Saturday, July 13, 2013

Three Players Liverpool Must Sign to Crack the Top Four

Liverpool may have been one of the busier Premier League clubs in the transfer window but it seems manager Brendan Rodgers is far from finished when it comes to strengthening his squad.

Having already signed Kolo Toure, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas and Simon Mignolet, Rodgers revealed that he will now turn his attention to signing players who can instantly have an impact in the first team.

"Now what's important over the next three to five weeks is improving the team. That's something the club is working very hard at," declared the Reds boss. "I'm sure by the time the end of August comes we'll be ready and we'll have a terrific squad ready to challenge.

"I still think another attacking, creative player, and depending on what goes out of the club - because naturally there might be one or two players who need to go out and play more - then we'll need to fill those areas that have been vacated.

"Certainly another attacking player will really benefit us, and probably another defender. We'll see how it develops over the course of the next few months."

With Luis Suarez suggesting he is keen to leave the club, Liverpool may also be in need of a first choice striker. With plenty of business to be done we decided to help out Rodgers by presenting a list of three players who would instantly command a place in the first team.

Centre-Back - Toby Alderweireld

The Ajax defender is currently considering an offer from Norwich but there is no reason why he could not walk into the Liverpool first team and challenge Martin Skrtel for a starting berth. Still just 24 years old he already has a wealth of experience in the Champions League and has three league titles to his name. His partnership with Jan Vertonghen was formidable two seasons ago and it is likely he would perfectly gel alongside the left-footed Daniel Agger. Alderweireld also has a superb pedigree on the international stage having represented Belgium at every youth level, whilst also winning 24 caps for the senior side. Competing with Premier League defenders like Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen for a place at centre-back for Belgium further proves his credentials. Even better for Liverpool he would cost less than £7m and Ajax are prepared to sell.

Attacking/creative midfielder - Christian Eriksen

Another realistic target for Liverpool and a player who has a burgeoning reputation after three outstanding years in the Ajax first team. Eriksen has played a major role in helping the Dutch giants win three league titles and much like his teammate Alderweireld, has refused to sign a new deal and has just 12 months remaining on his current contract. The Denmark international has previously said he was "flattered" to be linked with Liverpool and has consistently been on the radar of numerous Premier League teams. A hugely skilful midfielder with great vision and an eye for goal, Eriksen would be a long term investment who could immediately compete with the likes of Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen for a place in midfield. His ten league goals last season show he is improving his finishing and once again Liverpool would not have to break the bank for a player with massive potential, and is ready to immediately step into the first team.

Striker - Christian Benteke

Liverpool fans and Rodgers alike will be hoping that they do not need another striker but if Suarez decides to force through a move then the club will have significant funds and they could do far worse than snap up Benteke. The powerhouse Belgian demonstrated his talent in front of the Kop last year when he excelled in Villa's 3-1 win at Anfield, hitting two of his 19 Premier League goals. Having handed in a transfer request it is believed he would be available for £25m; a fee unlikely to scare off Liverpool especially if they have cashed in on Suarez. At just 22 years of age he will only improve and has already shown his ability to lead the front in a struggling side. A central role with Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho on either side is a fascinating and exciting front line that would worry any defence. A lack of European football may hinder Liverpool's chances but with the club showing plenty of ambition, they may feel they can convince the Belgium international it is the right move.

Yilmaz As Possible Replacement For Suarez

Liverpool has set their sights on Burak Yilmaz of Turkish side Galatasaray.

According to Sky Sports, Brendon Rodgers is monitoring the forward as a possible replacement for Luis Suarez.

With heavy speculation surrounding the future of Suarez at Liverpool the manager has been forced to search for other attacking options in case the forward does not remain at the club.

This is looking increasing likely with Suarez being linked away from Anfield almost everyday. At present Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Real Madrid are in the running to sign the want-away Uruguayan centre forward.

Galatasary President Unal Aysal has said that he would be prepared to listen to offers for the former Trabzonspor player.

He said, “We have a set price for Yilmaz. If Burak wants to leave and our transfer demands are matched, we could accept a deal.”

Yilmaz was extremely impressive in his first season with Galatasaray and is regarded as one of the best forwards currently in Europe.

He managed an exceptional scoring rate last season with 32 goals in only 39 games.

Ajax Boss Advises Midfielder Against Liverpool Move

Ajax head coach Frank De Boer has advised Christian Eriksen to not join Liverpool this summer, claiming the Reds' playing style would not suit the Denmark international.

Brendan Rodgers' side have been persistently linked with the midfielder throughout the summer, interest that has heightened after the club missed out on Armenian international Henrikh Mkhitaryan who joined Borussia Dortmund earlier this month.

The 21-year-old midfielder is in the final year of his contract at the Amsterdam Arena and is largely expected to leave the club this summer. But his current coach De Boer believes a move to Anfield where he would play under Rodgers' particular game plan would not benefit the young midfielder.

"If they play as they do now, I would not go," De Boer told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, via Goal. "The playing style would not suit his own, but ultimately, it is for Chris himself to decide."

