Liverpool Transfers: Top 7 Players for Kenny Dalglish to Sign
Almost two decades after last managing Liverpool, Kenny Dalglish returned to Anfield, and has brought renewed belief to Liverpool.
For me, looking at this Liverpool team, there are three glaring transfer needs: wingers on both sides, and a reliable left back.
Yet my number one player that Dalglish should sign struggled as a forward last season.
1. Marko Arnautović
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- Club: Werder Bremen
- Position: Centre forward/right winger/left winger
- Age: 22
- Nationality: Austrian
Marko Arnautović failed at Inter Milan, and has so far failed at Werder Bremen, why should he be Kenny Dalglish’s number one transfer target?
Arnautović was never given a chance at Inter Milan, because he dared to disagree with then manager José Mourinho—it didn’t help Arnautović that he hung around Mario Balotelli, and was partying when he was supposed to be recuperating from injury.
At Werder Bremen, Arnautović again disagreed with the manager, this time it was Thomas Schaaf. Then there was partying, getting into fights whilst he wasn’t scoring goals and whist Werder Bremen were struggling—talk about a lack of professionalism.
He has become a burden for Werder Bremen, and having been bought for €6.2 million, there is no doubt in mind that Werder Bremen would accept a €10 million bid for Arnautović.
For a player who has world class potential, who in the past has looked world class, has all characteristics except the mentality to become the world class player—€10 million is worth the risk.
There are parallels between Arnautović and Cristiano Ronaldo, both are exceptionally skilful, tall, strong, and mobile—though Arnautović is taller, stronger, and more comfortable with his weaker foot.
For Arnautović to succeed, manager Kenny Dalglish would need to play him as a right/left sided forward in a 4-3-3.
Why Daglish should sign Arnautović: There is so much upside to his game, that Daglish should take the risk in trying to tame Arnautović even though he has run-ins with managers.
Why Daglish shouldn’t sign Arnautović: He disregards authority, he always thinks he is right, he parties too much, and he is not professional enough. His Anfield career could end up like Ryan Babel.
2. Marco Reus
- Club: Borussia Mönchengladbach
- Position: Right/left winger
- Age: 22
- Nationality: German
Like Marko Marin, it’s quite obvious that Marco Reus will develop into a great player, especially when he leaves for a bigger club.
Marin is more developed, more expensive, more in-line with his game right now—but there isn’t a lot separating the two, plus Reus will be cheaper.
Reus is blessed with a lot of speed, his dribbling ability plus his vision allows him to thrive.
He’s exciting to watch, efficient and talented, so why should manager Kenny Dalglish sign Reus for €25-plus million in a few years, when he’s doing the exact same thing right now, but for a smaller club.
Why not pay the €15 million right now (his buyout clause)?
Why Daglish should sign Reus: Talented winger who’ll not only provide a legitimate wide option, but assists, goals and spectacular plays.
Why Daglish shouldn’t sign Reus: Can he adjust to life without being the star on the team? What happens to Dirk Kuyt?
3. Jordi Alba
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- Club: Valencia
- Position: Left winger/left back
- Age: 22
- Nationality: Spanish
What? But why not Jordi Alba’s more experienced and more proven teammate Juan Manuel Mata?
Well Valencia are crippled with debts of €500 million, they are desperate, and they will milk as much money from Mata as possible.
They’ll ask Liverpool if you paid £35 million for Andy Carroll, why don’t you pay £40-50 for our Mata who is a better player?
According to Guillem Balague, at GuillemBalague.com, Mata has a buyout clause of €60 million, which should give you an idea of how much Valencia value Mata.
Unless Valencia are willing to be rational, accept a £20-25 million bid for Mata, then Daglish should go for Alba.
Of course Alba hasn’t looked world class with someone as good Mata ahead of him, but he has shown quality and promise.
Manager Unai Emery has played Alba at left back this season, and Alba has shown tenacious defending, terrific pace and tried his best even played out of position or off the bench.
For me, when Mata leaves, Alba will flourish and develop into an exceptional player, if played as a left winger.
If Liverpool make a £8-12 million bid for Alba, can Valencia resist?
Why Daglish should sign Alba: Has shown some quality at left back, a lot of pace, and has a good future ahead of him either as a left back or as a left winger.
