The disconcerting thing about Liverpool’s match against Reading was the real lack of a cutting edge in front of goal. In spite of the fact that Liverpool dominated possession, created a host of chances and pressed well to get the ball back, they could not breach the Reading defence.
The fear of many Red’s fans is if the goals dry up from Suarez, who is the alternative?
Sturridge was brought in on the assumption he would play in his more favoured central role but has found himself on the periphery by being moved out to the right.
The jury is still out on Borini, whom Rodgers is familiar with from his Chelsea days, but I’m still not convinced. And for all of Suarez’s heroics he will have the odd game where can miss chances in abundance, citing the game against West Brom, the first leg against Zenit St. Petersburg and now Reading.
Teams seem to step it up against Liverpool when they are in a slump, take into account Aston Villa earlier in the season and West Brom, which was a detrimental blow to our hopes within the context of challenging for the Champions League spots. The draw against Reading who have taken a single point in their last eight games should also provide food for thought.
I’m certainly not in the minority of fans that are calling for Rodgers’ head. Any manager needs time to adapt to a club in which he is trying to create a blueprint for players to achieve a championship winning formula. I highlighted in a previous article that summer reinforcements will be critical for Rodgers in improving the state of the playing staff. The forward line for all of its firepower needs a spearhead in a different mould.
A striker that can help Liverpool resort to a plan B if all else is failing. A forward who can hold the ball up, bring other players in and offer an aerial threat, yet maintaining the goal threat via pace, touch and technique that Rodger’s demands from a forward.
That won’t be Andy Carroll because of his lack of ability to penetrate backlines through pace or a creative bit of skill. So it’s wise for Rodgers to consider a proper number nine forward to help lead the Liverpool line to allow Suarez a free role in which he can operate between the lines, causing the havoc he consistently does.
Drawing up a shortlist of possible forwards that can be acquired within the expected budget I came to the conclusion that two players would fit the bill. The first is Kevin Gamerio who has found himself playing second fiddle to Paris St. Germain superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. With the player openly admitting this season has been a frustrating one where he has come off the bench on a regular basis; his desire for first team football in order to pave the way for a position in the French squad for next year’s World Cup in Brazil may be necessary.
His finishing is superb as is his movement. His intelligence on the pitch is also second to none and has been the main reason for his rise to prominence in the French League. As a result he has attracted attention from a host of clubs and many across the continent will be on high alert should he be courting a move away from the French capital.
His valuation of ten million pounds seems a reasonable one and a figure Liverpool could match should the funds be raised via Andy Carroll’s likely departure at the end of the season.
Many may feel aghast at the suggestion but Christian Benteke of Aston Villa would not be a bad bet either. The player has taken the Premier League by storm through carrying a young and relatively inexperienced Aston Villa team in the league on his broad shoulders. He has terrorised defenders across the board and more than held his own against top teams, none other than Liverpool in the three-one win at Anfield.
His valuation will certainly be higher but he fits FSG’s model of being a younger player with great potential and a higher future re-sale value. Should Villa go down his valuation would decrease dramatically. If he decides to seek pastures new, there is no doubt Liverpool should be in for him.
There are a host of strikers from around the world that Liverpool can buy. A relative unknown like Javier Hernandez can be plucked from obscurity with the right scouting system in place. With one more striker needed, who do you reckon we should buy and why? Bear in mind he has to be affordable and a player we can attract. It can’t be Messi or Ronaldo as any team would desire such class acts.
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