodgers at going for Sturridge, Ince and the rest. Approximately 40 million pounds is being touted as the budget for Rodgers this window and to be clear, this will include the contracts.
What I would have wanted from Rodgers with this sum would be two strikers as stated above. One of them who would be relatively unknown but with potential to succeed straightaway, costing roughly 2 million pounds or less and scouted by the scouting team. The other would be as close to a world class striker as possible with a minimum of 34 million pounds left to spare assuming that a maximum of four million would be spent on salaries on a three year deal with the former.
Liverpool desperately need two more strikers because if you only get in one, probability of success goes down. Considering that managers with the best of transfer success have percentages of good players recruited hovering about the 50 percentage mark, Rodgers needs to have two more options in a season he is trying to build expectation rather than embrace failure.
And scoring has been the main problem at Liverpool so it becomes all the more important to lessen the burden on Luis Suarez. There are several more reasons to making strikers a priority in January, none more so than Luis Suarez himself.
Suarez has been performing well this season and Liverpool are lucky to have him. Lucky because he has been performing as a good professional should and not having his head turned. At this moment in time, Suarez does not have any competition for a spot and it will be interesting to see how long he will stay and sail upon a ship that was labelled as a “sinking” one by some of its own players not long ago.
Then there are tournaments such as the FA cup and the Europa League that should be used to rest Suarez and other first team players because this season should strictly be dedicated to getting higher up the league first.
Other than this, any team that has ambitions of contesting for honors should at least have four strikers in the squad, a problem since long for Liverpool.
It seems that recent Liverpool managers have had a hard time managing many strikers and it is essential that Rodgers gets a feel of that very early on his Liverpool career.
Further, one of the reasons that Rodgers’ side is suffering from inconsistency is that he has a thin squad at his disposal.
His philosophy requires a great deal of fitness because of the need to constantly press and Liverpool players have often lost games because of seemingly being too tired.
A glaring example was against Stoke City.
Let us compare games versus Stoke City and West Ham United. I am taking these two games to minimize the variables.
Both are physical teams that like to get in the face playing with towering front men. And both games were played away from home so there should be no concern of the recent abysmal home form affecting the team’s (Reds) performance.
If we look at the game against Stoke, Liverpool played their previous game four days prior to it against Fulham who they mauled 4–0. The previous game played before winning against West Ham was with Udinese three days prior. However, that is where the similarities end.
Liverpool played the same starting 11 against both Stoke and Fulham whereas only six players that started against Udinese started against West Ham. What reveals more into this interesting scenario is that the Reds starting line–up against Southampton where they won 1–0 had 10 common players with the starting line–up at West Ham a good eight days later. Enough time to rest indeed.
Before I end, I would like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous new year 2013 and hope that Rodgers and Liverpool can turn it around in the new year by signing more strikers and good ones at that.