27 Sept 2013

'I'm never satisfied' - BR reveals Jan transfer plans. Are these the top 3 priorities...?

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed once again that he plans to improve the team during the January transfer window.

After a fine start to the season, things have gone pear-shaped for the Reds over the last few weeks, with two defeats and a draw derailing Liverpool's four-game winning run.

Even at this early stage, it's explicitly clear that further reinforcements are needed in January, and in his pre-Sunderland press conference today, Rodgers admitted as much. He told reporters:

"You can never be satisfied, and we’re always looking to improve. It's a long way off, but every window we have to look to improve our team, that’s something we’ll do in the next transfer window as well"

What are Liverpool's priorities for January? In my view:

1. Experienced, goalscoring attacking midfielder, i.e. another player who can effectively play the number 10 role. That should've been Christian Eriksen (and no, I'm not going to stop going on about it!), but all the pressure and expectation should not be placed solely on Coutinho's shoulders.

2. Strong, fast, athletic central midfielder (to challenge Lucas). Reds fans have argued this point for months, if not years, and the club evidently refuses to address the issue. Lucas is a very good player, and he has a role in the team, but he needs competition, and Liverpool need a different type of defensive midfielder in the squad.

3. Another goalscoring winger. The team is still light in this area. Moses and Sterling are decent options, but a top class attacker who can come in and make an impact straight away is (arguably) needed.

Re the current squad: it looks increasingly like the £16m outlay on Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto is going to take considerable time to really pay-off. After starting the the first three league games, Aspas is now relegated to bench-warming duty, and Luis Alberto can't even get into the starting line-up.

The increasingly uncomfortable reality is that Rodgers has spent £40m+ on four players - Allen, Borini, Alberto, and Aspas - who are yet to make any significant impact on the team. The Luis Alberto situation is especially hard to fathom. Why spend €8m on him if he's never going to play? Even scoring a hat-trick for reserves wasn't good enough to elevate him into the first team.

Rodgers has to get it right in the next transfer window, and if he can pull off a double-swoop similar to the Coutinho-Sturridge double-whammy last January, then LFC will definitely be on the right track.

NOTE: Please stick to the Comment Policy (Click to read)


  1. I agree with you on just about everything there, JK.

    Only thing I'll say about the four signings you specifically mentioned is that they are all still young. And Allen heavily skews that number as he accounts for roughly 40% of it, and it's simply accepted that we overpaid for him.

    In terms of the Alberto comment, he's the youngest of the four and I think we'll be seeing more of him as the season progresses.

    After last year's tumultuous start where we completely overplayed Sterling and Allen to the point where they were either injured and/or useless after January, I have no problem with conserving some of the younger players for now.

    I'd like to see more of integration of the younger players into the first team, if only to provide them with some valuable experience.

    Losing out of the League Cup is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand it takes away the opportunity for BR to burn out some of the senior players (as he's shown that he plays them in these games). On the other hand it takes away the opportunity for BR to give some of the younger players a chance.

  2. I disagree with you , joe allen can play number 10 , its only a few more games without coutinho and suso who looks fantastic at almeira is due to arrive next season.
    we already have two cdms what we need is a creative player from midfield like will hughes
    and rather then a goalscorer winger we should sign a striker to come of the bench and score

  3. Once upon a time we could have had Ronaldo, the point is we didn't get him and its the same with Eriksen unfortunately. Gonna have to suck it up JK. Other than that i agree totally and i would also add Stevie needs Competition/Replacement as well.

  4. There are very few players available in the market of real quality am afraid.

  5. Uhmm who are "2" cdms u r talk about?

  6. Joe Allen's situation is a bit like what we saw with Lucas and Henderson really but I would have liked to see any player perform at their best with a shoulder problem which lead to Allen going for shoulder surgery. At the start of last season when Allen was covering for Lucas he was our best midfielder. Unfortunately for him injuries have held him back.

    Aspas has openly admitted that the physicality of the EPL and La Liga are on a totally different level. He clearly needs to hit the gym and bulk up considerably.

    I am not to worried about how Rodgers has handled Alberto. The player is still young and their is enough time for him to make an impact later on.

    Compare our current squad with that of the one Rodgers took over at the start of last season and it will show that we have a much stronger unit.

    What we need desperately is a CM that can dominate in midfield and unfortunately Lucas nor Gerrard have been able to do that this season. Things might change once Allen is fully fit again.

