Liverpool have a critical month ahead, where the quality of their January transfer window will directly impact just how much the club can make of the good groundwork laid down in the first five months of the 2013/14 campaign.
According to reports, the Merseyside outfit are eyeing up the signature of Udinese anchor Emmanuel Badu in a bid to beef up their midfield options.
However, while depth sits as a crucial aspect of improvement if the Reds are to stage a bid for the Premier League title, it's important that even those players brought in as cover can make a certain claim to featuring in the starting XI.
The Metro's Jamie Sanderson has reported that Liverpool are preparing a £7 million offer for Badu's signature, although it remains unclear as to how much the Serie A club would want for the Ghanaian international.
And while adding another full-back remains a clear priority, Liverpool are also in need of a natural defensive midfielder, and Ghanaian Agyemang-Badu is a new target.
The 23-year-old is a rising star in Serie A and has been personally recommended to Rodgers by his European scouts.
Badu has made eight starts for Francesco Guidolin's side this season and has struggled to establish himself as one of Udinese's primary choices in the engine room.
According to Squawka, the utility man has won just 11 of his 19 tackles this term but, more worryingly, has succeeded with just four of his 50 attempted headers.
The 23-year-old does have the potentially enticing trait of being able to line up as a wing-back when needed, but Rodgers' main priority should be improving the overall quality, and not just quantity, of any position in his squad.
If Badu were to arrive at Anfield, one would imagine the midfielder's main priority would be in acting as cover for the likes of Lucas Leiva, Steven Gerrard and even Joe Allen.
Badu is similar to Lucas in that his talents don't make for the same rounded approach that Gerrard or Jordan Henderson might bring to the table.
He's somewhat closer to the typical defensive midfielder in that his attributes largely lie in front of the back four, but it's a style that's going out of fashion, and even the aforementioned Lucas has shown a more balanced approach in the last 18 months or so, contributing more often to the attack than ever.
At this stage of the season, Liverpool need the kind of pedigree that's going to push their squad into that next tier of talent, not merely maintain at the level that they've already found.
Back at the start of December, James Pearce reported Rodgers as bemoaning this exact lack of quality:
Badu's arrival wouldn't show the great pursuit of improvement that the Merseysiders should be on the lookout for right now, and an important factor is that the fans may not appreciate the lack of ambition, either.
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