One of the most exciting times for a football fan is in the days leading up to the summer transfer deadline. The Internet is rife with transfer gossip and reading some of the suspected moves is like Christmas morning for many fans, including myself.
Usually, it all boils down to one day. That day is the 31st of August. Everything happens all at once. All of our transfer dreams get resolved. Sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's bad.
Whatever the case, the amount of players linked to your club is always staggering—so much so that you could make a full team off them. That's what this is. The formation of choice in this team is the infamous 3-4-3.
Warning: It's a strong team.
Doni is the only current Liverpool player on this team for one reason: Dalglish knew who he wanted and he went out and got him. He wanted a new goalkeeper to provide competition to Pepe Reina, but he didn't want to overpay. Getting Brazilian 'keeper Doni from Roma was the perfect option.
Scott Dann joined Blackburn on the deadline after a summer full of transfer speculation linking him to Liverpool and Arsenal. The defender was at one point reported to be just minutes away from a move to Anfield worth eight million, but the deal broke through. Dann was undoubtedly Dalglish's first option in the search for a new centre-back, but the Scot was unable to wrap up a transfer.
Per Mertesacker has established himself as one of the premier centre-backs in Europe in the past few seasons, and at 26 he is just entering his prime. At 6'6", the German is tall and strong and deceptively solid on the ground.
Liverpool could grow to regret letting him drop through their fingers to Arsenal.
Gary Cahill was a third leading option for the Reds. The England international was chased for a long time, but Bolton remained resilient and held on to their superstar. Cahill could well be on the move somewhere in January, though. It would be surprising to see him stick around for too long.
The reports linking Juan Vargas to Liverpool may have been quiet, but they were there nonetheless. The rumours originally came up when it came out that the Reds were looking to completely remodel their left wing. Juan Vargas' versatility appeared to make him the ideal option for the Reds, but they never pulled the trigger on the potential deal. There was never any confirmation from Anfield of any interest. It appears the rumours were just that: Rumours.
Kenny Dalglish was reported to be looking for a young defensive midfielder to grow behind Lucas, and 19-year-old Danilo Pereira was high on his wish list. The Portuguese midfielder had supposedly been tracked by some of Europe's top clubs for much of the 2010-11 season, but no transfer was wrapped up. He will likely remain on Dalglish's radar for the upcoming season, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Pereira eventually join the Reds.
Yossi Benayoun forms the attacking half of the All Transfer Target XI's central midfield. The creative midfielder was heavily linked with the Anfield club late in the summer, as reports of an 11th hour move from Liverpool's side were brought up. Liverpool were thought to have made a pitch to get him on Deadline Day, but he ended up joining Arsenal on a season-long loan deal. That said, it does not appear as though Liverpool were as interested as reports suggested.
Liverpool were desperate to bring in youngster Eden Hazard to boost their right flank. Unfortunately, Lille refused to sell and Liverpool were left without signing a player there.
Hazard, 20, is one of the best young prospects in football and has been chased by several of the world's top clubs. In an interesting potential twist of fate, what looked like a lost cause of a transfer was presumed to be back on in light of the Joe Cole move to Lille. Reports suggested the Anfield club may have received the first option on Hazard as a thank you for allowing Joe Cole to leave on loan; however, Lille has since denied such reports, as reported by the Independent.
Liverpool were very much in on Mata early on in the summer. They were looking for a left winger, and Mata was the undisputed No. 1 choice for Dalglish. Obviously, they couldn't complete a deal.
Subsequently, Juan Mata comes to the Premier League with Chelsea instead of Liverpool, and the Reds could grow to regret it. He was impressive in his first game and if that is a glimpse of his future, then the results for Liverpool could be devastating.
Mauro Zarate appeared briefly in rumours to Liverpool, as numerous Deadline Day tweets claimed that the Argentine forward had been spotted at John Lennon airport in Liverpool. They all turned out to be false, as Zarate joined Diego Forlan at Inter. The 24-year-old brings a versatility that would have been very valuable at Anfield, as he can play in both the striker and the right wing positions. It would have been nice to see him in the Liverpool red.
Liverpool were looking for a new backup striker, and while they got their man in Craig Bellamy, Rodallega was the more attractive option for many Liverpool fans. The Colombian striker would have stepped in and become a third Premier League-calibre starting forward at Anfield. He would have given the Reds a lot more options in the attacking half. The price tag would have been significantly higher than the one for Bellamy, but it may well have been worth it.