Liverpool

Liverpool Transfer News: Key Players Brendan Rodgers Must Fight to Keep

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Tiago Ilori of Liverpool U21 looks on during the Barclays U21s Premier League match between Liverpool U21 and Sunderland U21 at Anfield on September 17, 2013 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Chris BrunskillGetty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2014

Success in football is a poisoned chalice, with any club susceptible to drawing the attention of their peers should they experience a rise through the ranks.

Such would certainly be the case with this season's Liverpool side, who after becoming favourites to win the Premier League title, are now likely to attract some gazes around their squad.

Among those Anfield stars sit some who have had to settle on the fringes at times, leading to speculation regarding an exit, but here we'll delve into which players Brendan Rodgers should be most eager to keep a hold of.

 

Suso

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22:  Gonzalo Zarate of Young Boys competes with Suso of Liverpool during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Liverpool FC and BSC Young Boys at Anfield on November 22, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Chris Brun
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

For some time now, Suso has been tipped to go on and do great things at Anfield, weaving his way through the club's academy ranks while maintaining the starlet status that he held while at Cadiz.

Now, though, it's time for the 20-year-old to shrug off the idea of being a potential star, and he's gone about that in the right way while on loan at Almeria this season.

VALENCIA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 30:  Suso of Almeria in action during the La Liga match between Valencia CF and UD Almeria at Estadio Mestalla on October 30, 2013 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

In 31 La Liga appearances, Suso has scored two goals and made nine assists while back in his native Spain.

TalkSPORT suggest that there are those in Spain who are looking to keep the young attacker around, but Suso is ready to make a name for himself at Anfield, according to the Liverpool Echo:

Liverpool writer Paul Tomkins agrees that next season is the time for Suso to make his surge:

Brendan Rodgers will see Victor Moses head back to parent club Chelsea this summer and although Suso may not yet be ready for a full campaign consisting of multiple trophy hunts and a 60-game season, he'd be a useful asset to blood out wide.

 

Daniel Agger

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29:  Daniel Agger of Liverpool reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on December 29, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

The arrivals of Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure last summer have seen Daniel Agger slip down the pecking order on Merseyside, falling to fourth-choice centre-back at times, with Martin Skrtel in the driving seat.

According to the Express (h/t The Mirror's Liam Prenderville), the Dane could be finally ready to reunite with Rafa Benitez at Napoli this summer, but in truth, the competition being so rife in the centre of defence isn't necessarily such a bad thing.

In November of last year, Agger voiced his commitment to the Anfield cause, saying to The Guardian (h/t ESPN FC's Mike Walley):

It’s been difficult. It’s hard to describe and I want to play every time in every single game. So when you’re not playing, it’s difficult. But, when that is said, I just have to work even harder every single day in training, not complain and just do everything that little bit extra. I feel I belong there. I feel I’m more than capable of being in the team, but it’s the manager’s decision.

Sometimes that’s difficult to change in training. You need to grab the chance when it’s there and that’s what football is about, taking your chances. There has always been competition for places at this club and it should always be intense. That’s a good thing because we want to win something.

That never helped me, but I’m not the type of player who needs an explanation, I just carry on with my thing and try to do everything I can do to get back in the team. It’s been a bit longer than I hoped for, but when you get the chance, you need to do everything you can to keep your place.

If Agger is right and the competition being so intense has been so vital to the club's title run, then it's a formula they shouldn't want to change anytime soon.

Having four centre-backs of similar qualities jostling for playing time may seem a bit indulgent for some, but in the heat of a Premier League battle, the Reds have shown at times this season that they've needed it.

 

Tiago Ilori

Daniel Tejedor

Tiago Ilori is an unknown prospect to many at Liverpool, considering he's yet to make his Premier League debut for the club and has very little playing experience since moving to England last summer.

However, after being loaned to Granada in the winter transfer window, the former Sporting Lisbon talent has ensured his stock continues to rise with some fine performances, including a recent win over Barcelona, as pointed out by Liverpool's official Twitter account:

The Mirror's Spanish football writer David Jaca also heaped praise on the centre-back of late:

Although the saturation of central defenders in Rodgers' squad may mean a first-team spot will be hard to reach, loaning out Ilori once more should be the furthest they're willing to loosen their grip.

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