Eriksen, who has won three consecutive Eredivisie titles with Ajax, already has 36 international caps to his name, and having turned down opportunities to leave the Dutch capital in the past for bigger clubs he would now appear ready to try his luck elsewhere.

The midfielder was quizzed on the prospect of joining Liverpool last year where he indicated he would wait until the end of the season to decide upon his future.

"It is great that such big clubs are interested," Eriksen said of reported Liverpool interest in October.

"It is very special for me but I am not contemplating various transfer scenarios in any way at the moment."

Hailed for his range of passing, sublime first touch and creative qualities, Eriksen would seemingly fit the bill for what Rodgers is looking for in his summer signings.

Speaking earlier this month, Rodgers said: "I still think another attacking, creative player, and depending on what goes out of the club - because naturally there might be one or two players who need to go out and play more - then we'll need to fill those areas that have been vacated."

Wanderers Back On Spearing Alert

Bolton Wanderers may have been given a glimmer of hope in their efforts to land Jay Spearing.

Despite Blackburn agreeing a £1.75million fee for the tenacious midfielder earlier this week sources close to the player claim he is not keen on a move to Ewood Park, prompting Rovers boss Gary Bowyer to look elsewhere.

Spearing still wants to play in the Premier League and could hold out for offers until later in the transfer window.

And that could give the Whites further time to raise cash for a permanent move or convince Liverpool to allow the 24-year-old back out on loan.

Spearing was hoping to have his future sorted by the start of pre-season but now looks set to fly with the Reds for their tour of Australasia, which starts next week.

If a top-flight offer is not forthcoming then it is understood Wanderers would be his preferred destination – but that could hinge on them coming up with the cash for an acceptable bid.

Freedman has made no secret of the fact he wants the Anfield youth product back on the books in some capacity next season, but said earlier in the week that Liverpool’s asking price was too high.

Spearing is in the final year of his contract and has been told by Brendan Rogers that he will not figure in his first team plans this season.

Liverpool Looking To Offload South American Defender

Liverpool are hoping to offload defender Sebastian Coates for a fee of around £5m with Fulham believed to be interested in giving the Uruguayan another chance to shine in the Premier League.

Coates arrived at Merseyside in 2011 and was a highly sought-after transfer coup for then-manager Kenny Dalglish.

But adjusting to the Premier League after making the move from Uruguayan side Nacional has proven to be difficult, and last season the 22 year old made just 12 appearances for the club's senior line-up, five of those being in the league.

As Brendan Rodgers looks to trim his squad further to make up for having a particularly tight budget in recent transfer windows, the manager is reportedly willing to let Coates leave for around £5m.

And the Daily Mail are reporting that Fulham are particularly interested in the centre-back, believing that given a regular chance with the senior side Coates will find his feet in the Premier League.

The arrival of Kolo Toure may well for the young defender to leave as he looks to get more regular game time in the lead up to the 2014 World Cup.

Coates is yet another one of Dalglish's purchases to become surplus to requirements at Anfield, with Andy Carroll and Charlie Adam both departing after joining for big-money fees, while Stewart Downing continues to be linked with an exit.

If Coates does join Martin Jol at Fulham, it could be under very uncertain circumstances, with recent reports suggesting that the club may be sold by current owner Mohamed Al Fayed to a foreign party.

Krisztian Adorjan Wants Groningen Loan

The agent of Liverpool youngster Krisztian Adorjan has said that the Hungarian midfielder hopes to join Groningen on loan by the end of the week.

The 20-year-old is looking for first-team exposure this season and, with his chances at Anfield appearing limited, he has been training with the Dutch outfit for the past week.

Tibor Pataky, co-owner of the CMG agency, revealed that there is also interest from the Championship, but hinted that playing in the Eredivisie would be more appealing.

"We have an old partnership with Groningen from a long time ago and the two clubs have been negotiating continuously," Pataky told Nemzeti Sport.

"Groningen has started pre-season with Krisztian, who has continued to train with them. We hope an agreement will be made this week. Anything can happen, but the plan is a loan contract.

"Krisztian is in a tough situation at Liverpool, but they don't want to sell him. We would like him to go to Holland. There is interest from the Championship, but he could use his creativity more in the Dutch championship."

Adorjan joined the Reds from MTK Hungaria in 2009.

Arsenal Set To Increase Bid To 40 Million For Suarez

Liverpool has told Arsenal to dig a little deeper in to their pockets for them to even consider selling Luis Suarez.

The Gunners are set to increase their bid for the Uruguay international, after having a £30m offer flatly rejected.

Despite Suarez claiming he's keen to leave Anfield, The Reds do not wish sell the unsettled striker, who has also attracted interest from Chelsea.

The odds appear to be stacked against Arsenal however, as Suarez apparently revealed his desire to join Real Madrid.

My view on the matter is that Liverpool simply can't afford to let Suarez leave.

He's the force behind their attack. His hunger and desire, week in week out, is what keeps Liverpool afloat.

