Transfer Moves Liverpool Should Make Before the Season Starts
Whether he stays or goes, the Uruguayan's next move will have a big influence on the Reds' 2013/14 campaign.
However, the Merseyside club has other matters that need to be addressed before the summer transfer window closes on September 2.
Is there anyone YOU want to see at Anfield? How about departures—who should Rodgers usher toward the exit door?
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Jamie Carragher has retired, Martin Skrtel continues to be linked with a loan move to Napoli—as reported by Ed Malyon in the Mirror—and Daniel Agger’s Anfield future is anything but certain if Ben Jefferson's report linking him to Barcelona in the Express is to be believed.
Which leaves Liverpool’s back line in a rather precarious situation.
Kolo Toure, who was brought in on a free transfer from Manchester City, will offer experience, but at 32 he’s not a long-term solution.
Sebastian Coates is another option, but with only 12 Premier League appearances under his belt, he needs playing time—perhaps a loan spell at another club is needed before he can become Mr. Reliable at the back.
The Reds are believed to have had a long-term interest in the 21-year-old. Speculation died down when the defender was recovering from a knee injury.
Now that he’s back in training with the Bundesliga side, Liverpool have been credited with interest once again.
According to Greek newspaper Sport Day (via Ben Jefferson in the Express) Liverpool have already agreed a fee with Schalke to bring Papadopoulos to the Premier League.
At 21, the highly rated defender has years ahead of him. He’s very physical, good in the air, tough-tackling, confident and has a good range of passing. Papadopoulos also has experience in the Champions League and Europa League.
Toby Alderweireld continues to be linked to Liverpool.
Alderweireld has racked up 182 appearances with Ajax.
His current contract runs out next summer, and he is rumoured to be worth £8.8 million, according to Transfermarkt.
The Belgian can play in central defence or at right-back. At 24, he’d be a long-term investment and has a lot more experience than the likes of Sebastian Coates and Papadopoulos.
A report by Gary Jones in the Daily Star, appears to suggest that Alderweireld is keen on a move to Merseyside.
Perhaps fellow Belgian Simon Mignolet can convince him to make the switch to Anfield.
After missing out on target Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Liverpool need to add an attacking midfielder to their ranks.
Christian Eriksen is a player who keeps popping up on the Reds’ radar.
The Dane has one year remaining on his current contract at Ajax.
Marc Overmars, director of football at the Dutch club, told De Telegraaf (via Goal.com) in March:
"We want him to stay here for at least two more years, but the day he leaves us, he will be ready to play for the very best. He’s a player even the biggest clubs in the world could do with having in their squad."
Last season Eriksen made 33 appearances in the Eredivisie, scoring 10 goals and registering 17 assists.
Often touted as a potential replacement for Steven Gerrard, Eriksen would make a fantastic addition to Liverpool.
And, if this report by Massimo Marioni in Metro is to be believed, Ajax won’t stand in his way if he wants to depart.
Loan Move: Lucas Piazon
The 22-year-old has been brought in to provide cover and competition for Jose Enrique at left-back.
Another shrewd loan move may be for the Chelsea youngster, Lucas Piazon.
The 19-year-old can play in a variety of roles for Liverpool—as an attacking midfielder, in the hole or as a winger.
The Brazilian spent a portion of last season on loan at Malaga, where he played under new Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini.
If Piazon could have the same kind of impact at Anfield, it’d be a huge coup for Brendan Rodgers.
A New Striker?
There is a big Luis Suarez-shaped question mark hanging over Anfield at the moment.
Arsenal have been trying to lure the controversial striker to the Emirates.
Despite the Gunners’ bid of £40 million, Liverpool are under no obligation to sell Suarez, as seen in this report by David Maddock in the Mirror.
It’s difficult to predict the outcome of what promises to be a very lengthy dispute.
Regardless of whether Suarez is still Liverpool’s No. 7 next season, the club still need to bring in a new forward.
The Uruguayan will miss the side’s first six games of the new campaign, as part of a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic last season.
Daniel Sturridge, Fabio Borini and new signing Iago Aspas are all strikers who could fill the void in Suarez’s absence. However, if Liverpool are serious about making a push to finish in the Top Four this season, they need to bring in one more marksman.
Perhaps Udinese's Luis Muriel could fit the bill? Often compared to a young Ronaldo, Ben Jefferson of the Express has linked the 22-year-old with the Reds after impressing in Serie A, where he scored 12 goals in 24 games last season.
Queens Park Rangers’ Loic Remy is also worth consideration. The France international, who's already had a taste of the top-flight, showed glimpses of what he is capable of in the tail end of QPR's season. He wouldn't be a starter if Suarez stays at Anfield, but he could be the perfect answer should Suarez depart.
Jackson Martinez is also still an option, as reported by James Dickenson in the Express. If Liverpool do sell Suarez, they would be able to afford the valuation of £35 million.