As the Premier League season starts to wind down, thoughts will inevitably turn toward the forthcoming summer transfer window and the areas which supporters think their team can improve in.
For Liverpool fans, there have been some recurring names linked with the club over the past 12 months or so who seem to have the combination of skills on the pitch to aid the team, along with the appeal of the big name in the transfer market.
Every club's set of fans, of course, want their team to be signing players of as high a quality as possible, despite the fact that these players often come with price tags attached to them.
With that in mind, here are four players fans seem to want to sign this coming summer—though only the most irresponsible might suggest that all four could be paid for in the same window!
We'll start at the back.
There is widespread recognition that Liverpool will need to sign at least one, and perhaps more than one, central defender this season.
One of the best options would have seemed to be Schalke centre-back Benedikt Howedes, but the German international has now signed a new long-term contract with his club (via Goal.com), seeming to rule him out of a move this summer.
Looking further afield, then, Paris Saint-Germain defender Mamadou Sakho could well be looking for a route out of the Ligue 1 club during the summer, after having lost his regular spot with the arrivals of Brazilian duo Alex and Thiago Silva.
Left-footed, strong, aerially reliable and with a good turn of pace, Sakho would be an interesting addition to the team, though it would be interesting to see how he would be paired with Daniel Agger, with both being left-footed.
Alternatives: Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Dede.
Xabi Alonso left Liverpool in 2009 after playing almost 150 league games for the club, but supporters seem to be of an opinion that they would take him back very quickly.
Alonso, now of Real Madrid, is one of the best passers of the ball on the entire planet and has continued to mature in both his offensive and defensive qualities during his time back in Spain. It is known that Alonso retains an affection for the Reds, but whether he would choose to come back at this point is very much up for debate.
The issue with Alonso back at Liverpool—ignoring the fact he plays for Real Madrid, his price and wages, and general points of attracting him in the first place—is that the balance of midfield has shifted somewhat since he left, and he would generally occupy the position club captain Steven Gerrard now fills.
Fans might end up being disappointed on this one.
Alternatives: Jordy Clasie, Kevin Strootman, Victor Wanyama, Etienne Capoue.
Further up the field in the attacking midfield zone, there is one name who reappears more often than most with links to Liverpool.
Ajax playmaker Christian Eriksen continues to impress over in Holland, but there are growing feelings that this will be the summer he makes an exit.
Liverpool are interested in Christian Eriksen and Ben Arfa. (Tony Barrett on times webchat) #LFC— Total LFC (@TheTotalLFC) March 11, 2013
With Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen, Raheem Sterling and Stewart Downing all vying for the supporting attack roles behind and alongside the striker, it is perhaps looking as though any addition during the summer will have to be of real top quality—and will necessitate the exit of at least one other squad member.
Alternatives: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye
The forward positions are perhaps the most contentious of all; there are some who would prefer Liverpool to bring in another out-and-out striker to challenge and/or cover for Daniel Sturridge, while others want to see another right-sided attacker to lend greater skill, diversity and quality to the attack.
Some combination of both would obviously be the best option, but such top talents are few and far between—and expensive.
Alexis Sanchez has not enjoyed the best season at Barcelona, though, and there has been some speculation that Liverpool are interested in bringing him to Anfield.
Fans generally seem to approve of both the ambition and the level of quality, despite Alexis failing to really shine and show his best form on a regular basis.
"Pricey" doesn't even begin to cover it, though he still might be a lower cost than Stewart Downing was.
Alternatives: Julian Draxler, Cristian Tello, Wilfried Bony, Dries Mertens, Sofiane Feghouli.