Roy Hodgson will reportedly be handed an initial £15 million transfer kitty to spend during the summer window after becoming the new boss at Liverpool today, and it appears the Englishman has already drawn up a list of players he wants to bring in.
With the likelihood of Javier Mascherano leaving for Barcelona for approximately £25 million and Yossi Benayoun’s proposed £6 million deal to Chelsea looking increasingly more likely to go through, Hodgson would conjure up and add to his current transfer fees in order to spend it on the quartet he has targeted this summer.
Rafael van der Vaart, Gilberto Silva, Brede Hangeland and Danny Murphy are high on the Englishman’s wish-list. However, are these four players the idealistic quartet to reignite Liverpool football club for the upcoming season?
With odds on Mascherano departing this summer, Gilberto Silva would prove to be a ready-made replacement for the Argentine midfielder. The Brazilian anchor-man has valuable Premier League experience from his time at Arsenal and even though at the age of 33, the defensive midfielder can still produce the goods as he has proven in the Greek league for Panathinaikos and in South Africa so far. The Greek club are in financial crisis and have made him available which is a good sign for Hodgson. Gilberto has become sluggish in his movement due to time taking its obvious toll, but technically and for what he is paid to do, the Brazilian is still very much capable of doing his job. Some Kop fans may feel Hodgson should target a more youthful holding midfielder, but surely an experienced one, who has played in the English league before is a better option?
Ideal Rating: 7/10 – Very experienced footballer who has Premier League experience, although his age and lack of pace does look a problem, especially in the fast and competitive English game.
Brede Hangeland would be another good signing should Hodgson pull it off. The tall centre-back has a good relationship with the Englishman and bought the Norwegian to the Premier League in 2008. Hangeland is an experienced defender in both international and club level, and at the prime age (for a defender) of 29, would fit well into the Liverpool squad. His aerial ability is second to none due to his height, yet his positional marking and movement is suspect at times. Liverpool already have Jamie Carragher, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Sotirios Kyrgiakos on the books, so more than likely, Hangeland would be spending more time on the bench rather than on the pitch. He is an ideal target for Liverpool, but surely just for cover in the back-line, right?
Ideal Rating: 6/10 – Good tall defender, although there are better options at the club and possibly elsewhere.
Kop fans may feel a bit puzzled as to why their new boss has targeted Danny Murphy, purely for the fact that he will not be a starter and because of his age. The 33-year-old creative midfielder has played under Roy Hodgson and has also had a 7 year spell at Liverpool from 1997 to 2004.
The Fulham man has been impressive for the London club, especially last season where he helped the side reach a Europa League final. Murphy has great passing and technical attributes but due to his age and deterioration of pace, he has subsequently dropped deeper than he has done in the past. With Liverpool’s formation currently at a 4-2-3-1 (not too sure what Hodgson will set-up this season), it looks as if Murphy would not get into the starting eleven. Lucas Leiva and Alberto Aquilani would be in front of Murphy in the pecking order. However with that being said, if Hodgson can acquire the midfielder for experience and squad depth then why not.
Ideal Rating: 7/10 – There are better alternatives out there, although Liverpool do lack Premier League experience in the midfield, which certainly Danny Murphy could offer to them should he sign for them this summer.
Rafael van der Vaart
With Yossi Benayoun possibly on his way to Chelsea this summer for £6 million, Rafael van der Vaart would be an ideal replacement for the Israeli international. The Dutchman is very versatile and can play on the wings as well as just behind the striker. Van der Vaart’s creativity and technical ability is second to none, yet somehow the attacking midfielder struggles to get games at Real Madrid. The 27-year-old is currently in South Africa with the Netherlands squad and has impressed enormously so far when he has featured for his country. The Dutch star would certainly get into the current Liverpool squad for the skills that he possesses, and his versatility would absolutely make a great addition to the group. Jose Mourinho would not stand in the player’s way if he wants to head out of the Bernabeu this summer, which again works in Hodgson’s favour. The only thing that could cause a problem in acquiring his signature would be that Liverpool do not seize Champion’s League football for the approaching season, which ultimately may see the Dutchman look for a club that does offers this. Nonetheless Roy Hodgson has definitely targeted a superb player, which Liverpool fans will be encouraged by…the new Kop boss may just pull it off, who knows.
Ideal Rating: 9/10 – A very talented and versatile player who is at peak age for a footballer. If Liverpool can target more players like this, then they will be fine this season coming.
All of the players on Roy Hodgson’s wish-list should encourage the clubs fans, even if some of the players have had their better days. The sign of a manager wanting to buy players is always a good sign, but, like many believe, Liverpool’s failure to qualify for the Champions league has hurt them dearly. The club can still attract players, but certainly not the best because of their letdown last season. Everybody knows that Roy Hodgson has a big summer ahead of him, but early signs suggest that he has the right intentions in mind.
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