Liverepool FC: 10 Players the Reds Should Sign in January
After a somewhat disappointing, yet understandable 1-1 draw against Sunderland, Liverpool may still not be the finished article that manager Kenny Dalglish needs in order to challenge for the title. A feat he says is possible by Liverpool this season but as we all know there's still a lot of work to be done at Anfield.
With the comforting statement by Liverpool owner John W. Henry that Dalglish will still be allowed to splash the cash this season, it may be a case that Dalglish waits until the January transfer window opens before he opens the cheque book.
As I'm sure all Liverpool fans will be well aware, last season in January we saw that addition of "El Pistolero" himself, Luis Suarez, and the Geordie Giant that is Andy Carroll. Both helped Liverpool salvage something from a difficult first half of the season under former manager Roy Hodgson.
So that could be a case of seeing new addition to the squad; however let's hope it is to push for a title or Champions League place, rather than just a top 10 spot.
So here's 10 players that could all be available in January and that could all add something to the Liverpool squad.
1. Christian Eriksen
Well we might as well all say it together: another midfielder?
To be fair this boy's a bit special and at just 19, he's already one of the key players for Ajax in the Dutch Eredivisie.
A very creative player and similar to Steven Gerrard in that he plays best in the hole behind the striker, he is also more than capable of providing creativity and flair in a more central midfield position alongside Lucas Leiva or Charlie Adam. He's probably more similar then to Alberto Aquilani in that sense, and with the fitness and future of the Italian playmaker still in doubt after last weekend, he could be a perfect fit to takeover the mantle from Gerrard as well as provide a creative spark at the centre of our midifeld.
Many of you might remember Eriksen from when Liverpool played Ajax in the Europa League awhile back now and the Dane impressed back then, with Roy Hodgson trying to pry the midfield talent away from the Ajax squad.
Unfortunately Hodgson was unsuccessful, but maybe the combined charm and talents of King Kenny and Damien Comolli could convince Ajax to let go of their midfield maestro. After all it's only a matter of time before Gerrard gets injured again while the mystery hovering over Aquilani has become farcical. So bringing in an Ajax-trained midfielder, who is good with both feet and can score as well as create goals, could be a great well to boost the squad come January.
2. Nicolas Otamendi
If the 1-1 draw against Sunderland is anything to go by, it's the lack of depth and quality at the back Liverpool currently have.
John Flanagan is a suitable third-choice right back but that is his limit at the moment. Jamie Carragher really doesn't have the legs to play a full season in my opinion but he proved stable against opposition like Sunderland (for the most part). Then of course there's the injury-prone Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel, who doesn't get the praise he deserves.
A bit of fresh talent at the back then is what's needed. There's been a lot of talk about Bolton's Gary Cahill and Birmingham's Scott Dann, but the price for these players is apparently a sticking point with Liverpool and other clubs like Arsenal.
The Argentinian Nicolas Otamendi could be a great way to bolster Liverpool's defence. Young, talented, strong, quick (for a centre-back anyway) and able to play across the whole defensive line, he'd be a welcome addition to any team in any league.
The only difficulty regarding Otamendi could be the fact that he's so highly valued at current club Porto. However with the departure of Andre Villas-Boas to Chelsea and the fact that Liverpool are a team on the up, could persuade the commanding centre-back to have a change of location and be apart of a great club like Liverpool.
3. Miralem Pjanic
Here's another attacking midfielder but let's be honest: Liverpool would be fantastic at playing a 4-6-0 formation, particular if a talent like the Bosnian Miralem Pjanic plays alongside Steven Gerrard and Charlie Adam to form some sort of brutal yet eloquent midfield triumvirate.
Currently playing in the French Ligue 1, which has brought the Premier some of its finest talents such as Didier Drogba, Flourent Malouda, Michael Essien and Gervinho, a step up to the Premier League could be a great move for Lyon's Pjanic, much like it has been for so many other former Ligue 1 players (although Gervinho maybe wondering why he bothered after last weekend).
Pjanic again is another attacking midfielder who plays in the same role as Gerrard, but having another playing like the current Liverpool captain surely can't be a bad thing?
Especially when you consider Pjanic can create just as many chances as he can score, after being described by Sky's scouts as an "old-fashioned playmaker with huge technical qualities," he would be a welcome addition to an already-packed midfield at Anfield.
The one factor that may hinder his arrival is the lack of European football Liverpool are currently suffering from. But will he trade this for a regular spot within a great squad and the opportunity to be apart of a historic club and Kenny Dalglish's new project?
4. Nolan Roux
The 23-year-old Stade Brest striker maybe a familiar name to some Liverpool supporters, considering the club was linked with him early on in the summer transfer window.
Predicted for some big things by French pundits (although they're the same people who predicted David N'Gog to be the next Thierry Henry), Nolan Roux could be a perfect backup striker to Carroll or Suarez and could compliment either one quite well.
He possesses all the attributes needed for a good striker, with pace, strength and control. Priced at just £7 million he could very well be the answer to replacing either Andy Carroll or Luis Suarez if injury hits them this season. He'd be a better alternative to N'Gog.
