A season of transition, last season Liverpool saw fans gather hope towards the end of the season.
A season of transition, last season Liverpool saw fans gather hope towards the end of the season. Under Brendan Rodger Liverpool have played classy football at times, though last season will be remembered mainly for one man. Luis Suarez’s antics caused headlines all over the world for the wrong reasons and despite Liverpool’s faith in him, looks set to leave the club.
Suarez is forcing his way further out of the exit door with each day that goes by and Liverpool will need another striking option if that is the case. They have done sensible business so far, bringing in Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo, Luis Alberto from Sevilla, Simon Mignolet from Sunderland and Kolo Toure on a free from Man City, though a big amount of money has been recuperated by the sales of Andy Carroll and Jonjo Shelvey to West Ham and Swansea respectively.
With the retirement of Jamie Carragher a new defender is also needed to prevent them leaking goals, which they did at some points last season. An attacking midfielder with an eye for goal would also improve Liverpool’s core now that Steven Gerrard has dropped further back.
Christian Benteke (Striker, Aston Villa)
The world is at Christian Benteke’s feet right now. After a 19 goal debut season in the Premier League he has a host of top clubs interested in his services. Aston Villa were quick to slap a 20 million pound price tag on him after last season which may be a risk worth taking. Strong and with a powerful shot, the Belgian forward could fill the void left by Suarez. Benteke has handed in a written transfer request in order to push a move through to a bigger club and Liverpool would face strong competition from Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal. An alternative could be Galatasaray striker Burak Yilmaz who scored 32 goals in 39 games last season.
Christian Eriksen (Ajax, Midfielder)
After Liverpool missed out on attacking midfielder, and commentator’s worst nightmare Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a move for Eriksen has been on the cards. The highly rated Danish midfielder has scored 22 league goals in 87 games for Ajax and would fit Rodgers style well with his wide array of passing. The figure of £15 million has been thrown around over the past few days and the club are believed to be in talks with the 21 year old. Another option could be Brazilian midfielder Bernard, who Rodgers is tracking.
Toby Alderweireld (Ajax, Defender)
With a foray of attackers being linked to Liverpool many people forget their defence is an area that needs strengthening. Alderweireld has been a name linked with Liverpool for some time. Liverpool looked likely to move for Schalke defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos, though a £8 million disagreement in price ended their interest. Alderweireld is vice captain at Ajax but the club have recently signed another centre back, possibly in preparation for his exit. He has publicly said he would consider all offers but is in no rush to leave Ajax. Norwich are also in for the Belgian defender though his technical ability would suit Liverpool’s style better and he could easily partner Daniel Agger at the core of their defence. Another possibility is Sporting Lisbon’s Tiago Ilori, who has been in talks with Liverpool.
Christian Atsu (Porto, Midfielder)
Another winger is on Brendan Rodgers wish list as it looks like Stewart Downing could be heading for the door. The Ghanaian international Atsu would be available at a cut price due to his contract running out next year. A bid of £3 million could be all it takes to land the pacy winger who has not made a huge impression at Porto. Skillful close control combined with his pace allows him to surge past players superbly. Liverpool lack width currently and with Luis Alberto already drafted in and Atsu would add even more valuable width if Downing is made to leave. Liverpool were also believed to be after FC Twente winger Nacer Chadli, though it looks like Tottenham have made significant progress on the 23 year old.
Mamadou Sakho (Defender, Paris Saint Germain)
Sakho is a highly rated, strong and fast defender who is struggling with life at Paris Saint Germain. Since the arrival of Thiago Silva, Sakho has struggled to secure a place in the first team and interest from Liverpool and A.C Milan has opened his eyes to a transfer elsewhere. With Martin Skrtel possibly out of Liverpool a strong defender would slot in well at the back. At only 23 he is thought to have a bright future and if Liverpool manages to pull him away from PSG it could be a major coup for the club. PSG have offered Sakho a new contract though he has yet to sign and seems reluctant to do so. Another name mentioned is Cagliari centre back Davide Astori, though they would face stiff competition from Manchester United.
Photo: Jon Candy