  7. Absolute nonsense

  8. Mysterious Joe Allen9:32 pm, September 27, 2013

    Actually i have to say that i understand completely why Rodgers targets Montoya - he will be better then Johnson in not a long time at all from now, and Pastore.
    Great targets. We need much more of this quality (or close) targeted in case, obviously, for either
    very easily can go wrong for us. I don't know Nathaniel Clyne.

    Jorginho two i understand. And also i would add, if we are really series about
    bringing Alonso back, then i must admit that the thinking going on back stage is really
    'right'. And if we get some of these players of first choice i would respect Rodgers saying not
    long ago "I want the right players"; "We don't buy someone just for the sake of buying someone". Traore and Hernandez are very good,
    and CHIP, targets as well, as for the spot of another striker we need badly as well. Saying that, i hope i won't get too disappointed. All seem somewhat realistic.

  9. I agree with every point, except I would say that the signing of a ball-winner and wide-forward both remain higher priority than an attacking midfielder.

  10. Mysterious Joe Allen9:34 pm, September 27, 2013

    Solid point. Simply mistakes made and that should be learn from asap.

  11. You may be right. Its just that I created a sandbox scenario in my mind and figured whom I would buy if I was BR and FSG land me 100mn to qualify for CL. I couldn't find players who can guarantee me that. May be I have very little scouting knowledge.

  12. Mysterious Joe Allen9:49 pm, September 27, 2013

    How many players scored goals for us in 7 or 8 matches so far this season? How many sure chances has Henderson missed from center middle position in these matches? How many goals have been scored all together and how were they scored? [mostly moments of individual brilliance]. How do we deal without Coutinho and how do we deal with him carrying so much responsibility at such a young age, so far this season? Can you win games without goals?

    I agree completely for the need of the two first roles you've mentioned, but i suggest the third spot is at least equal in it's importance.

    Fluent creativity and limitless dynamic is especially what we miss; is especially what led us to our best performances last season but that we didn't get to see consistently enough. You cant lay your trust for that so much very important dimension of play [especially in a team who inspire to preform this way and that her base lays there] on only 3 players: Who get's banned, who wants to leave, who has bad days, who get's tired, who are still young and not experienced enough.

  13. I know but apart from Sterling, Wisdom, Suso and now Ibe I can't really think of any who have successfully made the step up? Kelly obviously and Spearing came close. However as you said players seem to be coming through a bit more now. May this continue!

  14. I agree with your assesment Jamie. And while you're harping about Eriksen (and rightly so) have you seen Henrikh at Dourtmond…unbelievable that we missed out on those two.
    But back on topic, while I do agree with you on the position needs I just cant think of anyone who is both a) in our budget/attracted to the club and b) good enough to do a job for us. In a perfect world I would love to see Mata and Lukaku as the mid and striker solutions as they have got to be tired of being treated like second class citizens at Chelsea. They would be starting in our team imo and we would love them but I can't see Chelsea risk getting "sturridge egg-on-their-faces" again.
    I'm a big fan of the box to box DM but with Moussa and Wanyama gone I can't think at the top of my head of anyone who would fit the bill...I hear good old Momo is looking for a new club tho :)

  15. Nathaniel Clyne plays for Southampton. Montoya would be a good signing for us the only problem is Barcelona probably will put the buy back clause in the deal but as you said a great target!

    I haven't really seen much of Joe Allen but on FM13 (in all it's wisdom) he seems like a great player and worked well when I bought him for Liverpool. I hope we do bring Alonso back as it will give the dressing room a lift and a he would be a great signing for us!

    By Hernandez do you mean Javier Hernandez the United player? I too have said that we need another striker. Not a future striker but one for now. Someone who can be used when Sturridge is out injured or as a rotation policy.

  16. If we are going to go for a box to box/defensive midfielder then look no further than Lars Bender. Doubt Wanyama is good enough wear the red shirt.

  17. Mysterious Joe Allen10:36 pm, September 27, 2013

    I red somewhere that Liverpool are confident of landing him in about 17m. Truth or not, if somehow true, maybe it will sum up to 24-28 in the end. Also i red we might go back for Menez on the cheap. Surely hes better then Moses, IMO.

