Liverpool FC: 4 Players Leaving in Summer and Possible Replacements
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Forget about the tabloids and the pundits of world football who suggest that Liverpool now have a squad (not just a team) to challenge for the fourth spot of Champions League this year and the Premier League title next year.
As much as Fernando Torres' departure has strengthened the Reds' forward line with more attacking flair, they still have players who are just not up to the mark to be a part of Liverpool's revolution under King Kenny Dalglish.
The arrival of injured Englishman Andy Carroll and the sensational and tricky Luis Suarez needs to be backed up with a quality replacement of at least three players if Liverpool really wants to challenge for anything next season.
The following four lightweight players need to be shown the exit door of Anfield to ensure a better future for the club. Not because these players are not stars, but because some of them are past their best days, and some of them will not get enough time to become best.
Their possible replacements are also suggested here, and feel free to add your own if you differ from my choices.
1. Joe "£90,000 a Week" Cole
JC: Would John Henry have permitted the £90000/week free signing?
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First of all, the ex-Chelsea midfielder would have hoped for a better start at Liverpool following his red card in the opening game against Arsenal at Anfield.
Since then, Joe Cole has never truly recovered.
He has started 11 games in the league and managed to score one goal--yes one goal.
Arriving on Merseyside on a free transfer, Cole is costing £90,000 a week in wages. In other words, nearly £5 million a year.
That doesn't make it a free transfer now, does it?
Cole is no doubt a class act. Or rather, he was a class act. On occasions, he showed his ability to play behind the striker "in the hole" and showed some glimpses of his past talents. But the problem with Cole is that many believe he has past his best days now.
The Liverpool No. 10, even when fit, has failed to impress Kenny Dalglish. Dalglish has never started Cole in any Premier League games, and he seems to be sticking with his ideas for the rest of the season too.
This hints that Dalglish does not really believe in this player's ability anymore.
So much was expected from this Londoner upon arriving at Liverpool this last summer, but he has failed to impress anyone since then.
Joe Cole would be a stumbling block for Liverpool's revolution of next generation football, which includes the "young and exciting" philosophy.
One can not help but think had John Henry and FSG been in charge at that time, would Joe Cole be playing at Liverpool for this hefty weekly wages for a 30-year-old?
1. Keisuke Honda:
The 24-year-old Japanese superstar is perhaps the best option as he is available in summer, and £12-14 million should be able to bring him to Anfield. The Blue Samurai can play on both wings, as well as behind the striker, thus making him a more versatile player then the other replacement below.
However, getting the work permit to play in England will be a massive obstacle to lure the CSKA-Moscow midfielder.
2. Ashley Young:
He is the most coveted of players. Ashley Young was rumoured to be on his way out in January transfer window only for Aston Villa to hold on to him for now, at least.
The 25-year-old could be the answer to Liverpool's left wing problems.
A hefty £20 million price tag will make him doubtful for any future at Anfield if FSG-Liverpool's owners decide to opt for a much cheaper option.
2. Maxi "Sitter-Missing" Rodriguez
Maxi: The only "glorious" Liverpool moment? (Goal V Bolton)
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I have now lost the count of the Argentine's missed sitters two or three yards from goal.
If there is anyone who needs to be shown the door at Liverpool first, it's Maxi Rodriguez.
Although the player has scored more than Joe Cole--four goals in league so far--he could have easily scored at least that many more.
Some may suggest he has justified his price tag of free with a few good performances, but he still occupies one of the troublesome places on the field where Liverpool lacks pace, strength and goals.
After the match against Manchester United, one football analyst clearly summed up Maxi's Liverpool career in these words:
"Maxi Rodriquez: I had forgotten he was even playing when he was subbed. Hard to believe this is a man with 41 caps for Argentina. What was he supposed to be doing? He certainly offered nothing going forwards, nor going backwards for that matter. May actually have spent the whole game hiding in an underground burrow with some rabbits."
Liverpool cannot afford to keep players of his quality with the likes of Steven Gerrard, Pepe Reina, Raul Meireles, Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez.
When the club has players like the above, they need to be backed up with players of same, if not more, quality in other areas. And having Maxi Rodriguez on either wing is another step backwards for the Red revolution.
1. Eden Hazard:
One of the most technically gifted right wingers in Europe is said to be out of his current club Lilie during the next summer transfer window.
Damien Comolli--the former Director of Football at the French side Lilie--is said to be the admirer of Hazard and Dimitri Payet.
The 20-year-old attacking midfielder is perhaps one of the most expensive prospects in world football. He is thought to be carrying a price tag of £20 million, a high flying price.
Comolli is thought to be bringing at least one of the star duo--Hazard and Payet--to successfully start his role at Anfield.
2. Charles N'Zogbia:
Although not a natural right winger, N'Zogbia can play at right wing when it's required. One of the beauties of his game at Wigan Athletic is the interchange of the wings with Victor Moses during the game itself.
He's a much talented natural left-footed winger who could play at both the wings and is a cheaper option to Ashley Young and Eden Hazard. A £10 million fee should be enough to bring him to Anfield.
Pace, power, strength and stamina could sum up Charles N'Zogbia.
3. Milan " The Never Appearing" Jovanovic
Jova: LOL'ing on Liverpool every week upon receiving 60,000 quid for nothing
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Is there any reason why the "mighty" Serbian is at Liverpool in the first place?
