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‘Brookside’ returns to Liverpool…

They say ‘Another Day, another dollar’. In Liverpool’s case, Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle, meant another day, another missed opportunity to climb the table. It meant another day, another performance that actually deserved a better result.

Watching Liverpool is like watching a soap opera, after reading the TV guide. You know what is about to happen, you expect it to happen, but can’t help but be amazed when it does happen.

The summer transfer window closed with the question, ‘Should Liverpool have bought a striker’. The answer – ‘Do bears have problems with faeces sticking to their fur?’

I apologise for answering a question with a question, but the two things these queries have in common is that, they are both absurd and they both have the same one word answer. So obvious is the answer, Manager Brendan Rodgers publicly stated that, he would never have loaned out Andy Carroll, if it had been clear that sufficient cash would not be forthcoming for another striker.

Bar the lacklustre home game against Arsenal, the soap opera preview for Liverpool’s games this season has been this; ‘pretty passing football, that lacks conviction in the final third’. Liverpool have only won 2 out of their opening 10 Premiership games this season. Ironically one of the saving graces for Rodgers is that, though the results have bred mass frustration, the real fans foresaw this happening. So whereas another manager would’ve been requested by fans to be sacked, only a minority are calling for Rodgers’ head.

Too much pressure has been piled upon Luis Suarez, a player who when making his move to Merseyside had dreams of forming one of the great strike partnerships you will see with now departed Fernando Torres. Suarez, when he first moved to Europe with Dutch club Groningen, used to occupy more of a left wing position, before moving further up the pitch later on, when he moved to Ajax. The fact he is the focal point of the attack shows something has gone wrong somewhere. To summarise, a quality player but not necessarily the man you always want in the box to score.

What a new striker would do is allow Suarez to focus his endeavours on creating havoc for defences. Suarez’ ability to wriggle through some of the narrowest of situations is amazing, even as your watching it with your own eyes, it sometimes doesn’t seem realistic.

Rodgers spoke post match on Sunday about improving the group, so whom exactly will Liverpool purchase in January? In no sufficient order, lets look at some possible options.

1. Didier Drogba: The Ivorian could be available for a possible loan deal, since his new club Shanghai Shenhua have apparently run into some money problems. Drogba now though at 34 years of age is unlikely to score as many goals as he did at the highest level earlier on in his career.  If he did choose though, to bite the bullet from angry Chelsea fans and turn out for another Premiership outfit, his sheer physical presence can still cause problems for defenders. This would open up space for the likes of Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling to do damage in the final third. His high wages possibly wouldn’t be a major issue here, as Liverpool cleared almost half a million a week in wages in the summer.

2. Theo Walcott: The Arsenal man has yet to sign a new contract at the Emirates and has made his intentions quite clear that he has completed his apprenticeship on the wing and wants to be used up front. His lightning pace is a major worry for any defender and if both on their game, he and ‘wonderkid’ Sterling could be a destructive force. The problem with Walcott though is that inconsistency is a major issue with the England International, which may deter many a fan from wanting him. He was ‘apparently’ a Liverpool fan as a boy and that could swing it if he was to leave North London, rather than a possible move to Manchester City.

3. Daniel Sturridge: Seemingly out-of-favour at Chelsea since Roberto Di Matteo took charge, Sturridge was actually Chelsea’s top scoring striker last season despite limited appearances after Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking. It is speculated Rodgers is a fan and tried to get him on loan in the summer, but Sturridge apparently wanted a permanent move. Sturridge can be a bit unpredictable at times, but does supply a major goal threat. He produces pieces of brilliance at times that could become more consistent, given more games. He does though seem to be a bit of a liability when tracking back.

4. Demba Ba: His agent seems to be content with shipping his name around to other clubs. A good finisher and more than capable in the air, he would add goals instantly. It would seem him and fellow Senegalese International Papiss Cisse take away each other goals, and Newcastle Manager Alan Pardew has sometimes drafted in Shola Ameobi into the starting XI at the expense of one of them. Ba has dismissed previous questions over his fitness and a move away from St James’ Park could be a distinct possibility.

5. Fernando Llorente: The Spanish International has shown Athletic Bilbao he would like to leave and with his contract running out in the summer, it would be silly of them to let a player as good as him go on a free. A big man who has composure in front of goal, has good feet and can hold the ball up well, not too many of those kind of players around in this day and age. Some people I have spoken to feel that, if Liverpool went as high as paying £35 million for Carroll in January 2011, then they should have gone for this guy instead. The likelihood is though that he would probably choose Real Madrid or Juventus over Liverpool should they get involved. The Reds would be foolish though to not try and get in the mix.

6. Klass-Jan Huntelaar: One of the best finishers there is quite frankly. He scored more goals than games last season in all competitions for Schalke. After being sold on by Real Madrid and AC Milan, a move to the Premiership would make anyone with doubts about his pedigree, eat their words if he was to be successful. A problem could be though he just turned 29 and Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group it would seem have given the impression to Rodgers they are unlikely to sign a player of this age. Even if Rodgers did want to purchase, the price may be out of Liverpool’s reach. More importantly, if Schalke qualify from their Champions league group, a move would almost definitely be out of the question.

7. Darren Bent: Since Aston Villa Manager Paul Lambert acquired Belgian International Christian Benteke, it has become blatantly obvious he doesn’t feel Benteke and Bent can work together up front. Apart from an indifferent spell at Tottenham, Bent has shown that even with a limited amount of chances he knows where the goal is. He’ll be looking to still be in Roy Hodgson’s thoughts for England duty and a move may be needed for this to still be the case.  His spell at Spurs will still be on his mind and the opportunity to show he can do it at a bigger club may be to good to turn down. Age could be an issue again here as he is 28 though. This is as well as the issue of over inflated prices you seem to get when Premiership teams sell English players to each other.

There are possible other names that could be thrown into the equation, but those choices are arguably to good to consider. The likes of Edinson Cavani are well out of Liverpool’s price range. Samuel Eto’o if he wanted to come out of the cold in Russia to weather not much better over here, or Brazilian International Leandro Damiao from the heat of Brazil are long shots.

Regardless of who it ends up being, the January transfer window will be greatly anticipated by all Liverpool fans, who for once are waiting to see a good end to this agonisingly long running ‘soap’ storyline of a lack of firepower.

Daniel Dwamena


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