Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Players Brendan Rodgers Should Avoid at All Costs
Liverpool are going to find themselves linked with dozens, maybe even into the hundreds of players during the summer transfer window as Brendan Rodgers seeks to add the quality and depth that he needs, but there will be plenty which are rumours which, for whatever reason, don't pan out.
There will also be a number of players who Liverpool are linked with in the media who simply don't fit the list of requirements for the club, and even at this early stage in proceedings, we can identify who some of them are.
With the Reds needing to spend defensively in the summer, it's no surprise to see plenty of that kind of player being linked early on, but in such a key role in the team, Rodgers has to ensure he gets it right.
Here are five players that the Reds should stay away from this summer.
We start off with a Swansea City defender who Rodgers was in charge of until he moved to Liverpool last summer, and one who has been consistently linked with a move to Anfield.
Sky Sports are reporting that the Reds are still keen, but Williams, for all his abilities, is not the centre-back Liverpool need this summer.
For one, he is used to operating on the left of the centre, and Liverpool require one on the right. He is not a player who constantly gets stuck into challenges, can break out of the defensive line to close attackers down and is not the biggest or most vocal of communicators around.
Ideally, Liverpool need someone who can do all of that and more.
There is also the question of the value he provides: for an estimated minimum of £10 million, the Reds would be signing a player who turns 29 shortly into the new season, surely not suitable for the transfer plans of the club with regard to longevity and value for money.
The giant centre-back would, in terms of quality, be a good addition and he certainly has attributes which the club will be missing if Sebastian Coates departs, namely a height and strength advantage in the penalty area.
Despite that, he is too lacking in agility and mobility to be able to play in the high defensive line that the Reds want to implement.
His lack of pace would be cruelly exposed by any over-the-top attacks, or else would force Liverpool to shift their defensive line 20 metres deeper, much like it is now with Jamie Carragher on the pitch. It's fine, if that's the long-term plan, but it doesn't seem to be, which effectively rules out Fazio as a first-choice.
Whilst a free transfer signing is a good idea to keep costs low and bulk up the squad, the presumption must be that Pearce would not be coming as a first-choice player.
If the idea is to bring him in as the fourth centre-back, covering for the preferred pairing and perhaps playing in the cups this season as Coates has done for Liverpool, then it might be a decent signing.
On the other hand, if he is seriously being looked upon as a first-rate target to play regularly alongside Daniel Agger, then Liverpool need to readjust their aims for next season.
Ince is a talented player; the Reds already know all about him as he was a part of their youth system until two years ago, but he will not be bringing anything new to the table if the Reds sign him.
Much was made of his Championship-destroying form earlier in the campaign when he scored 13 goals by the start of December, but he has gone off the boil since then, hitting only five more goals in the five months since then.
He has yet to sign a new contract with Blackpool, meaning a tribunal might have to set any transfer price, but also complicating the matter is his father Paul, former Reds captain, being his manager.
Raheem Sterling and Suso have both provided evidence that the wide areas of Liverpool's attack are in great hands for the future, while Jordan Ibe may also make his senior debut before the end of the season.
Add to that list the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge who signed in January, both central players who can operate from wider areas, and it looks very unlikely that the Reds need to spend £7 million or so on a Championship player just to provide another option up front.
Liverpool may or may not yet have to look for a new goalkeeper this summer with rumours still circulating about a possible move to Barcelona for Pepe Reina (via Guardian), but they should certainly look elsewhere than Victor Valdes if they are to replace their long-term No. 1, who is being linked with Liverpool by Mirror Football.
There are a wide range of young, talented goalkeepers around Europe at present, especially in Germany, and the Reds should be looking to do the same as they did when they first signed Reina—look to bring in a top young keeper with the potential to grow and improve, along with the club itself.
Valdes' kicking is error-strewn, he tends to lack concentration at vital moments and, though he is admirably looking to test himself elsewhere at this stage in his career, is perhaps not going to be as motivated as a younger player at this point to help drag the Reds back into the top four of the Premier League and beyond.