Whilst most of the conjecture currently surrounding Liverpool concerns the future of beleaguered boss Roy Hodgson, speculation has increased over anticipated arrivals and departures at Anfield this month. The October ousting of Hicks and Gillett means that for the first time since the summer of 2008, the club will (theoretically) be able to enter a transfer window without having to balance the books.
The opening of the January transfer window has unsurprisingly sent the rumour mill into overdrive; the combination of Liverpool’s poor form and recent change of ownership has meant that the Merseyside club have been linked with more players than most. Of these players, Ajax captain Luis Suarez is the one most likely to excite Liverpool fans, and the individual most likely to improve the side’s fortunes this season.
‘El Pistolero’ is one of Europe’s most sought after players after racking up a sensational 110 goals in just 154 outings for the Amsterdam club. The £17m-rated Uruguayan, who is also a reported target for Tottenham Hotspur, is thought to be unsettled in Amsterdam after the December exit of manager Martin Jol.
Although the failed Premier League tenures of Mateja Kezman and Afonso Alves indicate that Premier League clubs should approach prolific Eredivisie forwards with caution, Suarez has demonstrated his pedigree by transferring his form and goalscoring ability to the international stage. He has scored 16 times in 38 appearances for Uruguay, including three at last summer’s World Cup as La Celeste Olímpica reached the semi-finals.
Encouragingly for Liverpool, Suarez is also versatile enough to play in a range of attacking positions; the reigning Dutch Footballer of the Year would be equally adept at playing alongside Torres in a conventional 4-4-2 system, or in a wider or more withdrawn berth in 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 formations. In addition to his three goals in South Africa last summer, Suarez also proved himself to be an exemplary auxiliary goalkeeper.
With Liverpool languishing in 12th position, just four points away from the relegation zone, it is clear that improvements need to be made. Although there are clear problems with the side’s defence, it is arguable that their toothlessness up front is a more pressing concern.
A below-par Fernando Torres has scored just six goals in 18 league starts this season, with strike partner David Ngog managing a meagre two goals in the Premier League. A move for Luis Suarez could prove to be the ideal antidote for Roy’s wretched Reds this January.
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