During the summer transfer window Roux was reported at being very close to signing for Liverpool but things all went quiet and nothing was ever heard again of the striker. However come January if Roux continues to impress in Ligue 1, he may become more than just a blip on Kenny's radar.
5. Matt Jarvis
Jarvis is an absolutely quality if not a typical English winger who has had a great spell with current club Wolverhampton, so great in fact he's received attention from not only Liverpool but Arsenal, Tottenham and Aston Villa as well.
A great winger who can play either wing and cross a ball with either foot who raises his game against the big teams, Matt Jarvis would be a great lift to any club that would pay to have him. With the addition of Stewart Downing at Liverpool, a great winger like Jarvis playing on the right could offer some great service to the strikers up front, as well as freeing up Kuyt to play in his natural position up front.
When you consider the price of Downing or even Jordan Henderson, it would be realistic to assume that Jarvis would cost no more, much less in fact, and Wolves would most likely allow a talented player to move to a bigger club like Liverpool.
Plus when you think about the January transfer window, most signings are usually made between teams in the same league, and Jarvis would be much cheaper than any foreign import come the New Year.
6. Gary Cahill
Gary Cahill is one of the most sought after centre-backs this season and for good reason too. He's tall, strong, good with the ball in the air or at his feet, and his overall presence lifts the teams he plays in. Just look at Bolton's win at the weekend for evidence of just how much Cahill can run the show at the back.
With Liverpool's interest in Scott Dann fading, the interest in Cahill has steadily increased, although now it looks like Bolton will wait it out until January before selling their key man at the back. Despite Bolton's firm stance on his valuation, interest in the English centre-back is numerous, with Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City all linked to Cahill. Competition to sign the defender will be fierce.
However there's one thing that Liverpool can offer him that perhaps other clubs can't, and that's a guaranteed starting place week after week. With Agger injury prone and Carragher's legs faded, Cahill will easily find himself in a Liverpool staring XI that offer clubs just might not be able to commit to.
7. Joey Barton
Joey Barton is the want-away central midfield (yes another one...) and general bad boy, who according to his Twitter is a target for officials and players.
Ignoring his past discrepancies, Barton is a magnificent midfielder. He's able to pass and move the ball, bully others off it, strong in the challenge (which in the past is a slight understatement) and has an all-around positive impact on a team's passage of play. He's perhaps a victim of his own undoing for not really making an impact at the international level with England, but secretly he's the centre-mid all teams want but won't admit.
Born on the Merseyside, he is a former teammate of Andy Carroll and an absolute rock for Newcastle. Put him in a midfield alongside Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard, and he can produce some real problems for any opposition.
When you consider the fact that Barton wants away from Newcastle and the opportunity of reforming the Carroll-Barton partnership that worked so well for Newcastle in the past, come January Barton could be a real possibility.
8. Daniel Sturridge
Another player linked with Liverpool and a player that was said to be part of the Fernando Torres deal, Daniel Sturridge is somewhat of an overlooked player at Chelsea; Liverpool may look to take advantage of that and offer the young striker a lifeline.
He's another young Englishman and another potential replacement for David N'Gog if he leaves; the difference being Sturridge can play on the wing and cut inside as well as play as a centre forward as his time on loan at Bolton proved last season.
This year will be a make-or-break season for Sturridge and his Chelsea career, with a new manager to impress in Villas-Boas and talented players like Malouda, Kalou, Torres and Drogba all ahead of him in the pecking order. He may find he wants to move away from the club sooner rather than later. If that becomes the case in January next year, Liverpool may want to go back and pick themselves up a talented striker on the cheap.
9. Stuart Holden
Stuart Holden is one of the United States' best players and a sturdy midfield presence for Bolton Wanderers. Following a horrific leg injury requiring 26 stitches to mend a cruciate ligament injury, Holden has returned to full fitness and last year was voted as Bolton's Player of the Year.
With a great ability to hold the ball all across the midfield line and competent ability at set pieces that has been compared to David Beckham (perhaps over enthusiastically), he's been a great servant to Bolton. He's also a great holding midfielder in which, after Lucas Leiva at Liverpool, there's a short supply.
Players like Holden are few and far between, offering a blend of passing ability and physicality that Liverpool could really use in those fixtures when the opponents bring a brutal approach in the midfield.
Signing Holden though might be tricky. Bolton's manager, Owen Coyle, is a big fan of the player and always drives a hard bargain; just look at the Cahill situation. Then of course there's the question of Liverpool's already packed midfield, but with no real cover for Lucas if injury hits, it maybe wise to invest in a complete holding midfielder like Stuart Holden.
10. Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson is a terrific winger for Manchester City who looks set to be a fantastic player for the England squad under Fabio Capello. It's a shame then that the youngster doesn't seem to get the game time he deserves under City boss Roberto Mancini.
However in a team that has the talents of David Silva, Mario Balotelli and James Milner, it is perhaps understandable why Johnson struggles to make an impact for the City.
However an adaptable winger like Adam Johnson would be more a welcome addition to Liverpool's squad, so long as fans can get over the stigma of signing a former Manc. However with so many clubs wanting to take the player away from Man City, either through loan deals or permanent transfer, Liverpool would face stiff competition to sign the wonder kid.