With the English Premier League season done and dusted, the second season is about to start–the silly season otherwise known as the transfer season. All the teams will be looking to improve and/or profit off of the players the club has developed. Ninety-nine percent of the rumors we will read about will never come to fruition and are likely complete b.s. fed to the papers by players’ agents, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to follow along. To that end UF has recruited our readers to contribute to the madness, along with ourselves, by previewing the silly season for each of the Premier League squads for next season. Next up is The Fan’s Attic on newly improved Liverpool.
One year after coming in second in the league things fell apart for Liverpool. The club sold off its midfield beatbox to Madrid and finally failed to respond to Rafa Benitez’ psychological games leading to a seventh place finish. A new manager and a selling off of another midfield workhorse started this last season on a sour note. Stunning losses and disorganization followed by a one game reprieve that only briefly made fans think a corner had been turned were the trademarks of team.
The good ship Liver-pop was not just anchored at the pier it was taking on water with not enough people bailing. The ownership was a mess only resolved by the legal systems in England and the USofA. Coupled with an underperforming team finding itself in the relegation zone at one point and it was only a matter of time before players jumped ship or mutinied. Both happened. Roy Hodgson was cast out and Fernando Torres determined he could not hack it on Merseyside any longer heading for supposedly smoother waters at Chelsea.
Only the departure of the Spaniard and the arrival of Kenny Dalglish caused the storm to ebb. In came Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll and new tactics the players liked. A strong finish to the season actually saw Liverpool challenge for the final Champions League spot only to fall short of Europe in sixth place behind Tottenham.
Liverpool under new ownership and new/old manager is looking to rebuild itself back into a title contender. Apparently they have money to spend too because Liverpool is linked with just about every player out there.
Liverpool Is Perpetually In Need Of Improvement In These Areas It Seems.
Left back. For the love of all things holy do not attempt to fill the left back spot with Paul Konchesky again.
Wings. When was the last time Liverpool had a proper winger that provided width and could serve a proper cross? I can’t recall. Albert Riera did it for about ¾ of a season then flamed out. Kuyt fills in ably but he is not enough. Andy Carroll will need somebody to serve him up headers on a platter next season and somebody needs to fill in the space vacated by Luis Suarez when he drops back to collect the ball.
Center back. Jamie Carragher isn’t getting any younger, but he is definitely getting slower. Martin Skrtel played every second in the league last year. Don’t count on that happening again especially with Carragher as his battery mate.
Forwards. For the first time since Fernando Torres first arrived at Anfield there is not a significant need for additional fire power up front. Chelsea’s fifty million pounds turned Torres into Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll and Kenny Dalglish has restored Kuyt to a striker role that he thrived in during the second half of the season. It would not hurt though to add some young understudies.
Central midfield. Haha. That’s the one place where nobody new is needed. Liverpool is lousy with center mids.
If Your Name Is Joe Cole or Christian Poulsen, You Probably Are Going To Be Sold/Loaned
Add Paul Konchesky to that list. And David Ngog. And Milan Jovanovic. All of you can be sold and not be missed.
Dalglish had to play a number of his young players (Jack Robinson, Jonjo Shelvey, John Flanagan) at end of the season due to a string of injuries. They all played admirably but if reinforcements come in the transfer market it would not surprise to see any of those youngsters go out on loan for more playing time for at least the first season. Dani Pacheco spent the last half of the year at Norwich City and Ned says they would take him back.
Alberto Aquilani is a conundrum right now. It’s unclear how Dalglish views Aquilani and the central midfield is packed right now. However, Juventus appears unwilling to meet Liverpool’s price demands and it’s unclear whether Liverpool will be willing to take a huge loss on the player already when he had only half a season to prove himself under a regime that the players had given up on already.
If He Is Young And English (or Scottish), Odds Are He Is Rumored To Be A Liverpool Target
Phil Jones. Ashley Young (?). Charlie Adam. Connor Wickham. Stewart Downing (yes, please if Young is out of reach.) All of these Brits have been connected with Liverpool and likely one or two of those mentioned will join the red half of Merseyside.
Oh look, a non-UK citizen, Liverpool put in a five million pound bid for Arsenal left back Gael Clichy. Looks like The New York Kid will become a Red. This would be a tidy bit of business for Liverpool to shore up a position of need with a proven commodity.
There may just be a surprise big purchase by Liverpool if the price is right late in the transfer window. Another Luis Suarez would be nice. The management appears to want the majority of the transfers wrapped up quickly so they don’t get stuck in bidding wars or have Manchester City links raise the price of the player. Come July 1 most of Liverpool’s squad should be set other than youth purchases.