Deadline day is here, and the pressure is on English Premier League teams to make last-minute moves. Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers has aggressively pursued attacking players, but if he continues adding to his roster, he should be targeting defenders.
Rodgers revealed to Sky Sports that he still has his eye on the transfer market, saying, “If we can add another player, if not more, then great. If not, we'll look in the summer to keep the building process going."
Thus far, Rodgers has already spent £20.5 million on Daniel Sturridge and Phillippe Coutinho to bolster his attack, and now the Reds have plenty of talented, young attackers.
Sturridge and Coutinho now join Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, Jonjo Shelvey, Fabio Borini and Suso as players Rodgers has used to support Luis Suarez. There is clearly no need to add more attackers this season, and Rodgers should take the summer to evaluate which of these players he wants to keep on the squad.
But the team still lacks defensive depth.
Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel are a solid pair of centre-backs, with Glen Johnson providing a veteran presence at right-back. The combination of Andre Wisdom and Jose Enrique on the other side of the back line has proven to be productive, but the remaining players are concerning.
Jamie Carragher’s career is all but over, while Martin Kelly and Sebastian Coates are young and unproven. Both 22-year-olds could very well work out, but Rodgers would be wise to hedge his bets and bring in another defender.
With Liverpool’s aspirations to be competing in Europe next season—and their seventh-place standing suggesting they will accomplish this goal—adding quality backups should be a top priority for Rodgers.
One option the manager should consider is FC Nordsjaelland’s Jores Okore. After entering the spotlight during the Danish club’s short-lived Champions League campaign, Okore has attracted a significant amount of interest.
Goal.com’s Adam Marzani (via Yahoo! Sports), notes that Okore’s agent told Swedish tabloid Expressen, “A lot of teams are interested in him. Half of the clubs in the Premier League are after him, so is Lyon and many others.”
With Nordsjaelland’s phone sure to be ringing often today, Rodgers would be wise to show the same tactics that led to successfully signing Sturridge and Coutinho.
Rodgers has no illusions about the fact Liverpool is still in the building process, and the next step is to add a defender. If he can pull off a move on deadline day, then he will just be speeding up this period.