Despite Liverpool seemingly going into this summer’s transfer market with a sizeable war chest, in addition to money accrued from sales, there is still however a need to prioritise the sort of players we need most. I have underlined below the positions in the team which we will need to reinforce if the Reds are to compete on the big stage, starting with the most important:
1. Wingers – I could go on all day about this subject but the Reds have lacked any genuine wingers for well over a decade. Attempts have been made in players such as Albert Riera, Jermaine Pennant and Mark Gonzalez to correct this deficiency, but the lack of real quality and pace on the wings in recent years has hurt the team badly. The failure to break down lesser team’s defenced was a massive problem during the title challenging season in 2008/09, and I am inclined to believe that if we had at least one more winger in that team, we may have won the title that year. 11 draws only needed to become 8 for the Reds to have won the Championship. With the arrival of target man Andy Carroll, the need has become ever more urgent.
2. Left Back – Playing Glen Johnson out of position, as well as youngster Jack Robinson, says it all about the problems we have in the position. Paul Konchesky was never good enough for the Reds and was immediately loaned out by Kenny Dalglish. The 2009/10 season’s first choice left back Emiliano Insua was also loaned out, and there are no were real alternatives in the position other than the injury prone Fabio Auelio. The Reds have never truly replaced John Arne Riise, and this summer, with the cash available, it gives the Reds a tremendous opportunity to find a great full back.
3. Holding Midfielder – It was apparent that when Jay Spearing went off against Aston Villa with an injury last week, that the Reds midfield was overrun. Although Lucas is the team’s player of the year, he will need support, and although Spearing looks a decent squad player, a commanding physical presence is needed to ensure security in central midfield. Protection of the back four, with so many sides playing 5 man midfields these days, means at least two top class holding midfield players in the squad are essential.