With more than five central midfielders in the club, competition for a place in the starting lineup will be fierce, and with the signing of Charlie Adam, Raul Meireles's future looks uncertain.
Kenny Dalglish has been chasing Adam for the past six months—and for good reason. Dalgish finally got him and paid around ₤9 million for his services.
Now he has those two and Gerrard fighting it out for the attacking mid position. With Gerrard an almost certainty, it's for Kenny to decide between Adam and the Portuguese.
Well then, who will be the first choice? Let us compare them and take a look.
At 28, he is at the peak of his career. But this peak may last only about a a year or so.
He is definitely NOT one for the future, and hence FSG may have some say about it. But the age factor MAY also mean that he has more experience handling big games and pressure situations.
Most of the time, it's the veterans who come to the rescue during need. Hence, he would be more suitable as an impact player coming out from the bench and changing the course of the game.
He too is probably at the peak of his career, but as he is just 25, it may be a few years before his stamina starts to wane.
Adam wins this round.
He is one of the most versatile players out there. He may not be made for the English game, but he adapted very quickly.
When you look at stamina, Meireles is one of the fittest players in the Premier League, running an average of 8.1 km per match.
Although he also can run around the pitch for the full 90 minutes, his distance covered is a little less, which means that Meireles would probably be better at pressing opponents.
He may not be the best passer of the ball, but he can create chances quite regularly. His short-range passing is effective, but the long-rang ones falter sometimes.
He's quite brilliant when it comes to passing. Penetrating passes, lofted ones, ones that are drilled low ,short range, long range etc. etc.—you name them and he can do them. No wonder he is being compared with Xabi Alonso and Jan Molby.
He is also gifted with great vision.
Shooting and Set Pieces
He has a great right foot, can deliver good crosses into the box, and was a regular for set pieces in the absence of Steven Gerrard.
But, he cannot score from free kicks and has neither the raw power of Gerrard nor the curling ability of Adam.
He has a sweet left foot. He generally takes the majority of his corners from the right side, sending in an in-curling ball to the head (ideal for Carroll).
His direct free kicks are dangerous too, with both power and accuracy. He is most effective when at the center and the ball curling to the top right corner .
I suppose both are at almost the same level when it comes to set pieces, but Adam definitely has the upper hand. Meireles has the better shooting and volleying ability, though.
So no points here!
Attacking Attributes and Goalscoring
Having scored five goals in six games last season, he has earned himself the tag of a prolific goal scorer. His screaming volleys gave nightmares to keepers, and he also pitched in with six assists.
He is also known for scoring goals. He scored 12 goals and provided nine assists last season, though some of them were from set pieces.
Their technical abilities and defensive attributes are pretty much the same. Also, they are equally good (or bad) aerially.
By considering these factors, Adam seems more suited for the starting lineup; Meireles as an impact player. Of course, this is just an opinion.
Note: The point system was done in good spirits, and was not intended to cause any harm or disrespect.