Liverpool FC: Flops, Youngsters and Striker Crisis
Since taking over from Kenny Dalglish, Brendan Rodgers has had a mixed start to his Liverpool career. League results have been disappointing so far, and the home loss to Swansea in the Capital One Cup has highlighted the bad transfer business the Club has made in recent transfer windows.
Joe Cole, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson joined the club for a combined fee of almost £40m. All three were given a chance to impress the manager and get back into the first team, but failed to do so as Liverpool were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Swansea. The worst of them was Joe Cole, a man who was brought in by Christian Purslow, who is on around £90k per week. Cole has looked lost on the pitch, and at times it seemed like Liverpool were playing with 10 men.
Stewart Downing is another expensive Liverpool flop. He was signed by Kenny Dalglish for £20m more than a year ago, and since then has proved to be one of Liverpool’s biggest failures in recent history. Since Rodgers arrived his chances have been limited mostly to Europa League games. Rodgers has tried to play him in different positions to find him a place in the team, but Downing has constantly failed to impress. Recent reports suggest Liverpool will be looking to offload him in the January transfer window.
The failure of senior players to perform has led Rodgers to giving more chances to youngsters. Raheem Sterling, Suso Fernandez, Andre Wisdom and Jonjo Shelvey are now key players for Liverpool’s first team. Shelvey recently played his 50th game for the club, and seems to have everything needed to be a key player for Liverpool in the future. Sterling has impressed with his pace and skills, making himself a key player in attack and a fan favourite in the process.
Young Spanish talent Suso is another youngster that has impressed so far this season. His intelligence and technique are extraordinary for a player of his age, and his passing range and vision are a joy to watch. With more youngsters knocking on the first team door, the future is certainly bright for Liverpool FC.
Although the youngsters have so far impressed and have played key roles in Liverpool’s attack, the team is still struggling to score goals. Liverpool currently have only one fit senior striker in Luis Suarez. Fabio Borini is injured and will be out until the New Year at least, and even when he’s fit, Liverpool still lack a proven goalscorer.
Liverpool’s failure to sign a proven finisher in the summer has come back to haunt the club, and Rodgers knows that bringing in a striker is a must in January. Although Fenway Sports Group have a strict transfer policy and are looking to sign young players with sell-on value, an experienced finisher should be preferred over a young striker in January.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will most likely be available as he’s in his last year of contract, and considering his age, price and experience he would be an ideal signing for Liverpool. He could share his experience and help develop youngsters like Samed Yesil and Adam Morgan, and his age would mean youngsters will get their chances in the future. Other strikers linked with Liverpool are Theo Walcott, Demba Ba and Fernando Llorente.
Brendan Rodgers has so far done a solid job in changing the style of play and adapting his “tiki-taka” style of football. People need to understand that such changes don’t happen over night, Rodgers needs a lot of time and money to get the club back to where it belongs.
It will be a long and tough ride, but one Liverpool need to take to get back to the top of European football.