Liverpool Transfers: 6 Bold Predictions for Brendan Rodgers' Summer Spending
Liverpool are going to be one of the most active Premier League sides in the transfer window this summer as manager Brendan Rodgers looks to reshape his squad for an assault on the top four next season.
It will be a summer of many comings and goings at the Anfield club, with the decisions taken likely to affect whether Rodgers gets the chance to show he is capable of bringing long-term success to Liverpool.
As such, it will be entirely interesting—and perhaps a little stressful—for fans to watch the transfer situation at the club this summer with regards to both ins and outs.
Here are six predictions for what goes on inside Liverpool this summer.
£20 Million-Plus Net Spend for the Reds This Summer
Speculation and questions remain in some quarters about the level of commitment being shown to the club by the owners, but in terms of transfer activity, there is very little evidence to suggest that this should be the case.
Sure, there seems to be a set of criteria in place which decides whether transfers will be realistic or not, but just because any given name doesn't fit in with the long-term plans of the club doesn't mean the backing is not there.
There is ample reason to believe that there will be money for Brendan Rodgers to spend, and a net expenditure of £20 million or more would be reasonable to expect to see this summer. Whether that amount is entirely necessary is another matter.
Signings Part Funded by Sales, Giving Reds a Total Spend of over £50 Million
Of course, the net spend is potentially important, but Liverpool can, and no doubt will, raise additional money this summer by offloading a number of players.
The names might be unknown at this point, but the Reds can certainly raise £30 million or more relatively easily with the sales of only a few first team players. On-loan striker Andy Carroll is one who is expected to leave permanently in the summer, and though the club won't recoup anything like the money they shelled out for him, he should definitely fetch a minimum of £15 million.
Taking into account spending the money he brings in through sales, plus the estimated £20 million net spend, Liverpool could easily be splashing out to the total tune of more than £50 million this summer.
Liverpool to Sign Two Recognised Central Defenders
One area Liverpool are expected to improve in this summer is centre-back, with Jamie Carragher set to retire and rumours surrounding one or two more about potential exits.
Danny Wilson is out of contract and expected to leave, while Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates have barely featured in the first team since the turn of the year.
All in all, the Reds could be after a number of central defenders, but two incoming players for that role should be more than adequate. It would give depth and strength—presuming quality additions are chosen—while also keeping a place clear for, perhaps, Martin Kelly to make an impact in the centre next season.
Two of the First Team Names to Leave
Andy Carroll is a big name who might be off this summer, but as he is out on loan, he doesn't qualify as a first-team player right now.
The general changing of the guard each summer means that certain players will have to bring their Anfield careers to an end, just as the likes of Dirk Kuyt did last summer. For Liverpool this summer, at least two first-team players could make way for new arrivals.
It would not be a huge surprise to see Martin Skrtel and Stewart Downing head that particular list, as both can provide good resale values, will lower considerably the wage bill and average age of the squad and have both proved themselves replaceable in the starting XI over the past couple of seasons.
Others could certainly join them, but those two could be high on the list of outgoings.
And Two to Stay, Including Luis Suarez
But not all the big names will depart—and Luis Suarez will be one of the ones to stay.
Always the centre of attention for one reason or another, Suarez will stick around at Anfield to aid hopes of a top-four finish next season and Liverpool will likely have to achieve it to keep him on any further than another year.
That takes care of business at one end of the pitch—and at the other, Pepe Reina will be another big player to stick around too.
The Spanish goalkeeper has been through a tough spell earlier in the season but improved as the campaign went on, and most recently has been a big contributor to Liverpool winning important points in the league.
Liverpool to Have a Total First Team Turnover of Around 18 Players
There will be a big turnover of players inside Anfield and Melwood this summer, with certain players coming to the end of their contracts, some being sold to make way for new arrivals and, of course, club legend Jamie Carragher retiring.
From those players termed as seniors, including those out on loan this season, there could quite easily be a dozen current Liverpool players departing this summer. Taking into account a possible clutch of around six new signings, it is conceivable that Liverpool's first team squad sees a total turnover of around 18 to 20 players.
It all points to a very important summer in terms of gelling the players together as well as possible during the tour to Australia and other preseason games to ensure they are already in peak condition to make a fast start next term.
It will be a very important, and interesting, couple of months this summer for Liverpool and their future under Brendan Rodgers.