  18. Jamie, it's as if you telepathically read my mind before writing this article. I agree with all of the above :-)

    Eriksen will show his class unfortunately for Spurs, and he was an easily achievable target once we lost out to the Armenian, and would have provided cover/alternative for Courtinho.

    Lucas has already amassed 4 yellows, and will again be heading for a ban shortly. We do not possess anyone with his skill set. He tops the stats in the league for his position of breaking down the opposition.

    Our wingers are lightweight, ie easily pushed off the ball, and have a relatively poor first touch. They are at their best running one-on-one against the opposition full back. Not suited to the formation we had on Wednesday against Man U.

    I hope there is time for Alberto, but the other three are a complete waste of time/space and money. This waste in no different to the £50m Dalglish spent on Carroll+Downing, who BR was ready to discard.

    I'm still confused as to why Suso and a few others have been loaned out. It's not like we have more than 15 decent first team players who are actually likely to get a game. I also worry who will lead the line should Sturridge befall a serious injury. No doubt the answer will be to use Suarez. But when are we going to use some of our younger striking talents?

    Ultimately, I don't have confidence in BR, who I feel is totally out of his depth.

  19. You are right. The problem is, Coutinho has made Gerrard look good in his new role. Without Coutinho, our ball retention fails as there is no one to hold up or link the play (esp when Mignolet kicks long). This then causes the opposition to push on, as demonstrated in every 2nd half of this season.

    Thus without Coutinho, our formation/system needs to be adapted to the personnel, eg 352 or 442, but something other than the 4213 we use with Courtinho. But not only must the system change, but the players need to know how to play the system, unlike Wednesday ;-)

  20. Ha ha reminds me of Monty Python:
    Apart from the roads, the aquaduct, sanitation public order and medicine, what have the Romans ever done for us?
    You mentioned 5 or 6 players there. How many sides can say that in the top 10?

  21. No. We. Couldn't.
    Mhkitaryan wanted to go to a CL club, and did. Eriksen- maybe, but you can't compare them to 4 players we were able to get as if it was a straight choice

  22. Jaimie, what are your thoughts on Allen? I thought he had a wonderful pre-season and IMO, was one of the star players, yet he hasn't even gotten on the pitch this season. I would like to see him on the pitch.

  23. Will Hughes, gimme a break, is he any better than Luis Alberto, ?

  24. Exactly. Everyone assumes that Liverpool is the most attractive place for transferring players.

    We are not as attractive when they have an opportunity to make more money and/or play Champions League.

  25. United, Everton, Tottenham and Arsensal ;) I do get you point though. Anyway yeah what did the Romans ever do for us? haha

  26. Fish and Chips.

  27. Alberto is a youngster now, what will he be like in six years, when he is Aspas age.

  28. I can't believe how well Diego Costa has started the season.
    Fair play to our scouts (who seem much better nowadays) since they clearly identified that he was on a sharp upward curve.

  29. He's injured at the moment. I think he'd probably have gotten a game against Southampton had he been fit.

  30. Yes Henrikh has been xlnt for Dortmund, and Costa has been xlnt for Athletico, 2nd only to Messi in La Liga, the scouts got those two right. But neither were interested in LFC, so people here should stop apportioning blame for missing out on them, they were not interested in coming to LFC.

  31. Please, dont say Lucas is our best midfielder, you will ruin my nights sleep.

  32. Good player but is not versatile just fits in that one spot and u need to set the team around him if u are going to spend big, rather have Coutinho and spend the money elsewhere.
    If they could get him ridiculously cheap well then yes.

  33. It's ridiculous for him to talk about January now when the summer window has just closed. He should take responsibility and try to utilize the players that he bought and make them work! Let Alberto have a run of few games and also continue to put faith in Aspas. Henderson played a whole season under Kenny before bedding in. Look at giroud last season and now he's vital to arsenal. He has to stop playing both Lucas and Gerrard when courinho is missing. Why not play Stevie in place of coutinho? I miss him taking shots on goal and he can try to conserve his energy although its a huge ask. Or maybe just play 60 minutes? An attacking Stevie for one half is better than a defensive one for a whole game right?

  34. I agree with you 100%. Lars Bender is the guy to go to for box to box and his attacking and defensive game is also much more satisfying than many at our club.

  35. If for some reason LFC are brave enough to ever make an offer for Messi then some fans will believe that we 'missed out' on him. There is very little chance of attracting top players in our current situation. I just do not understand the thinking of some at times.