Why Daglish shouldn’t sign Alba: Not proven, not guaranteed to succeed right away which is what Liverpool want. Instead of a fair £8-12 million for Alba, Valencia may inflate it to £20 million. Then again, Valencia may simply not even sell Alba this summer, knowing the potential he has to generate them more money if he develops in seasons to come.
4. José Enrique
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- Club: Newcastle
- Position: Left back
- Age: 25
- Nationality: Spanish
José Enrique’s consistent performances have allowed his name to be mentioned as a transfer target for teams struggling for a left back.
I like what Enrique brings: defensive stability and efficient distribution of possession.
With Newcastle owner Mike Mike Ashley looking to reduce the debt by selling his best players, Enrique becomes a viable option, especially with his contract ending in 12 months time.
Why Daglish should sign Enrique: Would be an easy plug for the left back problem, which has seen Andrea Dossena, Emiliano Insúa and Fábio Aurélio all fail at becoming a long term option.
Why Daglish shouldn’t sign Enrique: Doesn’t offer the same dynamism like Fábio Coentrão or Marcelo.
5. Royston Drenthe
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- Club: Real Madrid
- Position: Left wing back
- Age: 24
- Nationality: Dutch
Sid Lowe at guardian.co.uk reported Royston Drenthe’s swift fall from grace at Hércules. From being their new poster boy, Drenthe soon became public enemy number one, as he refused to play citing money he was owed by the club.
Hércules were relegated, and Drenthe’s career has been in limbo ever since.
That being said, Drenthe is up there with explosiveness, you don’t get many players like him in world football. He throws his body around, he tries his heart out, and he has pace to burn. Oh and he can play at left back, which is what Liverpool need.
Granted his defence is as hit and miss like Glen Johnson, but he can be an explosive option off the bench.
Real Madrid don’t need him, Hércules don’t want him, surely Real Madrid will be forced to sell Drenthe at a severe loss—they bought him for €14 million from Feyenoord in 2007.
Though one stumbling block is Real Madrid may include Drenthe as part of bid to sign Fábio Coentrão.
Why Daglish should sign Drenthe: Explosive player who will come at a cut price.
Why Daglish shouldn’t sign Drenthe: Lacks discipline and he failed at Real Madrid, so what’s to say he won’t fail at Liverpool?
6. D. J. Campbell
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- Club: Blackpool
- Position: Centre forward
- Age: 29
- Nationality: English
Seemingly D. J. Campbell was always there at right time and right position to score once against for Blackpool.
13 goals last season is very impressive, especially for Blackpool.
Signing Campbell would more so be as a backup, and look, he’s never played for a big club, and so even knowing that he’ll sit on the bench may not sway his decision to play at Anfield.
According to Sky Sports, Queens Park Rangers have made a £1.25 million bid for Campbell—I’m sure Liverpool will have no troubles beating that sum.
Why Daglish should sign Campbell: Is a handy option off the bench, and will fill the gap left by David N'Gog, who is set to leave.
Why Daglish shouldn’t sign Campbell: May be a liability off the pitch. Is he alright with warming the benches for extended periods of the season?
7. Andrea Cossu
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- Club: Cagliari
- Position: Attacking midfielder/right winger/left winger
- Age: 31
- Nationality: Italian
The best way to describe Andrea Cossu is as a poor man’s Andrés Iniesta.
Cossu’s vision, his dribbling ability, his exceptional passing are traits which enable him to play anywhere in midfield.
Yes he has told Gazzetta dello Sport that he wants to remain a Cagliari player for life. However he has never played for a big club, and would he change that statement change if manager Kenny Dalglish told him he wanted him at Anfield? Probably.
What does Cossu have to lose? If he fails at Anfield, he can always return back to Cagliari.
Cossu is a more attacking option off the bench than Maxi Rodríguez, whose passing for the majority of the season has been conservative—though he did have an absurd purple patch in form towards the end of the season.
Why Daglish should sign Cossu: Good impact player off the bench, he’s not conservative with possession and will add depth to the midfield.
Why Daglish shouldn’t sign Cossu: Is he willing to go out of his comfort zone? At 31 years of age, is it better to sign someone younger, or promote within the academy?
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