Even the most partisan of Liverpool fans would struggle to defend the club's activity in the last couple of transfer windows. Many of the new arrivals at Anfield are yet to impress, and it looks as if Kenny and Comolli will be requesting John Henry’s chequebook again this summer.
Without trudging into the realms of the bargain bucket (Michael Owen), what is available for Liverpool though? Surely Henry won't be willing to splash another £100 million, and whilst Dalglish has brought trophies, and belief back to Liverpool, they're not exactly the most attractive propspect for players who are playing at the very top of their game.
Here are three realistic prospects who I think could transform the team, and provide that all-important ‘progression’ that everyone seems so keen on…
Unfortunately, those Liverpool fans throwing out names like Huntelaar and Soldado are dreaming. Liverpool won’t attract that sort of talent this summer, but the team are also in the dire predicament of desperately needing goals.
Selecting a player of Crouch’s ilk to play alongside Suarez, who can worry defenders and pop up with a healthy haul of goals himself, is just about the best we can hope for. He won’t cost us £35 milliion (hopefully) and if he flukes another one or two of those bandy-legged wondergoals, all the better.
A step backwards? Perhaps, but Craig Bellamy hasn’t been too bad since he came back, has he?
Granero has shown himself to be an exciting, creative midfielder, the sort that has been lacking in so many of the reds’ laconic and disparate performances this season.
Bit more ambitious this one. Would you fancy leaving Real Madrid for Liverpool? We’ve just got to hope that Esteban really fancies the challenge of grinding out 10 or 15 draws at home every year..
In all seriousness though, Dalglish was apparently interested in January, and Granero could be the sort of midfielder that Liverpool are crying out for. I’ve written before how Charlie Adam just isn’t up to the task, and Henderson is too young to be shouldering the burden that will soon be left behind by Gerrard.
As understudy to Xabi Alonso at Real Madrid, Granero has shown himself to be an exciting, creative midfielder, the sort that has been lacking in so many of the reds’ laconic and disparate performances this season. With the increasingly likely departure of Maxi Rodriguez, and even perhaps Dirk Kuyt, in the coming months, Granero could also provide a determination and guile which is missing in the make up of other midfielders at the club.
Whether or not Granero wants to leave the Bernebeu is another debate altogether, but he would be a brilliant acquisition if Dalglish and Comolli can pull it off.
If the aforementioned Rodriguez and Kuyt do indeed depart in the summer, Liverpool are left a little light on the flanks.
Whilst Stewart Downing has began to play football recently, rather than just turn up every Saturday for a stroll, as he did earlier in the season, Liverpool are still wrangling with a style of play that incorporates the wingers more often. Craig Bellamy has been a superb creative outlet, in between bouts of chronic old age, however Liverpool could still do with a little more on the wings.
A graduate of the Bristol Rovers, and later Chelsea youth systems, Sinclair has impressed for Swansea since joining in 2010. He’s adept at playing fast, clever football, is an exciting young prospect, and even with Liverpool’s reputation and the fact that he’s English, it shouldn’t cost the earth to pry him away from the Welsh club in the summer.
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