Thursday, 9 June 2011

Who Next For Liverpool?

I had planned to write a piece on the increased transfer activity from the past 48 hours which has seen two English youngsters on the verge of big money moves (Henderson to Liverpool, Jones to Man Utd) and a pile of rubbish about to be dumped on Sunderland (Gibson, Brown & O'Shea) but Jeremy and Neal had already covered the subject over on Fantasy EPL.

Instead I'll turn my attention to Liverpool's next move/s in the transfer market. Dalglish is aware he still has a number of areas of the squad to strengthen and it's clear the new owners mean business, so we can expect to see some more cash-splashing over the next 6 weeks.

Plenty are tipped for the exit to help free up funds and wages - Ngog (possibly as part of the Henderson deal), Aquilani (yeah he's still there), Kygriakos (younger model required), Joe Cole (90k per week yet not had a good game since WC2006), Konchesky, Poulsen & Jovanovic (not good enough) - but who will come in?

Yesterday I had a discussion with one of my best mates - a passionate & knowledgeable Liverpool fan - and he feels they still need...

Left Back
Centre Back
Right Winger
Left Winger

I suggested the following options...

Left back: Enrique
Centre back: Dann

Winger: Downing
Winger: N’Zogbia
Striker: Wickham

...which he said he'd be happy with.

None of them are world beaters but they should be available and (along with Henderson) they are all improvements on the players set to leave. With squad depth being added to by Dalglish's faith in youth (Spearing, Shelvey, Kelly, Flanagan etc) and the quality provided by Suarez, Gerrard, Carroll, Meireles, Carragher & Reina I believe Liverpool would be a vastly improved outfit and in good shape to challenge the Top 4 again next season.

Would you be happy with this Liverpool fans? If not, who would you like to see come to Anfield? Try to be realistic please!



Ken M. said...

I do not have enough knowledge to respond to your "summer" post Nik....

I only hope that throughout the summer you have time to continue. The information is extremely helpful and necessary as I intend fill that top spot on the table next year!

Just wanted you to know that even though my feedback will be limited I do check and read all posted material.

A thank you for all your work sometimes feels like , not enough.

But Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Nik , Henderson is à Good player My problem is THE price tag its too much for him What is your opinion ?

Assistant Manager said...

Thanks Ken, appreciated as always!

Re: Henderson, yes £16m is a lot of money for a relatively unproven player, but it seems to be Liverpool's approach to stock up on young talent. I'd say £10m would be a fairer price but there's a premium on English players; re-sale value ensures that.

Chaos said...

I like how Nik said he was going to take the summer off, and yet we get 2 or 3 articles a week still, not that I'm complaining mind you :-)

With regard Henderson, it depends a lot on how much money Liverpool have left, because predominately Henderson is a central midfielder, while I saw their priorities as a Left Back, Central Defender and a winger...

Geoff said...

I have to say I'm confused by the Henderson pick. Is he young and talented? Certainly. But was our first priority ANOTHER central midfielder? We have a hard enough time figuring out which midfielders to play when Gerrard and Miereles are both healthy - why another?

I'd say our primary need is wingers if we want to make the most of Andy Carroll, and for that I'd be thrilled with any TWO of: Ashley Young, Stewart Downing, Charles Nzogbia, Sean Wright-Phillips, Aaron Lennon...

After that, I'd say our center back position certainly needs some shoring up - b/c I really like Dalgliesh's faith in our young wing backs, and they did terrifically. Don't know if I like the Dann option, since I'm a fan of the young investment - maybe someone more like Gary Cahill, Ryan Shawcross, Hangeland, etc. if we can tempt them away from their mid-table clubs.

But as a die-hard Liverpool fan - PLEASE no more central midfielders! (that means you Charlie Adam...)

Saul said...

Left backEmilio Izaguirre from Celtic of Scottland. Won best player of the year award and should be relatively cheap, compared to other options...or at least I'm guessing. On the other hand, I hope it doesn't happen as I am both Honduran and a Manchester United supporter and would not like my fellow compatriot go with my fierce rivals. Other options I have in mind for Liverpool are: Leighton Baines, Ashley Young(unlikely as I believe United are 1 step away from acquiring his signature), but why not his team mate Stewart Downing(mentioned by Gioff first, and a great suggestion mate)? Great stuff though AM, and thanks for giving us something to keep us occupied until the new YFF! begins.

Raconteur said...

Nik, good to see you still posting in the off season.

I think that if N'gog goes the other way for £7mill, £13mill is a pretty good deal. Henderson did tail off towards the end of last season, but looks like a very good prospect. Given what John Henry is apparently after in building Liverpool, sounds like a great buy. Good time to buy him to learn from Gerrard, even though there's a lot of competition (Lucas a good Defensive Midfielder, Miereles fitted in quickly as an Attacking Midfielder).

On your other prospects for Liverpool, Dann is solid if unspectacular, and at his age, i'd be surprised if they pay more than £5mill-£6mill. I can't really see the problem with Kelly, as his preferred position is CB. Enrique was one of the best left backs in the premier league last year, but wasn't brilliant the year we went down. Downing, again, great but not amazing, N'Zog did well at Wigan and at Newcastle before that, but I think he'll always stand out at a team below top 5 but struggle in top 5 teams. Wickham is unproven in prem, but brings a lot of promise.

For me, Liverpool must be dissapointed to miss out on Phil Jones, as he looks like a great prospect. Given that Smalling & Jones are likely to play at the back for England U21, Utd appear to have done some good business, even for £16mill.

I think Liverpool should be looking at:

Back-up stiker - Wickham is a good pick
Wingers - Someone who can cross a ball.
Left Back - Leighton Baines (unrealistic given he's at EVE?)
Back-up GK - Someone young who can be an understudy to Reina

D said...

How about this - Gamst Pedersen??? A sweet left foot, can deliver crosses, can hit a shot...maybe a little slow (?), but doesn't seem preferred in Blackburn...

Vatsa said...

Hi Nik,

Left back: Filipe Luis
Centre back: Roger Johnson
Winger: Downing
Winger: Juan Mata
Striker: Bojan Krkic


Chaos said...

Fixtures are out!

QPR at home to Bolton. Taarabt is a must surely.

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