With the Liverpool Daily Post reporting recently that Jay Spearing could well make a loan move to Wolves this season, it got me thinking about some of the imbalances still apparent in our squad. Although there hasn’t been any real news on his predicted departure, Christian Poulsen will also likely depart this summer if a club can be found for him.
With both Poulsen and Spearing seemingly out the door, it will leave Kenny Dalglish with only one realistic holding midfielder in Lucas Leiva . Although there is now tremendous faith in Lucas after his stellar season last campaign, I still think it would be unwise to go an entire season relying on one player to continue in the holding role.
For sure, it could be argued there is no need for another as the Brazilian showed last year he has tremendous fitness levels which saw him play in nearly every match for the Reds. On top of this, there is less matches to play next season with the Reds not being in Europe, so it seems logical that Lucas could cope well on his own.
I would draw the line though at those who think the Reds could go without a recognised holding midfielder at all in some matches this season. Some fans who have suggested their first choice eleven next season have proffered a central midfield trio of Aquilani, Gerrard and Adam, and although I admit this looks very exciting on paper, the likelihood of such a formation working in reality is negligible. For one thing, you would be asking Adam to play as the most withdrawn of the midfield trio, and one thing we know about the Scot last season is that he can’t tackle. His foul count and his reckless lunge on Gareth Bale is testament to that.
In addition, when considering Lucas, you have to consider that he has had a long summer with Brazil at the Copa America and after having only a short break from football he may not be as fresh or fit as he was last season. His form may dip or he could pick up an injury; it is something you really shouldn’t take a risk on by not having a backup option.
It is one of the reasons why I have been advocating for us to buy a strong physical defensive midfielder like Yann M’Vila or Blaise Matuidi . (The Reds have actually been linked with Lee Cattermole for £10million but I am hoping this is nothing more than a rumour).
If finances dictate however that the priority for signings lies elsewhere, such as left back and centre half, the Reds may have to look in house unless either Spearing or Poulsen stay. The most logical choice would of course be Conor Coady .
The youngster has impressed in pre-season already, after scoring against Guangdong, and the fact he has already featured in many squads under Dalglish at the back end of last season, suggest King Kenny maybe keen to give him a chance in the first team.
The most likely scenario would be that he features in a few League Cup ties next season, but with FSG and Kenny keen to ensure that exciting youngsters have an opportunity to progress to first team level, I feel Conor may have the talent to step up if he is called upon. What do you think?
Article is courtesy of David Tully at Live4Liverpool