Liverpool: 4 Key areas Reds must bolster in January
Liverpool have slipped to fifth in the Premier League table after suffering successive defeats at the hands of Manchester City and Chelsea. But, they’re still just 6 points behind league leaders Arsenal and manager Brendan Rodgers feels that his side is very well capable of challenging for the title.
Well, there is no reason why the Reds cannot mount a serious challenge for the title, but in order to do so, they not only need all their best players to fire all cylinders but also few quality additions in January as well.
Rodgers said as quoted by Sky Sports:
“We’ve shown in the first 19 games this season that if we get players back, get some help in January with a few more players, we can be in the shake up here.
“Hopefully we can add to it and get some depth to the group, because that is something that really helps you in the second part of the season.”
The statement clearly reflects how crucial the January transfer is for Liverpool’s success this season. Last season, Liverpool reaped the benefits of two quality signings in January – Philippe Coutinho & Daniel Sturridge – both the players made huge contribution since they joined.
I personally feel Liverpool need to bolster in four areas in order to mount a proper title challenge. Let us analyze in details:
Full backs: Left back has been one of the areas that have been a major concern for Rodgers. In absence of Jose Enrique, deputy full-back Aly Cissokho failed to make any significant impression; while young Jon Flanagan did well, but he certainly cannot be a long term solution for that role.
Similarly, Glen Johnson’s form on the right back deteriorated considerably and was very poor against both City and Chelsea. Martin Kelly has failed to replace him, so probably Liverpool can buy an attacking right-back as well who is equally reliable at the back, someone like Alvaro Arbeloa.
Martin Montoya of Barcelona has been linked with Liverpool and he could be a very good addition for the club.
Midfield: This is one area where investment is needed immediately. Lucas Leiva is not good enough to start week-in-week-out in the defensive midfield role, while in absence of ageing Steven Gerrard, there is an acute lack of creativity from the centre.
Henderson is energetic and industrious, but Liverpool also need guile, intelligence and creativity as well. So, a defensive midfielder like Fernando, while an attacking midfielder like Ivan Rakitic, both linked with Liverpool recently, would be ideal.
Attacking midfield: There is an acute dearth in this department. Look at Chelsea, City, Arsenal, Spurs & Manchester United – all have abundance of attacking midfielders, but Liverpool have to rely mostly on Coutinho & young Sterling to get the job done. Iago Aspas needs to play regularly, possibly somewhere else while Victor Moses, on loan from Chelsea, is a huge disappointment.
If the reports are to be believed Liverpool are targeting some of Europe’s bright prospects like Cristian Tello and Mohamed Salah. If, Liverpool can spend big, use the transfer budget smartly, they not only have a good chance of finishing inside top four but can challenge for the Premier League title as well.