Liverpool Targets – A Crucial Month for Rodgers!
Posted on August 2, 2012 by Joe Plewes
Earlier this week we took a look at the players Brendan Rodgers is keen to ship out of Anfield, but now it’s time to turn our heads towards those he’s trying to bring in. While Rodgers himself has noted that of the ‘hundreds’ of players he has seen linked with Liverpool in the press, very few are actually in the picture – but a number of arrivals are expected with the reds only bringing in Fabio Borini from Roma so far.
Meanwhile high earners Maxi Rodríguez and Dirk Kuyt have hot-footed it out of Merseyside seeking first team football, with both Alberto Aquilani and Andy Carroll looking certain to follow. This leaves Rodgers’ squad a little threadbare going forward, and with the departure of Brad Jones appearing imminent a goalkeeper is also on the agenda.
Seeing as a huge proportion of transfer rumours are more than likely hear-say, we’ll focus on those linked by respected journalists with a good track record on all things LFC first, before following it with three ‘possibles’ and a few bits of complete conjecture.
Welcome to Anfield…
Pass Success: 91.2%
Key Passes AVG: 1.3
Few will be surprised to see the Welshman on this list, and with Aquilani soon expected to pitch up in Florence a move may happen sooner rather than later. Despite Jonjo Shelvey showing signs of promise, he appears a possible makeweight in any deal for the neat and tidy 22-year-old, with press reporting a fee of around £12.5m may be enough to prise him away from the Liberty Stadium.
Yet his release clause is around two and a half million more than that figure, and with Luka Modric going AWOL in attempts to force a move through to Real Madrid there may yet be an approach from Spurs, who seek to exact a second transfer defeat over the reds having pipped them to the signature of Gylfi Sigurðsson.
Pass Success: 83%
Key Passes AVG: 1.5
All has gone quiet on the American front since NESN accidentally published that the Fulham forward had already signed for the reds. Yet Brendan Rodgers has revealed that he has made an inquiry for the 29-year-old, and he hasn’t travelled to Fulham’s training camp in Switzerland in a bid to force through a move.
As the USA’s prominent footballer, bringing in Dempsey would surely be met with a favourable response from the Liverpool boardroom and while he is known to be a tough, resilient character rather than a technically astute one, his figures in that area are still rather good.
Maybe at Anfield…?
Pass Success: 72.2%
Key Passes AVG: 1.6
While it would be untrue to suggest there has been no interest from Merseyside in the Bologna attacking midfielder, those in the know indicate that he was a Comolli target rather than a Rodgers’ one. But the 21-year-old Uruguayan could surely fit into Rodgers’ master plan:
While the Northern Irishman prefers explosive, direct wingers in his frontline, Ramírez performed all of last season in a withdrawn attacking role à la Sigurðsson. In that position he managed eight goals and four assists in thirty-three appearances, and with the Reds requiring more attacking penetration those numbers aren’t to be sniffed at – although it appears unlikely than any move will be made for the playmaker.
DORUS DE VRIES
Clean Sheets: 2
With Brad Jones reportedly on the move, Wolves’ keeper Dorus De Vries has been linked in the press with the Anfield club. The 31-year-old turned out 178 times for Swansea over a four year spell and will be well known to Brendan Rodgers, although the Dutch stopper turned down a contract with the Swans to move to Wolves in 2011. If the reds are indeed in the market for a back-up goalkeeper, De Vries will likely be in the picture.
LFC have tentatively been linked in some circles with Porto’s Ghanaian winger ‘Atsu’, who spent last season on loan at Rio Ave. He is fast, direct and at just twenty surely fits Rodgers’ blueprint for the future. One word of caution though for Reds’ fans – once again Tottenham are poised to make a move for the flying winger and of course he will be a player known intimately by boss André Villas-Boas.
And With a Tiny Chance of Being at Anfield…
JUAN MANUEL VARGAS
Pass Success: 82.6%
Key Passes AVG: 1.6
The Peruvian wideman has been regularly linked with a transfer away from Fiorentina, and with Alberto Aquilani set to move the other way it is no surprise that speculation has arisen about his departure. Last season he turned out on the left of a front three on several occasions, while also deputising in the middle of the Viola’s midfield. With Juventus reportedly keen on Stevan Jovetić though, the Florence outfit may be keen to keep hold of the winger.
A meteoric rise for the Bristol-born stopper saw him handed a place in Roy Hodgson’s England squad and the number 1 jersey for Team GB, despite turning out for Cheltenham Town earlier in the season. At 6ft 4in, Butland offers a commanding presence belying his tender age and will certainly have no shortage of interested parties this summer.
Liverpool scouts reportedly watched the Birmingham ‘keeper as he turned out for Stuart Pearce’s side against the UAE last week. With Southampton allegedly rebuffed in a £6m attempt to sign the stopper though, Birmingham’s asking price may prove a stumbling block.
Manchester United were reportedly very close to signing the Argentine wide player last April, but the player’s agent has moved to quash reports linking the 24-year-old to Old Trafford. Rated anywhere between £14m and £20m+, Benfica may be willing to sell due to financial problems which saw them unable to complete a move for Cristian Ansaldi in January – yet this one’s a bit more of a long-shot.
That’s a smattering of names linked with a move, and certainly moves for Joe Allen and Clint Dempsey appear to be in the pipeline. As for the other six, we’ll have to wait and see! Whoever comes in be sure to check out the Oddslife Predictor site when they kick off against West Brom on August 18.