Liverpool’s start to the 2014/15 season in Liverpool has been one of the worst since the beginning of the Premier League. New signings, like Markovic and Balotelli, still look like they need more time to get settled down and actually produce something useful on the pitch.
Still looking very weak in defence and with an impotent strikeforce, here’s a look at 5 players Liverpool might want to consider during the January transfer window that could turn their season around.
1. Peter Cech
Since losing his spot to the rising Belgian star Thibaut Courtois from the start of the season, Petr Cech, Chelsea’s 32 year old custodian, is desperate for first team action and has been told that he can leave the club–but only at the right price.
He would most definitely be a better and direct replacement for Mignolet–who just happens to play second fiddle to Courtois in the Belgian national team. If Liverpool do decide to offload the shot-stopper during the transfer window, Cech would bring experience, quality decision and some stability to Liverpool’s ever so shaky back four.
2. Norberto Neto
Fiorentina’s Norberto Neto would be perfect for Liverpool. While not a shoe-in replacement, Neto could be the challenge needed for Mignolet to step-up. Neto has made 76 appearances for his club, conceding only 78 as compared to Mignolet’s 59 appearances and conceding 81 . Valued at £6 million and with his contract expiring in mid 2015, Liverpool could get him pretty cheap.
He’s also been stalling contract talks with the club. Looking for a new challenge maybe? Signing the 22 year old would definitely be a gamble when compared to bringing in someone like Cech. But with Rodgers interest in developing young players, Neto would be the more probable signing.
3. Simon Kjaer
The 25 year old defender from Dane, currently at Lille, has had a really good 2013/14 season and he seems to have carried that form to this season. The fans say that their success was due to Kjaer’s performance in the defensive role. The defender is primarily a center back but can operate as a defensive midfielder as well.
Lucas Lieva has stated that if he fails to re-establish himself at Anfield, he wants to join Benitez at Napoli leaving that spot open. Kjaer, comes from a family of Liverpool fans and admits that, should he move to English football, he would prefer a switch to Merseyside. However other clubs, like Manchester United have shown interest in signing him as well. Could he be Liverpool’s next ‘Great Dane’?
4. Seydou Doumbia
The Ivorian striker has been linked with many clubs–Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal as well as clubs from Germany, Spain and Italy. He could be the solution for Liverpool’s disappointing strike rate. He could possibly be what all Liverpool fans were hoping from Balotelli : a strong striker that bullies defenders off the ball and find the back of the net regularly.
However CSKA Moscow have indicated that contract talks with Doumbia have begun but will also entertain offers matching his buy-out clause of £25m. Doumbia’s current deal runs until 2016, but he is interested to see what offers come in prior to committing himself further. A quality player who would fit in Liverpool’s free flow attacking style.
5. Jackson Martinez
Jackson Martinez should have been the striker that Liverpool splashed most of their Saurez money on. An agile, pacey and relatively strong forward, Martinez, like Doumbia, Martinez fits Liverpool’s attacking philosophy. He’s been the top goal scorer in Portugal’s Primeira liga for the last 2 seasons scoring 20 and 26 goal for the 13/14 and 12/13 seasons respectively.
However FC Porto have slapped on a £40 million price tag on their Colombian striker. Getting him to sign for Liverpool would be quite hard. With the money already spent at the start of the season, I don’t think that the Reds have much left in their transfer budget. Fenway Sports Group (the owners) would expect Rodgers to sell some players before they decide to finance it further.
With other big money clubs chasing after him, Liverpool need to act quickly before Martinez speeds away.