Liverpool Transfer News: Brendan Rodgers Must Shift Focus Away from Left Wing

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 24, 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers applauds his team during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on August 17, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

It's time to get the priorities straight, Brendan Rodgers.

There are a few areas Liverpool need to strengthen before the summer window closes. Iago Aspas, Simon Mignolet and Kolo Toure have all been upgrades at their positions, but those three aren't enough to fire Liverpool into the top four.

According to The Guardian's Andy Hunter, Rodgers is still targeting a left winger after appearing to have lost out on William.

[Philippe Coutinho's] ideal position is in the No10 role. I've seen him play when Inter had two advanced players and one holding, and he was one of the advanced players. Whether it's a two or a one, he can play in that role, or from the side. But centrally, that's where I see him playing. That's why I'm looking to sign someone for the left wing.

It's hard to disagree much with what the manager had to say. Coutinho would be better playing an inside role, and that means an upgrade at LW would be nice.

However, with so little time left in the window, the club should instead focus on either finding a defensive midfielder who can challenge Lucas Leiva or a centre-back who is a better option than Toure and Martin Skrtel.

Liverpool at least have some players they can slot in on the left wing.

While Luis Alberto is young and will need an adjustment period, the club did spend £6.8 million on him, so you'd hope he gets a run-out at some point this season. Raheem Sterling can also move over the left side pretty seamlessly. Jordon Ibe, though only 17 years old, should get a couple of games as well.

Forwards like Luis Suarez, Iago Aspas and Fabio Borini could also play on the wing if need be this year.

And what about Oussama Assaidi? Rodgers clearly doesn't him rate very highly, but the Moroccan winger has hardly gotten a chance in the side.

Though Stewart Downing was largely dismissed when Rodgers arrived, he was one of the club's more reliable players last season.

Who knows? Maybe Assaidi can do the same if he's not moved before the window closes.

Rodgers has some depth on the left wing, and that's not really something you can say about central defensive midfielder or centre-back.

Aside from Lucas, there isn't another natural defensive midfielder in the squad. Jay Spearing, the only backup to speak of over the past few seasons, has been sold to Bolton.

Joe Allen was forced to drop deeper in the midfield last season in Lucas' absence and struggled to adapt. Allen's ability to distribute the ball and get forward were being wasted when he was forced to play CDM.

For those reasons, you wouldn't want to force Jordan Henderson or Steven Gerrard to play in a defensive position either.

This won't be a huge problem if Lucas doesn't get hurt. You're taking a big gamble on that, though, and there's no telling he'll ever be the same kind of player he was before he went down in 2011.

Luckily, it's not quite as desperate a situation in the centre of defence. You've got options. The issue is whether they're enough to get Liverpool in the top four.

Daniel Agger has long been one of the club's most reliable players. Toure is an upgrade over Jamie Carragher and brings the kind of leadership at the back that you need.

After those two, the picture gets a little cloudy.

Skrtel could be sold before the window closes. If he isn't, you wonder if he'll be able to adapt to Rodgers' system.

Then you've got young players like Martin Kelly and Andre Wisdom. Kelly is recovering from a serious injury from last season whereas Wisdom is still a little too error-prone.

It would be nice if Rodgers could add another winger. Liverpool are a club with finite resources, though, and a finite amount of time to get things done this summer.

They can't afford to go into September without having addressed the defence or midfield a little more.


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