Liverpool Transfer Rumors: Would Reds Suffer Without Blues Target Raul Meireles?

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Liverpool Transfer Rumors: Would Reds Suffer Without Blues Target Raul Meireles?
BRAGA, PORTUGAL - MARCH 09: Raul Meireles of Liverpool attends a press conference at Estadio Municipal de Braga ahead of their UEFA Europa League Round of 16 match against Braga on March 9, 2011 in Braga, Portugal. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Speculation is mounting that out-of-favour Liverpool midfielder Raul Meireles is drawing late interest from Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas.

The proposed deal would see Meireles exit Anfield with promising striker Daniel Sturridge going in the opposite direction.

While it is true that Liverpool do indeed lack back-up at the front, one can't help but wonder if such a decision would be detriment to the squad.

Some are still perplexed at the sight of Meireles sitting on the bench. At this moment in time, he is second fiddle to signings Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam.

This is even before skipper Steven Gerrard returns to the squad.

Consequently there is certain possibility that the Portuguese player's days of featuring in the starting lineup are over.

Should they be?

It is only two games into the season, but let's take a look at what happened against Arsenal and Sunderland.

In one half against the Black Cats, Charlie Adam was a force and then some. His balls into the box were effective and he showed the sort of spark that instigated his move from Blackpool to Liverpool.

On the other hand, the second half was a whole different ballgame. Adam will need to continue to prove himself in order to earn a starting position.

The problem then becomes Jordan Henderson.

Following a season of uninspired and lacklustre signings by former manager Roy Hodgson, many critics commented on the average reputation that preceded the former Sunderland man.

In the opening games, he is yet to prove otherwise. It's not that he is a poor player, it just seems apparent that his role in the side is yet to be defined. 

All the same, when Meireles came on alongside Luis Suarez with just 20 minutes remaining, the heavens opened and Raul showed his mettle.

While the first goal against Arsenal was born out of luck, the second emerged from some convincing and intelligent play orchestrated by Meireles himself. 

When Dalglish took over last season, we saw a revitalised Meireles give similar performances. The goals against Everton and Wolves in Dalglish's early days in January allowed the player to stamp his authority on his position. 

Whilst the goals weren't as free-flowing in the following months, his performances were still consistent and effective. His reputation was being built. 

Although we should give Henderson a chance to succeed at Anfield, Dalglish and Liverpool need to ensure that Liverpool do not dismiss a player that seems capable of so much more than the current preferred choice. 

Hopefully Meireles is happy to fight for his position in the starting lineup. Should Henderson fall out of favour, the ex-Porto playmaker can take over. 

A transfer, on the other hand, could be catastrophic and only take the side backwards if Henderson does not step up. Unless a powerful and match-winning alternative is available, Liverpool could lose their foothold of a Top-Four finish. 

With the team in an uncertain transition phase, it is imperative that Meireles remains at Anfield. 

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