In my opinion thus far Liverpool has certainly made the wrong signings. Whilst I applaud the criterion set by FSG and King Kenny for wanting to buy top young British talent, I personally would have and still would buy differently. The positions where Liverpool certainly needed strengthening were the wide areas. What has been endemic within Liverpool sides of the past decade is the lack of width and creativity in the wide areas to help break down teams of lesser stature, often forcing us to play narrow and rely on the exploits of Steven Gerrard and “Judas” Torres.
As well as addressing both wide areas, I felt Liverpool certainly needed a left back, as this position has plagued the club with no real reliable left-back since John Arne Riise departed from the club under Rafa Benitez’s watch. These three positions were what needed to be immediately prioritised for the club. Now given the scope that the players had to be young and British with a greater sell-on value, personally I would have gone for Adam Johnson of Manchester City and Aaron Lennon due to the youthfulness and talent that they possess. Given that we have been throwing silly money away, a tempting offer may well have prised these two much sought after commodities.
The left-back solution is somewhat of a predicament when seeking young English talent. Whilst there is Kieran Gibbs and Ryan Bertrand of Chelsea, both who seem set to have bright futures, realistically speaking, one would not have been able to buy them. Gibbs is likely to fill the void left at Arsenal by Gael Clichy and Bertrand has only recently signed a new contract at Chelsea, tying him down to the West London club for five years.
Had the scope been widened to foreign players, without hesitation I’d have bought Juan Mata to play on the left, Ibrahim Afellay to play on the right and Aly Cissokho at left back. They probably would have cost far less than the players we have brought thus far, due to the lack of inflation in foreign markets compared to the English one.
The players who have been brought thus far in essence are not required. With Lucas coming on bundles, Jay Spearing proving himself in the holding role last year, we have central midfielders in abundance, not to mention with the added quality of seasoned internationals such as Raul Meireles and Alberto Aquilani who has without doubt been the standout performer during pre-season. Talk of him being sold is ludicrous in my eyes. Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adams are both central midfielders and Stewart Downing at best is premiership class who is twenty seven years old. A pale in comparison compared to Adam Johnson who is more direct, dynamic and affective in the wide areas, not to mention younger.
Two other areas which may need strengthening but are not an important priority are centre-back and up front. Every team needs four top strikers; we only have three thus far. If pre-season has exposed anything it has been our frail defence, which has leaked an average of three goals a game. With Carragher aging, Agger still injury prone, Skrtel and Kyrigakos about as subtle as wrecking balls in a glass-house, somebody composed and reliable is required. Scott Dann in my opinion would be the ideal option for three reasons. His composure on the ball is second to none, his aerial ability interspersed with his timed tackles make him a complete defender and finally the boy’s a lifelong Liverpool fan. Who better to replace the great “Carra” than a lad who could quite possibly become a legendary centre back for Liverpool in his own right?
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