  36. We need another striker. I don't care how many we currently have. Nicol raised a good point that we need to create TOO many chances to score.

  37. It would not surprise me if we make offers again for Costa next summer. It is vital for us to qualify for the CL this season!

  38. The priorities seem correct but for the life of me, why wouldn't BR just zip it and keep priorities quiet. Telegraphing your ideas is dumb practice.

  39. He is still recovering from the hamstring injury he picked up against Notts County.

  40. im finding it harder and harder to comment on our midfield....the reality is rogers seems resolute on picking lucas and gerrad regardless of form or opposition...coupled with the fact there are no other viable alternatives means i think we will start to struggle in this area in the coming months...

  41. mission Jan then:
    keep Suarez, buy Pastore, buy a CDM(Maxime Gonalons or M'vila),sell Kelly, loan wisdom, buy a back up RB.
    Sell Suarez in the summer and bring in Muriel and Costa.
    I am done.
    I know this will never happen but at least I am happy with the kind of palyers we are linked with

  42. but they are hopeless.

  43. Who though? Both Gerrard and Lucas are playing as holding midfielders.

    I do not think the Lucas and Gerrard combo is ideal but Henderson is not going to offer the range of passing Gerrard does and will not offer the reading of the game Lucas does. Our only other option right now for a midfielder who is adept to playing deep is Allen but he is injured.

    I am pretty sure Rodgers will be looking to strengthen our midfield in the next two transfer windows.

  44. Being realistic about where we are at financially, wage restrictions and so called reputation perceived amongst players etc Diame would be a decent shout for competition to Lucas? As for attacking midfielder should've really pushed for eriksen in my opinion. That price was a steal! I hope it's not gylfi sigurdsson!!!! Shame about Diego Costa!

  45. Someone ought to go to BR's house, bang on his door and tell him what we exactly need..coz no one at LFC seems to be able to figure that out. Spending money on guys like Aspas and Alberto just isn't helping us. Spurs buy players who look like a threat whenever they play. We should be able find and buy similar players. Agree with the priorities.

  46. The LFC Board lacks any transfer strategy whatsoever:
    Ilori-8 mil
    Aspas-7 mil
    Alberto-9 mil
    Thats about 25 million of money wasted on players that are not even in the first team. What was the point of buying them? Was it for the future!? Thats ridiculous! We need players right now, not for 2-3 seasons later. Our squad is already small with all those players being sold. It made no sense to go and buy players that are not gonna play in the first team especially since our transfer budget seemed to be quite limited. In the end we just bought players to strengthen our reserve while leaving the first team more threadbare than before. The first team from last year is only different by two loanees(Toure and Moses) and one overpriced defender(Sakho) who was just bought to appease the fans demanding a marquee signing.
    Why is it that players like Ericksen, who could have come and improved the team directly, has been overlooked for players like Alberto and Ilori, i dont understand...Where is the strategy behind all this?

  47. You make buying players sound extremely easy when in fact it ain't.

    Mkhitaryan, Costa and Willian were all players the club was trying for but failed. Mkhitaryan is thousands of miles ahead of Eriksen.

    Alberto is a player for the future so he may not help our situation right now but if developed properly will be even better then Eriksen.

  48. A possible and simple solution is to just play a 4-3-3 and inject Henderson into the middle rather than play him as a right winger.

    Gerrard's passing has been way off and does not look as composed as last season. I don't have any complaints over Lucas though.

  49. I think Renny is right, you are just trying to find workarounds and excuses for the fact that some of the players we have bought have been ineffective and needless.

    No evidence to suggest that Alberto can be better than Erisken. I've said this so many times now, Suso has more top flight experience than Alberto and Alberto cost 7m. Ilori may be a decent prospect but he cost around the same price as Alberto and is so inexperienced.

    1 centre back was enough and the real issues regarding the squad were not addressed.

  50. Suso is not a goal scoring midfielder and never has been. Would he have gotten game time with henderson, Gerrard and lucas ahead of him in the pecking order?

    Toure is our short term solution to the hole Carra left. Sakho is Agger's replacement and Ilori is skrtel's replacement. Nothing wrong with thinking ahead now is there? many clubs were after ilori including Chelsea so hardly a bad buy if you had to ask me.

    do not know what the big fuss is about Eriksen when we have Coutinho? Our coaches will develop Alberto's game and if done properly he will make Eriksen look average.

