It’s certainly been a disappointing first half to the season for Liverpool fans. Far from their runner-up finish last year, the Reds find themselves in eighth place after twenty fixtures, and most importantly of all, seven points off a Champions League spot.
But there’s still 18 Premier League games remaining and reportedly some cash in the transfer kitty, so with the January window now upon us, it’s time to consider some signings that could rekindle the Reds’ stuttering campaign.
Just in case Brendan Rodgers is short on ideas, being the lovely bunch we are at Football Fancast, we’ve gone and thought of FIVE.
With reports of Steven Gerrard’s end-of-season departure confirmed yesterday evening, Brendan Rodgers could kill two birds with one stone in January – strengthening his squad for the rest of the campaign whilst simultaneously finding a successor to Liverpool’s Captain Fantastic.
Undoubtedly a task easier said than done, but one option comes in the form of PSG’s Yohan Cabaye. The France international is a little more lightweight than Stevie G but shares many traits with the Anfield skipper, particularly a cultured, long-range passing game and deadly potency from dead ball situations.
The 28 year-old is well-proven in the Premier League too, having bagged 18 goals and 15 assists in 93 appearances for Newcastle, and appears to be on his way out at PSG after failing to become a first team regular since swapping Tyneside for Parc de Princes last January. It’s believed he’d set Liverpool back around £22million.
Brendan Rodgers’ dwindling faith in Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has clearly surpassed breaking point and securing the services of a replacement No.1 will likely be the Anfield gaffer’s first port of call in January.
It might seem like a rather audacious move, but in terms of goalkeepers with Premier League-proven credentials, it’s impossible to look past Chelsea’s Petr Cech. The Czech international is one of the greatest goalies in Premier League history, boasting 328 league appearances, three titles and three Golden Gloves, and is in need of a new challenge, having fallen behind Thibaut Courtois in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge this season – an immensely talented goalkeeper a decade his junior.
Chelsea are reluctant to sell however and the 32 year-old doesn’t seem to be pushing for a departure, but the Red should be at least testing the waters this January.
According to the tabloids, Liverpool are already on the verge of announcing a deal for Bayern Munich winger Xherdan Shaqiri.
The Reds were strongly linked to the Swiss international during the summer, but his impressive performances at the World Cup reportedly convinced the German champions to reject Anfield’s fiscal advances.
Still struggling to usurp Arjen Robben or Frank Ribery from a first team place however, somewhat unsurprisingly, it’s believed the Bavarians are now prepared to let Shaqiri leave.
Despite not making the grade at the Allainz Arena, the 23 year-old is a real prospect; he created the most chances per match of any player at Brazil 2014.
From one Swiss international to another, FC Basel prodigy Fabian Schar is set to become one of the January transfer window’s most sought-after bargains and Liverpool would be wise to get involved in the pursuit.
It may seem counter-intuitive to suggest a 23 year-old centre-half can triumph where Liverpool’s more experienced players have failed. But Schar’s continually impressed in the Champions League over the last two seasons, last term recording the best statistics of any defender, as detailed below, and appears more than ready to begin plying his trade at a higher level:
A front-footed, ambitious defender, the Switzerland centre-back’s confidence in possession should particularly strike a chord with Brendan Rodgers – and with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, it looks like Bebbi will be forced to sell before the end of the month.
It’s believed Schar will be sold for around the £10million mark, but rival suitors include Arsenal, Spurs, Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan.
From one January bargain (and one Fabian) to another, plenty of clubs will also be fighting it out for Aston Villa’s Fabian Delph this month.
It’s been a sensational 2014 for the tenacious midfielder, winning the Villain of the Year award at the end of last season and more recently a spot in Roy Hodgson’s England squad, with three caps since his September debut.
Brendan Rodgers has brought success to several young England internationals since taking the Anfield helm in 2012 and in that regard, Delph fits the bill perfectly. His blend of industry, dynamism and flair – epitomised in the video above – suits Liverpool’s philosophy too.
Aston Villa insist the 25 year-old isn’t for sale, but with his contract set to expire in the summer and an extension becoming increasingly unlikely, they’ll be unable to turn down respectable offers this January. £10million-£15million seems like a realistic estimate.