Liverpool spent a club-record £117million this summer in the wake of Luis Suarez’ departure to Barcelona, but Brendan Rodgers’ prolific spending spree hasn’t quite had the desired effect.
Indeed, with the Reds in eighth place in the Premier League, five points off the top four, it’s believed the Merseyside outfit will look to splash the cash again when the transfer market reopens in January.
And purely because huge transfer fees leaves us at Football Fancast screaming with excitement like little girls watching vines of Justin Bieber, we’re hoping Liverpool’s coming transfer window is as lucrative as the last.
So with that in mind, here’s a list of five well-known, highly-priced targets Brendan Rodgers should break the bank for in January.
He may cost an arm and a leg, or £23million to be precise, but from a tactical perspective, Saido Berahino would be the perfect January signing for Liverpool. Unlike misfiring forwards Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert, he’s blessed with pace, agility and trickery and would constitute a step back towards the fluid counter-attacking football that defined the Merseysiders last season.
The West Brom forward can play out wide, in behind or as an out-and-out poacher; the notion of him, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling operating as a roaming front-three leaves one foaming at the mouth. 12 goals in his first 50 Premier League outings is a decent return, but Berahino’s attitude away from the field has often drawn criticism.
Another costly striking option for the Reds to consider is PSG front-man Edinson Cavani. The 27 year-old boasts healthy returns at both club and international level – 104 in 138 for former side Napoli, 38 in 65 for current club PSG and 24 in 69 for the Uruguayan national team – and looks a good fit for the Premier League, through the height, power and strength of his 6 foot 2 frame.
And it seems the South American is on his way out of the French capital, having failed to dislodge Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the star front-man since moving to Parc de Princes 18 months ago, instead often settling for an unfamiliar role out wide. £50million is a lot of moolah however, and Arsenal are believed to be leading the race for Cavani’s signature.
Having recently dropped Liverpool No.1 Simon Mignolet for ‘an indefinite period’, it’s quite clear that Brendan Rodgers is on the look-out for a new goalkeeper. One of the names believed to be in the mix is Genoa’s Mattia Perin.
Many have labelled the Serie A starlet as ‘the next Gigi Buffon’, having already represented the Italian national team at just 22 years of age. His 6 foot 2 frame isn’t the tallest compared to Premier League standards (in fact, it’s the average height for PL goalkeepers) but the Italian stopper looks like a real prospect. That being said, £16million is a rather sizeable fee for such a young and unproven goalkeeper.
Liverpool fans have probably endured enough of Southampton players turning up at their club for ridiculous amounts of money, but it could be worth making one final exception for France international Morgan Schneiderlin.
The 25 year-old has continually proved himself to be one of the Premier League’s top enforcers since the Saints’ top flight ascension in summer 2012, this term ranking in fifth in the division’s tackle charts. Additionally, he’s tall, powerful and ever consistent on the ball – boasting a 90% pass completion rate this term – and looks more than ready to ply his trade at a higher level.
The Reds need an upgrade on Lucas Leiva and Schneiderlin fits the bill perfectly. Ronald Koeman recently failed to quash rumours that the tough-tackling Frenchman could move on in January, but even so, he’ll likely set the Reds back around £25million.
Another signing who could revive the intensity of Liverpool’s waning attack comes in the form of Fiorentina star Juan Cuadrado.
The South American’s blend of pace, stamina and tenacity has seen him tear apart Serie A over the last 18 months, amassing 16 goals and eight assists in his last 45 league outings. He brought his form to the World Cup in Brazil too, finishing up with the joint-most assists of any player alongside Daley Blind.
Brendan Rodgers isn’t too fond of wingers but could make an exception for the 26 year-old; he’s notoriously versatile and has featured in virtually every position for the Florence outfit, ranging from right-back to left winger and defensive midfield to No.10. His £27million release clause should be within the Reds’ financial reach, but long-term interest from Manchester United, Manchester City and Barcelona could prove problematic.