Liverpool: 5 Players the Reds Need to Win the Premier League
Liverpool's fortunes have been on an upswing in the last two months.
The team has been performing well under Kenny Dalglish with players like Raul Meireles, Lucas Leiva and Dirk Kuyt putting in some impressive performances.
The defense has also shown a greater resolve. The West Ham game was the only blip in an otherwise impressive stretch of performances from the Liverpool defense.
Suarez has also had an immediate impact at Liverpool with impressive performances against West Ham and Manchester United. The Liverpool fans would be hoping that Andy Carroll is also able to do the same.
However, there still are obvious shortcomings in the Liverpool squad which cannot be overlooked.
The owners did well to address one of those areas in the January window, with the signings of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll.
To compete for the Premier League again, however, the other areas need to be strengthened as well, with signings required both in the midfield as well as defense.
The fans would want Liverpool to win the elusive 19th title sooner than later.
Lets have a look at five players who could help Liverpool achieve that dream.
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Present Club: Aston Villa
Expected Price: £15-18m
Age: 25 Years
Liverpool has been lacking a decent winger for a long time now. Luis Garcia was probably the last successful winger that the team had.
Since then, Liverpool have had many failed signings in the form of Ryan Babel and Albert Riera.
Currently, the team plays Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez on the wings, which is an unnatural position for both those players.
With the addition of Andy Carroll to the Liverpool squad, the need for a winger has become even more important and Ashley Young might be one of the answers to that problem.
Comolli has openly spoken about his appreciation for the Villa winger.
His pace down the wings and his experience playing in the Premier League makes him an attractive prospect. He is also a versatile player who can play on either wing and can also deputize as a second striker in case either Suarez or Carroll are missing.
With only 18 months left on his contract, Villa may consider selling him in the summer rather than risk losing him for free next season.
Even Young seems to be intent on leaving as he has not had any contract talks with the Villa management.
The new owners seem to be willing to back the manager in the transfer market, which might just be enough to ward off interest from Manchester United for the player.
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Current Club: Galatasaray
Expected Price: £12-15m
Age: 24 Years
Anyone who knows the Liverpool squad knows that the signing of just one winger is not good enough. Liverpool definitely needs a couple of them to play on either wing to get the balance right.
Arda Turan might be the second winger that Liverpool require.
Turan has played all his life in Galatasaray, notching up over 100 appearances for the club and 43 appearances for his national side, Turkey.
The league might not be the most competitive in the world, but Turan has gained invaluable Champions League experience during his stay in Galatasaray.
He can play both as an attacking midfielder as well as a left winger. His pace and dribbling skills are considered to be his strengths. For a Liverpool team clearly lacking in creativity, he might just be the ideal addition to the squad.
He has already endeared himself to the Kop faithfuls by saying: “As I always mention, Liverpool attracts me because of their tradition. In Europe, I am a Liverpool supporter, so if I go to play in Europe, I would like to play for them.”
Like Suarez was at Ajax, Turan is the captain of Galatasaray at a very young age, which speaks volumes. The fans would hope that he is able to make a similar impact if he comes to Anfield.
If there's been just one player who has been linked with Liverpool for the longest time, Arda Turan would definitely be on that list and at 24-years of age, it just might be the ideal time to finally sign the youngster.
Current Club: Saint-Etienne
Expected Price: £6-8m
Age: 23 Years
Since the departure of Javier Mascherano, Lucas Leiva and Christian Poulson have been entrusted with the duties of playing as the defensive midfielders.
Though Lucas has improved by leaps and bounds this season, he is still not as good as Mascherano. Also, Poulson's performances on the field have been dismal and he is expected to be sold after just one season at Anfield.
With only one decent defensive midfielder in Lucas available, another defensive midfielder is required to bring in some competition as well as cover in the area.
Blaise Matuidi seems to be a player who could fill that void.
He has notched up over 120 appearances for Saint-Etienne and has also recently earned a call-up to the French national team.
His style is said to be somewhat similar to Mascherano, with a number of pundits describing him as a "fierce and strong tackler."
Arriving from Saint-Etienne, Comolli is a known admirer of the 23-year old Frenchmen and at that young age, he would fit in very well with FSG's youth policy.
With Comolli in-charge at Liverpool, he might just be able to use his Saint-Etienne connections to ward off all competition for the youngster and get the player to sign for Liverpool.
Current Club: Benfica
Expected Price: £20-25m
Age: 22 Years
Liverpool's problems at left-back have been well documented.
With the constant injuries to Fabio Aurelio and the obvious lack of quality of Paul Konchesky, Kenny Dalglish has been forced to play Glen Johnson in the unfamiliar role.
Highly impressive in the World Cup, Coentrao was one of the few Portuguese players who did not disappoint.
His bursts of speed down the flanks at times also outshone the most decorated player in the side, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Though known more for his attacking skills, he is also quite solid defensively. As a result, he has become one of the most sought-after left backs in the world.
He would also fit in well with Kenny Dalglish's tactics of playing five defenders, as Coentrao might be more effective as a wing-back than a full-back.
Manchester United were also said to be in the race for the 22-year old, but with Patrice Evra signing a new deal, they are expected to be out of the race. That leaves only Liverpool and Real Madrid with a realistic chance to land the left back.
With compatriot Raul Meireles already making the switch to Anfield in the summer, the fans might just be hoping for a Portuguese revolution at Anfield.
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Current Club: Birmingham City
Expected Price: £10m
Age: 23 Years
Many fans would like to believe that Liverpool does not have any immediate need to sign a player at center back.
However, with Jamie Carragher aging and Daniel Agger prone to injuries, Liverpool are in need of a solid center back.
Dann, a Liverpudlian by birth, has been at the heart of the Birmingham defense for the past two years and has formed a great partnership with Roger Johnson.
Their combination has been one of the reasons for Birmingham's awesome defensive showing—one that gave St. Andrew's the reputation of a fortress last season.
If Dann is indeed signed, Liverpool would be hoping that he is able to form a similar partnership with the impressive Daniel Agger.
His tackling abilities and his presence in the air make him the ideal central defender.
With none of the current Liverpool defenders, bar Kyrgiakos, being exceptionally good in the air, the addition of Scott Dann to the defense, along with the presence of Andy Carroll, might just be the solution to Liverpool's woes in set-piece situations.
With only 18 months left on his contract and Birmingham not being able to offer the player an improved one, the Blues might sell him this summer rather than see him leave for free next season.
Dann is also former Liverpool season ticket holder and Liverpool fans might relish the prospect of getting more of a local flavor in the side.
Will That Be Enough?
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Though Liverpool has seen some of its lowest points in recent history, the signing of the five players mentioned might just be enough to make the club a top contender again.
The development of youngsters coming through the ranks from the Reserves and the Academy is also equally important for the club to go forward.
With players like Kelly, Shelvey and Wilson already knocking on the doors as well as promising youngsters in Coady, Sterling and Suso waiting, the future might just be bright for Liverpool.
Winning the league in the first year itself might be too tough a task for the Reds. However, as and when the team gels together, it may turn into one of the most formidable teams in the country.