Transfer Focus: What Liverpool need to do in the January transfer window

With the January transfer window quickly approaching, we take a look at the business that may be conducted by some of the top clubs in Europe. Here's a look at Liverpool FC...
This Season's Stats

Premier League: 9th
Champions League: Not qualified
Europa League: Round of 32
FA Cup: Third round
Capital One Cup: Knocked out
Games: 28
Won: 11
Lost: 8
Drawn: 9
Win %: 39.28%
GF: 44
GA: 38
GF ratio: 1.57
GA ratio: 1.36

Their Season So Far

Lying ninth in the table and having already been knocked out of the Capital One Cup, which they won last season, it has been a far from vintage season for the Reds.

However, having sacked Kenny Dalglish in the summer, replacing him with Brendan Rodgers, it was always going to be a year of transition for the Merseyside based club. Their cause wasn’t helped by a poor summer transfer window, where while they managed to get most of the high earning, surplus to requirement players out of the squad, but failed to replace them adequately.

Having loaned out Andy Carroll to West Ham and failing to buy a replacement, Liverpool’s attack was further plunged into chaos by an injury to Fabio Borini, which left them with only one fit striker in the shape of Luis Suarez.

While the Uruguayan has risen to the occasion by scoring regularly for the Reds, but when he hasn’t been at the top of his game, Liverpool have had real trouble this season, with the rest of the team not scoring enough.

Inconsistent form has been the bane of Brendan Rodgers’ side, and while they have progressed to the Round of 32 in the Europa League and seen several youngsters breakthrough into the first team, the league form has certainly left much to be desired.

What They Need

It is no secret that Liverpool need a forward, and perhaps two of those, to take the burden off Luis Suarez. The fact that a youngster like Raheem Sterling has made 17 starts in the Premier League this season shows the lack of depth in the squad.

Players like Oussama Assaidi, Joe Cole and Fabio Borini have been sparingly used or injured, meaning some serious thought has to be given to improve the squad upfront and on the wings.

In midfield, while they are good in-terms of numbers, a viable alternative to Lucas Leiva could be sought, as Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson have both not been able to fill-in for the Brazilian with enough conviction.

The defense may not need any addition, as Jose Enrique has settled in well at left-back after a poor start to the campaign. At the back though, Pepe Reina’s place might be in danger after an indifferent season so far.

Prime Targets

Daniel Sturridge

The Chelsea striker seems to be a certainty to join the Reds in the January transfer window, with rumours stating that he has already undergone a medical at Melwood. The former Manchester City striker is set to join in a £12 million deal.

The English forward shall certainly add some bite to a very Suarez dependent strike-force. He certainly has the skills to fit well into Brendan Rodger’s system.

Tom Ince

Having left Liverpool for a pittance just 18 months ago, Ince also seems to be on his way back to Anfield for a fee of around £6 million.

Having proven his talent at Blackpool, playing across the frontline, Ince shall definitely add some depth and versatility to the squad, which is short on both. His pace and trickery should mean he should fit in well at the club. With age on his side and wages being very affordable, he perfectly with the Fenway Sports Group’s (FSG) policy of buying young.

Jack Butland

With Pepe Reina’s place under the scanner, Butland seems the most likely alternative. He might even be bought in to provide some more competition to the Spanish goalie.

Blessed with a good command of his box and shot-stopping abilities, the Englishman definitely has the potential to challenge Joe Hart in the long-term. He is yet another player who would fit in well with FSG’s policy of looking out for players with a good re-sale value.

David Villa

One name that has been mentioned in some reports and whom the Liverpool fans would love to see at Anfield is David Villa. Seemingly on his way out of Barcelona and at the age of 31, time may be ticking on the explosive forward’s career, but there is no denying he still has an eye for goal. 8 goals in 20 games is a good record for a player returning from injury.

He would definitely be a signing that would be seen as a statement of intent, but his wages and Barcelona’s reluctance to let him go out on loan will definitely be a barrier.

Wesley Sneijder

Another player who has been linked with the Reds in the past week and whose signing seems improbable is Wesley Sneijder.

With his availability being an open secret, several clubs are circling around the Dutch attacking midfielder, who is apparently available for a knock-down fee.

There is no question that he would bring creativity, goals and excitement into Liverpool’s play, but along with it would come a hefty wage packet, which, in the present times of austerity at the club, seems beyond them.

Who Could Leave?

While most of the high-earning deadwood was moved out in the summer, a few players might still be moved out.

The likes of Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson, who have featured sparingly under Rodgers might be moved on, as this might be the last opportunity for Liverpool to re-coup some of their investment on the duo, who cost a combined £36 million approximately.

There have been rumours that Sebastian Coates might be moved back to South America, but such a deal would largely be dependent on the Anfield based club getting another centre-back.

The Reds would definitely be glad to see the back of Joe Cole, but it is highly unlikely any suitors, even QPR, would be ready to pick up his £1,00,000/week salary.

Forgotten man Daniel Pacheco will also definitely be moved out, with his once promising career at Liverpool having petered out.

Who do you think Liverpool should sign? Leave your comments below or discuss with the writer on Twitter @ayush_sri

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