From now to January 1st, Liverpool fans can expect to have almost every player in world football to be linked with their club. It’s the way it always has been and always will be with Liverpool, the rumour mill goes into overdrive as every player ‘who supported the club as a boy’ is linked with a multi million pound deal.
Especially this time around, as Liverpool will be desperately searching for a striker come January, and perhaps some more attacking talent to add to Brendan Rodgers threadbare squad. But with so many names being linked with a move to Anfield, what should be Rodgers top priority at value for money?
According to talkSport The latest names to be linked with the Reds, are Atletico Madrid winger Arda Turan and Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez.
Rodgers has apparently sent scouts to watch ‘self confessed Liverpool fan’ Turan in action for Turkey, whilst Sanchez is linked due to the fact he has only started three of Barcelona’s seven league matches this season.
Last week, another winger Dries Mertens was linked with the Anfield club, as well as young Argentine Luciano Vietto, who has reportedly been attracting attention from PSG, Juventus and Real Madrid.
A host of exciting names i’m sure you’ll agree, all of which would fit the Brendan Rodgers ‘philosophy’. But whilst all these skillful players remain linked, there’s no mention of where that 20-goal-a-season man is coming from. The basic thing Liverpool have been lacking, is someone to put the ball in the back of the net. And whilst all these players linked would prove exciting additions, the first thing Rodgers goes searching for should be a goalscorer.
He may not have to look very far. Darren Bent and Daniel Sturridge have both been touted as possible Anfield targets. Bent is reportedly unhappy at Villa Park since the summer arrival of Paul Lambert, and could be available for as little as £12million – half of the transfer fee Villa paid for him in January 2011. With Liverpool’s owners reportedly looking to cut costs, Bent could be a good piece of business.
A proven Premier League goal scorer with the likes of Charlton and Sunderland, it has always been somewhat surprising for me Liverpool have not bid for the former Ipswich man sooner. With the amount of chances created at Anfield over the past couple of seasons, you wonder how different things could have been had a fit Darren Bent been on the end of Stewart Downing’s countless deliveries.
Bent is a striker that splits opinion after a disappointing spell at Tottenham, but having watched him closely from his Ipswich days, I am of the opinion Bent is a top class finisher who would flourish at Anfield. He has scored goals everywhere he has been, and the lack of goals is what needs to be addressed quickly for Liverpool. At £12 million he could prove a steal.
Daniel Sturridge is another name linked, with the Daily Mail yesterday reporting Chelsea are willing to sell the former Manchester City man for £15million. Arsenal are also thought to be interested, although Liverpool would be willing to play Sturridge in his preferred position of central striker.
Rodgers was thought to have tried to bring him in as a loan replacement for Andy Carroll on deadline day, but Sturridge backed out of the deal as he wanted something permanent. This suggests Rodgers puts Sturridge above Bent in the pecking order, although I am not convinced he is the better alternative.
His goal scoring record is not a patch on Bent’s, and he has often displayed a lack of maturity at Chelsea. Often playing for himself rather than the team, constantly showboating and attempting the spectacular, and moaning at not being played in his favourite position. Bent’s link up play and work ethic is stronger in my opinion, and would be a good focal point in Rodgers preferred 4-3-3 system, as he is adept to holding the ball up as well as running in behind.
The thing Sturridge has going for him is his age. At 23, he fits into the Liverpool owners ‘moneyball philosophy’ and Rodgers you feel would relish the chance to mould his undeniable talent, that has gone somewhat missing at Stamford Bridge. He does have more pace then Bent, and has the ability to play wide in a 4-3-3, and possibly interchange with the likes of Suarez, Sterling, Suso and Borini when fit.
Needless to say, from now until January countless more names will be added to Liverpool’s transfer shortlist. But for now, a goal scorer must remains top priority, as it always seems to do heading into a transfer window with Liverpool. You just hope this time they do manage to recruit one in a more straightforward fashion.
Who do you want to see Liverpool buy in January? Follow me on Twitter @LukeGreenwood89 and let me know your thoughts.