No disrespect to The Reds, but without him I fear they'd just lack that final product.

But, as we saw with Fernando Torres, every player has their price.

Luis Suarez Forcing Liverpool Departure

Liverpool's Luis Suarez is seemingly trying to force a move away from Anfield.

The Uruguayan striker has repeatedly been linked with a number of clubs, including some from the Premier League, meaning that his excuses that England is treating him excessively badly seem false.

It seems likely that he will play for another English club. Suarez said in a Liverpool meeting that he wishes to play for a Champions League club, and that he was flattered by Arsenal's ridiculous offer of a mere £30 million.

Suarez in my eyes is valued at £55 million. Just take a look at who else is in the market for that price and you will see what I mean.

As was seen with Fernando Torres; an unhappy player is a terrible playmaker and it is best that if this is the case, Suarez should be sold at maximum profit.

The Reds have never been shrewd and clever businessmen. The Andy Carroll transfer is just one of many money flops that could have been avoided.

It was also said that former manager Kenny Dalglish had the chance to bring Mario Gotze to the club, but instead opted for a more expensive Jordan Henderson.

Indeed, nobody can predict the future, but other clubs seem to be doing just fine with their recruitment.

If Liverpool does lose Suarez, their credentials in the transfer-market will be further questioned and then it will be tough for Liverpool to keep fighting for a top-ten finish.

A striker like Suarez can fit in at any club and with a passion like his, excitement will never be far away wherever he chooses to go.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers surely has a short-list of Suarez replacements and it is more than likely that he will be called into action to use it before transfer deadline day.

Reina Must Accept Mignolet Rivalry

Brendan Rodgers says creating competition for places is key to Liverpool’s summer plans and feels Simon Mignolet's arrival will improve Pepe Reina’s performances.

Mignolet moved to Anfield from Sunderland for a reported £9 million fee in June before outlining his ambition to usurp the current No.1 - who has missed just 20 league games in eight seasons.

"That was the idea for the summer [competition for places]," Rodgers told talkSPORT.

"Our recruitment team did a brilliant job when we sat down at the end of the last season on where we can strengthen the squad and build that competition in the group. We were very thin in the group last year.”

"Simon Mignolet's been a top keeper for the last few seasons now in the Premier League and Pepe Reina's been here for a number of years and been an outstanding keeper but in every position on the field there has to be competition to push people's performances."

Rodgers, although, has no regrets regarding the departure of Andy Carroll to West Ham, insisting his now-permanent departure has aided Luis Suarez's attacking output.

"That was a decision that needed to be made,” he said. "Luis benefited from that and went on to have a terrific season.

"Andy went out and did really well on loan and obviously [West Ham manager Sam Allardyce] came in and wanted to buy him.

“He's a good, big guy, he'll go away and do really well for West Ham. As a manager you have to make a decision and that's what I did."

Almeria Snap Up Suso On Loan From Liverpool

Liverpool has announced that midfielder Suso has joined Almeria on a season-long loan deal.

The 19-year-old, who shone with Spain at the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey this summer, has fallen down the Reds pecking order with the arrival of countrymen Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas.

He will now seek to gain regular first-team experience with the newly-promoted La Liga side.

Suso moved to Anfield from Cadiz in the summer of 2010 and went on to make 20 appearances in all competitions under Brendan Rodgers last season.

LFC And Carlsberg Sign New Deal

Liverpool Football Club and Carlsberg are celebrating their partnership of 21 years by announcing a three-year extension to the leading international beer brand's sponsorship.

Already the longest-serving partnership of any Barclays Premier League club, it has now been extended to run until the end of the 2015-16 season - a total of 24 seasons.

For 17 years Carlsberg were Liverpool FC's shirt sponsor, until 2010 when they became the Reds' official beer partner. During the 21 seasons, it is estimated that more than 5.7 million pints of Carlsberg have been served at Anfield, which is more than enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool (2,500,000L).

Mike Thompson, marketing director for Carlsberg, said: "Our relationship with Liverpool FC started in 1992. It was Carlsberg's very first connection to English football - an affiliation which has grown significantly.

"Over two decades later we are thrilled to be continuing our partnership with a club that has over 120 years of heritage and one of the biggest followings in football, both in the UK and around the world."

It is estimated that Liverpool FC has 588 million followers across the globe that the club interacts with on a regular basis. Recently Liverpool FC launched 15 new local language Twitter accounts, reaching fans in more than 75 different countries. This is in addition to, which receives seven million visitors per month, LFC TV UK, which attracts 600,000 viewers per week, and LFC TV International, which connects with 100 million homes worldwide.

Billy Hogan, Liverpool FC's chief commercial officer, added: "We are delighted to extend our partnership with Carlsberg, one of the world's leading beer brands.

"Together we have been on an incredible journey, which sees our partnership become the longest in the history of any top-flight club.

"We are incredibly proud of our partnership's longevity and the deep relationship between our two great brands. We look forward to another three years with Carlsberg, delivering exciting initiatives to our fans all over the world."