3 Options Liverpool have to get past the Suarez ban
Then there is the other side of this: what big (or small) clubs are going to be willing to let us have a good striker on loan for 6 months, knowing that it may well come back to punish them in the long run? I mean, we could have inquired about Nicolas Anelka, or speak to Tottenham about taking Niko Kranjcar, or any one of Manchester City’s dozen strikers but would any of these clubs be willing to do business, knowing that we may get the best out of these players and pip them to a Champions League spot? It is highly unlikely. So what we’re left with is the dregs to choose from, or taking a chance on a potentially decent signing from abroad until the summer.
The third option is to stick with what we have. I mean, we have Andy Carroll and Dirk Kuyt – both are out-and-out forwards. Then there’s Craig Bellamy, who we will get maybe one full game out of per week? There is also Suso and we could always call back Dani Pacheco from his loan spell. Then, you can throw Steven Gerrard and the goal-scoring monster that is Maxi Rodriguez in to the mix and it suddenly doesn’t look so bad. Over the years Gerrard has often been our leading goal-scorer, usually in an advanced second striker roles. He could play out wide, providing the ammunition to Andy Carroll or he could play just behind a lone striker or a front two.
With a straight-forward target man like Carroll and two very adaptable forwards in Kuyt and Bellamy, there are definitely options there and as Bellamy has shown recently, he is more than capable of scoring goals from nothing, which is a quality a top striker needs these days. There is even a case for playing Gerrard as a striker himself; he has all the attributes and, after a long layoff, maybe pushing him further up the field would offer him more freedom and relinquish some of the responsibility, allowing him more time with the ball and more opportunities to boost his fitness and confidence? Then there is Maxi, who in the past 12 months has shown that, given the chance and the right support around him, is capable of being a highly prolific midfielder. So really it is just a matter of how we use our available resources in Suarez’s absence.
Of course, there is always the chance that this might backfire horribly, the window will close and we’ll be stuck without a world class striker. Then again, there is also the argument that, as good as Luis is, he hasn’t exactly been too prolific, so we may not miss him as much as we think in terms of goal scoring.
Which is why I believe that the third option is our best bet at the moment. We may lose Suarez for 8 games but we’re not desperate, we still have players that are capable of scoring goals. We have definite options. Admittedly, some are better than others but they are there and they are proven. We also have to remember that the transfer window has only just re-opened and will be open for another 4 weeks so there is also no rush. We should stick with Carroll, Bellam and Kuyt for the time being, supported by the fit and able Gerrard and, again, let’s not forget Maxi. In the meantime, we should keep doing our homework, keep an eye out home and abroad for any potential bargains and, should it become evident by the final week of January that a striker is a must, then we can make our move.
Articles courtesy of David Tyrer at Live4Liverpool