This summer has turned out to be a brilliant window so far for Liverpool.
Despite the fact that the club has failed to make any marquee signings so far, four players have been signed, and the feel-good-factor has been reinstated at Anfield, with the general consensus being that manager Brendan Rodgers has done enough to bolster the squad.
The Northern Irishman has put the money where his mouth was, with the signing of players like Iago Aspas, Simon Mignolet, Kolo Toure and Luis Alberto, highlighting the importance of competition in the side by adding enough depth in the squad.
Now comes the harder part for the Reds. They need to work hard to improve on the first team and certainly Rodgers acknowledges that too.
“What we’ve done in the early part of the summer is to improve the squad. That’s something I feel we’ve done with the players we’ve brought in,” said Rodgers to the club’s official website.
“Now what’s important over the next three to five weeks is improving the team. That’s something the club is working very hard at.”
With that statement, we can expect that in coming weeks, Liverpool will add few more players to their ranks that are genuinely “above good types” and will improve the team significantly. Of course, all equations can change dramatically, if the Reds part ways with Luis Suarez.
One major question however is, what are the areas on which Rodgers might bring player in the next few days? Let us explore all the options.
Defence: yes, more precisely a centre-back. Although the Reds have signed Kolo Toure, but there is an acute need to find another solid centre-back.
At present, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Sebastián Coates, and Toure are the four main central defenders in the squad, with young Martin Kelly, who now plays as a right-back, could be used as a back-up option.
With only one world-class defender in the side, the need for another top centre-back is utmost priority. Toure would add experience to this side, no doubt but he is certainly not the man to replenish the void left by Jamie Carragher.
Rodgers doesn’t seem to have enough faith on Skrtel as we have seen last season, when the former Swansea man called upon veteran Carragher to take up the defensive reigns of the side in second half of the season, while the Slovakian warmed the bench.
Central Midfield: Rodgers has quite a handful of midfielders at his disposal. He would be hoping to get a fully-fit Lucas Leiva for the first time and all Liverpool fans are eager to see him returning back to his best form.
This season is also important for Joe Allen, who has abundance of talent and possess excellent technical abilities, but has a point of prove. Further, Steven Gerrard seems to have finally grappled the ideology of his manager, and was terrific in his new regista role.
Rodgers might look for a defensive midfielder in case, Lucas gets injured again. Liverpool have cover for the deeper midfield positions, but there are none in the team who can do the job perfectly in Lucas’ absence. Though, Toure can play in the defensive midfield role, while there are other tactical ways too to nullify that crisis.
Wingers: Stewart Downing did a very good job last season, especially in the second half of the campaign. He provided defensive solidarity at the right hand side of the pitch, while tried his level best to help the team in the attacking department too.
But, at a big club like Liverpool, one expects a winger to possess more tricks, brilliance and guile and tenacity to dribble past the defender. In a nutshell, one expects a winger to be attacking in nature, in usual circumstances, unlike defensive wingers, who are more often used in big matches.
As we have seen how Sir Alex Ferguson had used Park Ji-Sung during his time as Manchester United manager. But, big games do not come week-in-week-out and to wreak havoc against weaker teams, an adventurous winger is just the perfect antidote Rodgers can prescribe for.
Striker: Liverpool already have Sturridge, Borini and Suarez (if he stays) as the three fine strikers in the team. Also, there is this new summer recruit Aspas, who can play as a forward or from the flanks. So, in that respect, another striker would be a luxury for the team at the moment.
Thus, in terms of acute necessity, Rodgers is likely to be looking at a top quality goal scoring midfielder. Liverpool tried their best to secure a deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but it didn’t materialize in the end as the Armenian chose to join Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund instead.
With Rodgers’ comments earlier that he is looking to add atleast 20 more goals to this side, and provided Luis Suarez stays, it is imperative that Liverpool quickly chalk up a list of potential attacking midfield as well as right wing options.