Liverpool Transfer Rumours: 8 Players Who Would Help Win EPL Title
It's been a long time since Liverpool were crowned champions of England.
May 5th 1990 was the last day of the Reds' last Premier League celebration. Time and Warner had just merged, the Cold War was finally winding down and concepts like social media and "tweeting" hadn't even been conceived yet.
Thanks to some success in Europe (two Champions League finals and a UEFA cup win) over the past 10 years fans have given their team some time to get back to the top of the mountain domestically as they have seen rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal all win multiple championships over the past 15 years.
Now, it is the only thing on their minds.
This year, Manchester United captured their 19th domestic title, breaking the tie they had with the Reds. This does not sit well with the fans and time is of the essence for Liverpool to get back to where they belong.
After appointing Kenny Daglish as manager in January, the Reds gathered a bit of momentum to finish the season with some fine performances. Fans are hopeful that this can be the season they take down their hated rivals and finally capture their 19th crown. To do this, they will have to add a bit of quality to their current roster.
Here are eight players who would help Liverpool reach their ultimate goal.
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The deal that looks finally ready to be done after a six-month process should satisfy Liverpool fans.
After Blackpool raised their asking price too far in January, Liverpool simply waited for the seaside club to drop into England's second tier and now they have a bargain.
Adam had a splendid season for Blackpool despite the relegation. He scored 12 goals in 35 league games from midfield and practically influenced every goal the high-scoring team put in the back of the net.
Without him, Blackpool would probably have been relegated with the fewest points in league history. When you can score 55 league goals in a season when D.J. Campbell, Jason Puncheon and Gary Taylor-Fletcher are leading your front line, I mean that pretty much sums it up.
It's debatable whether or not Charlie Adam is an elite player. He could be just a hard-working talisman that is best suited to play for a less-talented club, but given the £8 million he will likely cost it is certainly worth the risk. He is the type of guy that could come in and have a major impact for a bargain price.
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Another transfer saga that seems like it's been going on for years has involved Stewart Downing.
Now, it finally appears that he will be plying his trade at Anfield next year.
The 26-year-old has been highly rated for years now and it looks like he will be playing for a top-shelf team in 2011-12. There are rumours that he handed in a transfer request to express his move to Liverpool, so I wouldn't be surprised if this deal wasn't done in a day or two.
The England international has 27 caps to his name and is one of the few rare wingers in the game today. He played in each of Aston Villa's 38 EPL matches a year ago so Liverpool fans need not worry about his reliability.
Downing is exactly the type of player Liverpool needs. How many years have you heard Reds fans screaming "we need wingers, not guys that cut in on their bad foot?" Downing would bring balance and quality to the midfield that has already has some playmakers who can make things happen.
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Goals from set pieces.
Probably the most complained about situation for Liverpool over the past few seasons is how they seem to give up the simplest goals from the most simplest of plays.
Adding this guy to the fold would certainly help that Achilles heel.
Cristian Zapata has been a rock at the back of Udinese's defense for the past few seasons and the 6'2" Colombian would fare just as well against the attackers of the Premier League.
Some fans worry he just be another Andrea Dossena disaster, but they are nowhere near each other in class and Zapata would be a star that would help Liverpool capture the EPL if he were to arrive in this transfer window.
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Here is another solution to Liverpool's wide-play woes.
Aaron Lennon is one of those players that can take over a game at the drop of a hat. His dazzling runs from midfield often get him into great positions for crosses. His pace and skill have been a problem for opposing defenders since arriving at White Hart Lane in 2005.
There are some rumours that Lennon may leave the club during this window, and a move to Anfield would delight the Liverpool faithful. It does seem unlikely at this point but he would certainly help supply excellent deliveries for the high-priced strike duo of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll.
Last season wasn't his best in Tottenham colours (two assists in 25 EPL games), but a move to Liverpool would likely reignite his career and get him back on track. At his best, there are few better than Aaron Lennon.
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One aspect of having a championship-winning team is being able to bring players off the bench to have a significant impact.
Liverpool have lacked this over the past several seasons, despite numerous efforts to build a quality bench.
Ryad Boudebouz would be a perfect fit in this role, as the 21-year-old has come into his own at Sochaux over the past two seasons. He continues to develop as a footballer and if you watch him play you can tell the quality is certainly there and down the road he could become a superstar.
Liverpool have already signed Jordan Henderson and are strongly linked with a few wide players, so how many midfielders they will roll with come August is debatable. But adding a player like Ryad Boudebouz to the mix would add to the depth of the squad, giving players like Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard plenty of rest.
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Quality fullbacks are a rare commodity in the English game, and having them on your team is an important key in unlocking opposing defenses.
Glen Johnson has been a solid player to Liverpool's cause since arriving from Portsmouth and has shown moments of absolute brilliance. The fact remains, however, that they need help on the left side of the field when building attacks and Newcastle's Jose Enrique would be a perfect fit.
When Newcastle originally signed the player in 2007, Liverpool (shocking, Rafa Benitez was the manager) were highly after the Spaniard. He has developed into one of the best wing backs in England, a spot where Liverpool is sorely lacking.
Adding Jose Enrique to the starting XI would add a bit of everything to the team and give them a bit of a lift as they battle Manchester United and Chelsea for the title.
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OK, so we all know that Liverpool unloaded the wheelbarrows full of cash to sign Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll in January after the Reds were purchased by Fenway Sports Group. However the pair only netted six league goals in a combined 19 appearances.
I'm not suggesting that the duo will be a complete flop (Carroll had injury issues and Suarez was adjusting to life in the Premier League, but adding a third striker into the mix could make Liverpool a real threat for the title in 2011-12.
Mario Gomez is a goal scorer, plain and simple. Since the 2006-2007 season, he has scored 95 goals in 143 league games for Stuttgart and Bayern Munich, including an amazing 28 goals in 32 games this past season. The 25-year-old appears ready for another strong campaign as he enters his prime.
The fact is, he is a superior player to both Suarez and Carroll, so adding him would be an upgrade to the Merseyside club.
These rumours were hot last year as well when Roy Hodgson was in charge, but last year's campaign may just bring that link back to life. The German has shown that he can find the back of the net at the highest level and signing him would be a major coup for Liverpool heading into next season.
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Should the Stewart Downing plan fall through, here is a pretty nice backup plan to Liverpool's left wing problems.
Juan Manuel Mata has blossomed into one of the best wingers in the world today. The 5'7" speedster can do amazing things with the football and has been a vital cog in Valencia's back-to-back third place Primera finishes.
The former Real Madrid prodigy was snapped up by Los Che in 2007 and the 23-year-old playmaker has not looked back. He has netted 33 goals in 127 league games and has broken into the Spanish national team as a result of his outstanding play.
I feel Mata is a better player than Downing and would be a much better addition, but he is wanted by the best clubs in the world and may opt for a move elsewhere. Having a player like Mata in the fold would instantly make Liverpool a far more dangerous team in their quest for a 19th Premier League title.