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The Transfer Needs to Keep Liverpool “in the Conversation”

Max MuntonLiverpool CorrespondentNovember 8, 2013

The Transfer Needs to Keep Liverpool “in the Conversation”

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    Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images

    After being outclassed at the hands of Arsenal last Saturday, Brendan Rodgers said Liverpool are “playing catch-up” with the Gunners.

    Rodgers has often spoken about being “in the conversation” and being one of the top teams in the Premier League.

    Whilst Rodgers has made no secret of his delight at how his side have started the season, there are still gaps in his team and squad that need covering.

    That means it’s time to get the chequebook and pen out and come up with a January shopping list fit for paving over those cracks.

Central Defensive Midfielder

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    Newcastle Utd's Yohan Cabaye has been linked with Liverpool this week.
    Newcastle Utd's Yohan Cabaye has been linked with Liverpool this week.Richard Sellers/Getty Images

    Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva just don’t have the legs between them to keep up with the pace of a Premier League game in the way Rodgers’ system requires them to.

    Competition exists for central midfield places in the likes of Joe Allen, but Rodgers seems reluctant to draw upon his services either.

    A first-choice answer to Liverpool’s midfield woes must be at the top of Rodgers’ transfer window desires.

    Rodgers hinted this week that Steven Gerrard needs resting, and for the skipper’s career to be prolonged, he’ll need an alternative option to rotate in that position.

    Barcelona youngster Sergi Roberto is the latest name to have been linked with a move to Liverpool, according to El Mundo Deportivo (h/t Jack De Menezes of The Independent) whilst Newcastle Utd’s Yohan Cabaye has also been mentioned this week, per The Northern Echo (h/t Ben Jefferson of The Express).

    However, Derby County youngster Will Hughes looks set to be a priority for several Premier League clubs, including the Reds, this winter, according to John Percy of The Telegraph.

Backup Striker

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    Do Liverpool need an out-and-out attacking back-up in case of absence to Daniel Sturridge or Luis Suarez?
    Do Liverpool need an out-and-out attacking back-up in case of absence to Daniel Sturridge or Luis Suarez?Julian Finney/Getty Images

    It would take a good argument to beat the theory that Liverpool have the best attacking frontline in the Premier League in Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.

    When Suarez missed the first six games of the season, the Reds proved that they could compete without the Uruguayan.

    However, with Iago Aspas out injured and struggling to find his feet in English football, it would be safe to find a striker to cover any injuries or suspensions that could arise in the second half of the campaign.

    Yes Liverpool have attackers such as Victor Moses and Philippe Coutinho to call upon, but as far as an out-and-out striker is concerned, the Reds are lacking.

    After all, Rodgers himself admitted that he has two “nine and a halves” in Suarez and Sturridge.

Right-Wing Back

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    Glen Johnson has been out injured twice this season with no solid cover at right-wing-back for Liverpool.
    Glen Johnson has been out injured twice this season with no solid cover at right-wing-back for Liverpool.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Glen Johnson is the perfect fit on the right side for Rodgers’ wing-back system.

    He is world-class at getting forward and world-class at getting back and defending.

    But Liverpool have already been caught out on two occasions this season, after injuries and illness to Johnson forced him out of the team.

    Rodgers has tried and tested several options in place of Johnson, but inevitably has to accept that he has no cover in his squad.

    Kolo Toure, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson have all been given auditions to deputize for Johnson, and whilst none of them have performed badly on the right side, there have been no sparkling performances either.

    Andre Wisdom was also given a chance in the first team, before being sent out on loan to Derby County.

    The right-wing back spot could become something of a weak spot for Liverpool in Johnson’s absence, and quality competition for the England international would also be a positive thing.

    All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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