The recent reports suggest that Wolfsburg made a £6 million bid for Milan Jovanovic in the January transfer window, only to be rejected by the Reds. But, interestingly enough, the fact of the matter, according to inside reports, was that the player himself rejected the move!!!
Now, how many of Liverpool's fans wished the deal would've gone through? At least I was one of those.
A £6 million fee for the Jova would be a dream come true.
The player must simply be laughing every week when he receives a FAT £60,000 paycheck for not playing for the club.
The 30-year-old scored an ever important goal for Serbia in FIFA World Cup 2010 and that gave everyone a glimpse of why Rafa Benitez made no secrets of bringing the player to Anfield in last summer.
He was given a good run in Europa League by Roy Hodgson. But like the Englishman, King Kenny Dalglish seems to be not interested in playing him in the league as well.
The 2010 Bosman transfer is not a bad player, it's just he is surplus at Liverpool.
The most impressive of his career spell was between 2006-10 at Standard Leige where he scored 69 goals in over 140 appearances which made him a bright late 20s or early 30s prospect.
Rafa's only reason for signing the 30-year-old Serbian international would be money constraints at Liverpool pre-FSG era.
Now that the money is not a problem but the age is, Liverpool should part with the player if Wolfsburg come knocking on the door again in summer.
4. Paul " Roy's Pet" Konchesky
Konchesky: A bad scouse dream?
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Arguably one of the worst signings of Roy Hodgson- the former Liverpool Manager.
It is very well known that football managers tend to bring a player or two with them when they leave one club for another. For this matter, Liverpool fans would have forgiven Roy Hodgson if he had brought anyone but Konchesky in last summer.
Paul Konchesky is one of the most experienced left backs in Premier League but he, like Roy Hodgson, was at a wrong club.
The hoof-ball mastermind knows everything Roy Hodgson taught him during his Fulham years and found himself out of favour when King Kenny was established as Liverpool manager in January.
He was accused of being too mediocre and his performances didn't help rectify his cause either.
The worse part of the whole failure was that he was brought in to fulfill the most dreadful of positions in Liverpool team. The left back position.
Many people would have received a "Doctorate" degree by submitting their thesis on " Liverpool must strengthen Left back (and Left midfield) ASAP with QUALITY player."
If that was not enough, the Englishman's mother made sure her son would receive enough wrath from Liverpool fans by suggesting Liverpool fans are "Scouse Scum" after their defeat at Stoke City.
Kenny Dalglish clearly knew the ex-Fulham left back was not up to the task and sent him on loan to Nottingham Forest during the January transfer window and appointed Glen Johnson on the role.
Out of everyone's surprise, Johnson has been giving his best performances on the totally opposite side of his normal playing position.
The 29-year-old Konchesky will definitely be out of Anfield in summer. One of the possible destinations is back at Craven Cottage where Mark Hughes seems to be interested in the left back.
1. Taye Taiwo:
The 25-year-old Nigerian football player currently plays at Olympique de Marseille at left back position.
This month, Taiwo clearly made his intentions to move away from OM club clear when he said he will not be signing the contract extension next season.
World football seems to be devoid of enough quality left backs these days. Taiwo's physical presence makes him a distinguish left back.
Pace, power and high crossing ability come with Taiwo, whose contract expires at the end of the season making him free agent.
It seems like the Nigerian has already picked his club for his free transfer in summer. He was quoted saying his agent alongside him are in advanced talks with a club in one of the top three leagues in the world.
Could this club be Liverpool? Only time will tell.
2. Fabio Coentrao:
Perhaps the best, or one of the best, left backs in world football. The Benfica left wing back is considered as one of the highest priced left back and has been linked with Man Utd and Real Madrid.
The 22-year-old Portuguese can also play as a left winger but primarily he is employed at left back position.
Rumours were suggesting he reportedly said "I love Liverpool" which might suggest his interest in the Anfield club.
Coentrao also said that he would be interested in being coached by the special one, Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.
Since Patrice Evra signed a new four-year deal, Man Utd most likely will not be chasing the Portuguese. That leaves Real Madrid as the major threat to Liverpool for Coentrao's signature.
Coentrao will cost about £25 million should FSG, along with Damien Comolli, decide to finally put an end to the troublesome left back headache at the club.
Andy Carrol, Kenny Dalglish and Luis Suarez: All Liverpool need is a few more of these quality
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Kenny Dalglish's Anfield revolution will not be completed unless the club removes these dead woods and replace them with some quality players just how they did in January.
A final team should look more threatening on every aspect of the pitch.
GK: Pepe Reina, Brad Jones
Full Backs: Glen Johnson, Martin Kelly, Fabio Coentrao/ Taye Taiwo, Fabio Aurelio.
Centre Backs: Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Soto, Wilson
Defensive Midfielders: Lucas Leiva, Christian Poulsen
Attacking Midfielders: Steven Gerrard, Raul Meireles, Keisuke Honda, Jonjo Shelvey, Alberto Aquilani
Wingers: Eden Hazard, Ashley Young/ Charles N'Zogbia, Dirk Kuyt
Strikers: Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez, David N'gog
At the end of the day, Liverpool will need to spend about the same money they spent during January transfer window to make sure they are finally ready for a revolution next season.
Of course these are the possibilities without taking into consideration of two major futuristic activities.
1. The possibility of other then the listed players wanting to leave the club in summer
2. Kenny Dalglish's interest in youth development may restrict the in-flux of new players.