With Liverpool clearly needing an extra lift this summer, could a foray into the transfer market for City’s Stephen Ireland be just the answer?
Liverpool’s season has just not clicked. Nothing has fallen into place for Rafa Benitez’s side and whilst fans have stuck by the beleaguered Spaniard, it appears their patience is beginning to wear thin. Fifteen losses in all competitions this season is pretty poor for a team of Liverpool’s capability. The ‘no more slip ups’ line that one of the players inevitably turns out, this week it has been Daniel Agger are becoming laughable. Even Fernando Torres has begun distancing himself from the situation by confirming he will be considering his options at the end of the season. Some surgery is going to be needed at Liverpool in the summer and Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland should be top of that wish list.
Stephen Ireland has had somewhat of a disappointing season at Manchester City. He has only started 15 Premier League matches for the Eastlands side and has become something of a periphery figure under Roberto Mancini. Last season was a completely different story with the midfielder a mainstay under a Mark Hughes regime at Manchester City. He was voted player of the year by the clubs fans and much excitement revolved around how the 23yr old would kick on. Unfortunately Mancini clearly doesn’t fancy him or he more likely does not fit into the Italian’s tactics. Liverpool should be monitoring this situation closely. The attack minded midfielder is the exact sort of player Liverpool need to freshen up a downtrodden side.
The £20 million signing of Alberto Aquilani is looking more and more dreadful by the day. I have been a fan of Aquilani since his Roma days; I think he is a fine good player. The injury he sustained before the move has clearly hampered his progress. For me Rafa Benitez doesn’t give him enough chances to show what he can do. Twenty minute substitute appearances here and there are not enough. If you’re paying £20 million for a player, you have to start playing him. It is not as if they could be doing any worse, they are losing matches when he is not playing. Aquilani’s confidence is ebbing away with every snub and its going to take some time to get him anywhere near his best. Whilst Luca’s has come into some praise from the Liverpool fans for his turning around of fortunes Liverpool are clearly lacking in ideas in this area. Steven Gerrard looks spent to me, disinterested at a season that for him is already over and you can see it in his performances. They have not been at the intensity we are used to from the England International. Stephen Ireland could really take some of the pressure away from the Liverpool Captain.
The Manchester City midfielder is quick, neat on the ball and more importantly scores goals. He can play the role Steven Gerrard does as a second striker to Torres and alleviate Gerrard’s pressure to consistently provide from such a position. Furthermore Ireland can drop into midfield and offer some creativity in a side that looks void of ideas at the moment. I think Manchester City have not used Stephen Ireland effectively enough this season. Playing games often and in a forward position I rate him extremely highly. With Manchester City looking to bring in another boat load of stars, Ireland may be available at a steal. Something Liverpool should think long and hard about.
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