Finishing in one of the top four spots in the English Premier League table this season is still possible for Liverpool, but regardless of the results from this campaign, the club will have to make additions this summer in order to continue its growth.
The Reds are currently seven points behind fourth-place Chelsea, but the Blues have a game in hand. Brendan Rodgers has done an incredible job during his first season at Anfield, but he is still out in front leading the calls to bring in more players.
The first-year manager was aggressive in his pursuit of players during the summer and again when the winter transfer window opened. He has no plans on backing off when this season ends, and he told The Telegraph’s Chris Bascombe, “January was a productive window for us and hopefully if we do the similar in the summer then it's going to be a real good place for us.”
Liverpool is likely to bring in multiple players this summer, but Paris Saint-Germain’s Jeremy Menez offers the team an ideal target.
Sky Sports’ Valer Gourizro quotes Menez telling Italian site TMW, “At the end of the season we will clear the air with everyone involved in my future.” The report also quotes Menez’s agent saying, “Menez will not be without an employer. There are teams interested in him, so we will wait until the season finishes and see what to do,” and notes that Liverpool is one of the interested parties.
In order to re-establish itself as a top-tier side both in England and Europe, Liverpool's top priority this season will be to keep Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan has been the Premiership’s best striker this season, and letting him leave would be a complete catastrophe for the club.
A large part of ensuring that Suarez spends the best years of his career in Merseyside will be adding players to provide him quality support in the attack.
Rodgers has done an admirable job in this regard thus far, with Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge’s Liverpool careers off to exciting starts. But there is still work to be done, and Menez would be an extremely valuable addition to the Reds’ front line.
He has two goals and seven assists in Ligue 1 play and has added two more goals and two more assists in PSG’s Champions League campaign. He can attack down either flank or put pressure in the middle of the opposition’s defense.
The versatility Menez brings is exactly what Rodgers will need next season.
The Reds have several young, promising attacking players. In addition to Coutinho and Sturridge, Rodgers will need to find time to let Raheem Sterling, Jonjo Shelvey, Suso and Fabio Borini prove their worth.
This will be a daunting task, as competition for the top spots in the league table will be extremely fierce, and poor decisions with the lineup can easily lead to missed opportunities.
But a player like Menez can be slotted into multiple positions, giving the manager the flexibility to be creative with his lineups.
In addition, Menez will be 26 years old when the Reds’ next campaign starts. He is young enough to still have a long Liverpool career, but also has enough experience for Rodgers to trust him to perform in hostile environments and important matches.
Menez has proven to be an unselfish and creative attacker. His versatility and creativity make him an ideal player to support Suarez and bolster the Liverpool attack.
It will take more than one signing this summer to ensure that the team continues to improve, but bringing in the Frenchman would be a step in the right direction.