3 Positions Liverpool Must Fix to Complete the Perfect Transfer Window

Max MuntonLiverpool CorrespondentAugust 22, 2014

3 Positions Liverpool Must Fix to Complete the Perfect Transfer Window

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    Despite the loss of Luis Suarez, this summer has arguably been the most successful transfer window in Liverpool's history.

    That debate must wait until at least the next transfer window before finding a winner, of course, as Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Emre Can, Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren, Javier Manquillo and Alberto Moreno look to prove themselves at Anfield.

    Add Divock Origi into that equation, sent back on loan to Lille for the season to continue his footballing development, and we could be waiting a while to accurately determine the extent of this summer's success.

    Nevertheless, over £100 million (and counting) has been spent to improve the team from the heroes of last season.

    Brendan Rodgers rightly told the press before Liverpool's first game of the new campaign that what happened last season—the 11-game unbeaten run; the relentless march up the table to be title contenders—is in the past. Per This Is Anfield:

    What happened last season counts for nothing. It’s a new, long, hard season, but an exciting one with the belief of the group of players.

    Our league objective is to finish in the top four, then we can look beyond that.

    However, with just over a week left until Sky Sports reporters are mobbed by truanting children and tell us the window has "slammed shut," Liverpool could still do some fine-tuning to their team.

    That starts with Mario Balotelli's imminent signing. 

Striker

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    Rodgers' main concern with Suarez's departure this summer is the goals Liverpool must make up for in his absence.

    The Uruguayan international scored 31 times last season. While Lambert has been brought in to provide attacking ammunition, the need for a new striker was not something the Reds could ignore.

    Loic Remy's proposed £8.5 million switch from Queens Park Rangers collapsed, but it led to renewed interest in Balotelli.

    The Italian is now set to sign this weekend, as per BBC Sport.

    With 30 goals in 54 games since moving to AC Milan from Manchester City last year, Balotelli is a natural goalscorer and the bearer of much untapped potential.

    He's the perfect signing for Liverpool—a special talent in world football with much to prove to the Premier League after a series of temperamental incidents during his time at Man City.

    Commercially, he'll sell shirts and bring in the fascinating worldwide attention to fill that Suarez-shaped hole. 

Defensive Midfielder

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    As natural as Steven Gerrard looked slotting into his deep-lying playmaker role last season, at 34 years old, he won't have the legs to play there every week as Liverpool look to mount challenges in the Premier League and Champions League.

    Rodgers' decision to play with Lucas Leiva alongside Gerrard in defensive midfield against Southampton on Sunday arguably showed some slight reservations about the captain's ability to dominate that role.

    The signing of 20-year-old midfielder Can bolsters the Reds' midfield options, with Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson also vying for those central midfield roles. However, in terms of reliable defensive cover in that area of the pitch, Liverpool are perhaps lacking.

    Last week, Catalan newspaper Sport reported that Liverpool were "hours away" from signing Barcelona's Alex Song (H/T Metro). The deal is yet to materialise, but it would be a brilliant signing for Rodgers. 

Goalkeeper

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    Pepe Reina's return to Liverpool from his loan spell at Napoli this summer and subsequent sale to Bayern Munich reinforced Rodgers' confidence in his first-choice goalkeeper, Simon Mignolet.

    However, look beyond the Belgian international and Liverpool's options are bare—Brad Jones, the only remainder of the Roy Hodgson hangover at Anfield, continuing his role on the bench.

    Should injury or suspension force Mignolet out of action this season, Liverpool may wish they'd used some summer budget on a goalkeeper of a higher calibre than Jones.

    Who that goalkeeper is, however, may well be the problem holding Liverpool back from making that purchase.