Premier League Clubs in Crisis – Part 1: Which Players Should Liverpool Buy in January?

We are mere weeks away from the January transfer window and without doubt, a few of the league’s managers will be champing at the bit to get some business done to save both their jobs and the club’s aspirations or in some cases, reputation. Among these managers is, unsurprisingly, Roy Hodgson.

Although much criticised this season, Hodgson is adamant that he is not fearful of getting the sack. With new Director of Football Strategy, Damien Comolli, along for the ride and with Hodgson’s confirmation, surely Liverpool fans can expect to see their club dip into the transfer market.

The Reds have failed to impress this season. Injuries, poor summer buys and players not hitting form have not helped the cause. The club’s owner is being very patient and loyal, but that surely doesn’t mean that Hodgson will have eternity to make things right at Anfield. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, both Hodgson and Comolli will have to put their heads together to buy the right players who can help the club to salvage some pride from what has been a mediocre season thus far. But, what positions does Roy Hodgson need to strengthen?

RB??? – Glen Johnson is without question the club’s starting RB. However, when he was injured earlier this season, we saw that Jamie Carragher had to be relocated in order to cover for him. He did his best, but certainly, his purpose is best served in the center of the defence.  That leaves the door open for young Martin Kelly. The young Englishman has impressed when called upon this season and as a result, I don’t think Hodgson needs to either buy an understudy or play Carragher at RB. With Carragher out injured at the moment, Kelly will surely stake his claim for more first team football. He may not be at RB seeing that Johnson is fit again, but he’ll take his chance anywhere he gets it.

(1) LB The starting LB, Paul Konchesky, has failed to impress since his arrival from Fulham. Added to that, the injury-prone Fabio Aurelio is hardly a starter these days. Surely, Liverpool could use a proper LB. LB’s are making a name for themselves these days. They can prove to be very influential to a club’s attack while, of course, they also get the job done defensively. The likes of Ashley Cole, Patrice Evra and Leighton Baines give testimony to that. Konchesky has failed to impress on both fronts.

(2) CM/CAM– How many times will Steven Gerrard save the day for Liverpool? Without doubt, he is largely relied upon. It’s not at all wrong to look up to your club captain, but there will be days when Gerrard can’t pull his team out of the fire. Days like these in fact, seeing that he’s injured for the time being. The likes of Jonjo Shelvey offer hope for the future, but Liverpool need a proper stand-in now. This particular position is very important as the ideal link between midfield and attack can make all the difference.

(3) LW– Both Milan Jovanovic and Ryan Babel have failed to deliver the goods on the left wing. Joe Cole hasn’t exactly dazzled either. Because of that, Maxi Rodriguez has had to show them how it’s done. In fairness, Rodriguez has been doing well in that position. However, he isn’t on the right side of the clock,  in terms of age. While he deserves to start, perhaps a young yet decent left winger should be bought as an understudy and eventual replacement for him. Lille’s Eden Hazard has been linked. He would certainly represent good value for money, from both a short-term and a long-term perspective.

(4) Striker– Ahh, the position that seems to be lacking most. Fernando Torres hasn’t been in the best of form this season and it has been very noticeable, mainly because no one has stepped up to fill the void. David N’gog is trying, but reinforcements up top certainly must be a priority for Hodgson and Comolli. Ryan Babel had a decent game when he was paired up top with Ngog a few games back. Who knows? Maybe Babel will have more success in that position rather than on the left wing. Bottom line though, Liverpool desperately need another striker to help Torres.

The season is far from over and Hodgson has time to try and get things together in order for Liverpool to salvage something from this season. The above recommendations would indeed improve the squad as well as add some much needed depth. What will Roy Hodgson and Damien Comolli- the men that matter- do, though? Liverpool fans can do nothing else but hope that it’s the right thing.

Read the Part 2 of the series: Which Players Should Everton Buy in January?.

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