Adam Lallana is set to complete a £25 million move to Liverpool, subject to a medical, as the Southampton squad continues to find itself pillaged off the back of an impressive Premier League campaign in 2013-14.
As Brendan Rodgers aspires to take Liverpool back to the summit of English football, whilst also increasing the club’s competitiveness in the Champions League, he is looking to significantly strengthen a squad which threatened to be stretched to its limits last season.
The likely departure of Luis Suarez also presents an opportunity for Rodgers to spend big, with Barcelona likely to offer a player-plus-cash deal to bring the Uruguayan to the Nou Camp.
The World Cup is the ideal opportunity for Rodgers to cast his gaze over potential replacements and other recruits. With the transfer merry-go-round in full flow, Liverpool have been linked with a whole host of names, and here are SIX of the most likely players to follow Lallana to Anfield this summer.
For your chance to WIN a pair of Puma Tricks, simply comment below with who you think will win the Golden Boot in Brazil this summer...
SIGN IN WITH
PREDICT THE GOLDEN BOOT WINNER BELOW
Don't have a Facebook account? See our T&C's for alternative entry.
You must complete Step 1 and 2 first!
With Luis Suarez looking likely to exit Liverpool, Barcelona are his most probably destination. In order to make space in their squad to welcome the Uruguayan, it is believed Alexis Sanchez will make way for his fellow South American. The Chilean winger-cum-striker has been in exceptional form this summer for Chile, and could fit seamlessly into Brendan Rodgers’ plans.
His biggest threat is when running at defenders, both with or without the ball. Sanchez’s pace and agility allows him to beat a man, or run in behind for through balls. Traditionally playing from the right wing, Sanchez likes to drift inside and involve himself in the build-up play. Having contributed 21 goals and 15 assists for Barcelona this season, Sanchez is consistently a top performer, and would be a great addition to the Liverpool squad.
Another Barcelona player who could make way this summer is Pedro. The winger has been one of the most consistent players at Barcelona throughout their period of domination, but his effect seems to have worn thin on the club hierarchy, and Liverpool are believed to be keen on bringing in the 26-year-old.
The Spaniard is another player who is nominally a right-sided player, but likes to move around the field, finding pockets of space and making runs through the defensive line. He has the technical and tactical qualities to thrive in a fluid system run by Brendan Rodgers, with his willingness to press high, run in behind, and probe in all areas of the field. Pedro is another player who would make sense at Liverpool.
Liverpool’s defensive frailties from last season are well-documented, and Lovren would help in going some distance to solving such issues. He shone for Southampton in his first year in England, showing quality in passing the ball out from the back and his ability to read the game. Croatia may have been eliminated, but that shouldn’t result in any doubts over his qualities.
It was announced prior to the World Cup that Lovren had handed in a transfer request. With the departures of Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw, and soon-to-be Lallana, Lovren doesn’t find himself surrounded by the same quality of player he was last season. He may hang around to judge the impact of Ronald Koeman, but if he wishes to go, you know he will cost a pretty penny.
It took Xherdan Shaqiri three games to have an effect on the World Cup, but when he finally showed, he displayed the quality that has had Rodgers interested in his signature for the past two summers. A hat-trick of the highest quality led Switzerland into the last 16. He has never secured a regular spot in the Bayern Munich team since arriving and Liverpool are set to capitalise on his uncertainty.
Shaqiri would bring pace and trickery in abundance to Liverpool’s midfielder. He is capable on both feet, and has the ability to beat a man anywhere on the field. He possesses a fearsome shot, and has a proven track-record, having won the league in every single season of his professional career so far. He’ll get another chance to show what he is capable of against Argentina, and he’ll no doubt be keen to continue impressing his potential suitors.
Liverpool are thought to have pipped Tottenham and Arsenal to the signature of Belgium’s 19-year-old starlet, Divock Origi. The Lille striker had a frustrating season in France, and is looking to greener pastures in order to secure more first-team football. His three cameo appearances in Brazil have gone some distance to gaining him more admirers, and Liverpool lead the way.
His runs into the channels and behind the defence are aided by his pace, and he has the trickery to trouble a defender once he has faced them up. Lille are thought to have been swayed by Liverpool’s readiness to loan him back for a season. Given time, Origi could be a big star, and under the guidance of Rodgers, he could swiftly grow into a top player.
Mexico’s goalkeeper is currently without a club after Ajaccio released him upon relegation from Ligue 1. Ochoa has been arguably the standout stopper this summer as Mexico have conceded just one goal in their group.
For a free agent, it is questionable whether there is a player who is of better value this summer. Simon Mignolet looked shaky for much of the season in between the sticks at Anfield, and Brad Jones doesn’t offer the most solid of replacement options. Ochoa will have his clubs to choose from, and Rodgers is thought to be interested in boosting his options. Ochoa would give good competition to Mignolet, and judging on last season, he could do with it.