  51. And Gareth Bale has put in a transfer request to come to LFC because he misses the british weather, please............

  52. Rated him at Palermo, him, Cavani and Miccoli were a handful but for a short while but he has been so-so at PSG. Hasn't always gotten to play where he plays best, which is as a central attacking midfielder. I'd love Verratti here though but that is just not going to happen.

  53. Mkhitaryan thousands of miles ahead of Eriksen??
    In what universe?
    I agree he is a bit better right now due to experience but Eriksen has greater potential IMO, better technique, better passer can only get better. Not sure he would fulfill it though, but both would improve Liverpool definitely.

  54. ' joe allen can play number 10'

    What is this based on?

  55. Dortmund were also thinking of taking Eriksen but decided to go with Mkhitaryan who is thousands of miles ahead of Eriksen hence the reason why Dortmund payed more than double what Eriksen cost..

  56. Yet again, there is the assumption that Eriksen wanted to sign for us , and would have done vs Spurs.

    Nobody knows that that is the case, there just isn't enough evidence.

    Contrast what he said about us to what he said about Dortmund for instance. He said Dortmund was a team he wanted to play for and namechecked their manager directly.

    Where does he do that for LFC?

    Answer: he didn't.

    Maybe we approached him and he said he wanted someone else.

    But there's NO compelling evidence to say he even would have signed for us

  57. He is skinny and can fit into Coutinhos shirt!

  58. Nail hit on the head!

    LFC's strategy is long term isn't it? Does not take rocket science.

  59. Again, you are downplaying the ability of Eriksen.

    Suso got game time last season and can play on the left, right and middle.

    No problem with thinking ahead and with some ageing centre backs it's the right thing to do. But it seems we are always thinking ahead and buying potential.

    Aspas has squad player written all over him and I can't understand why his signing was a priority. Same with Alberto.

  60. *Sigh*

    When someone says:

    "The LFC Board lacks any transfer strategy whatsoever"
    in the first line of their post, I think it's reasonable to conclude that they ARE questioning whether they had a strategy. You have simply changed our tune half way through.
    If you read my reply, I said it's fine for you or anyone to question their rationale. Buying top players for now is usually very expensive, we are trying to get next season's superstars before they emerge completely.
    We missed lots of them in the past, buying expensive *now* players like Aqua Carroll, Downing Keane etc Tried that, didn't work.
    Finally you'll see that I haven't said Eriksen WOULDN'T have signed for us. I said nobody knew one way or the other...

  61. I am not downplaying the ability of Eriksen. I have just finished watching the Spurs vs Chelsea match and Eriksen is only comfortable when there is no pressure.

    Chelsea were dire in the first half and Eriksen was a passenger in the second half.

    Aspas is a good player. he just needs to add some weight and then he will not be bullied.

    Suso got game time last season because there was no other option for Rodgers to use him.

    He would not have got game time if he was in the squad this season. Who would he have kept on the bench?

  62. Worst part of it all is Aquilani, Carroll, Keane and Downing all went at major losses!!!

    If we we were more prudent in our signings in the past then maybe things would be different at the moment.

  63. I'm not voting you down btw.

    Suso may not have kept people on the bench this season but IMO he's a better player than Alberto and if Suso was here, Alberto may not make the bench. I don't have an issue with Alberto and he would probably develop into a good player that can challenge for a first team role in the future but the thing is he was not what we required and arguably, neither was Aspas.

  64. I like Suso, i have nothing against him but he was better off playing in Spain this season then sitting on the bench at Anfield.

  65. Kareem Aidonia Parks4:53 pm, September 28, 2013

    i think he is going to replace Joe Allen cause i don't really see him replacing Luis Suarez

  66. I remember Eriksen was literally begging Liverpool to bid. He said it many times, Liverpool is interesting, talk with Agger....but Liverpool never shown serious interest.

  67. 100 percent correct. Eriksen was there for the taking and we hemmed and hawed. The lack of timely conviction told Eriksen we were unsure and hedging our bets.

  68. Gary fill,

    I agree with you. The strategy of buying young is cool but we need better first line players especially in midfield. That's where games are won or lost. You dominate there and the offense and defense both look better.

    I am a big Gerrard fan but every game he looks less able to keep pace and is only doing his legendary long passes. He should be30-45 minute guy behind or aside Coutinho. Our midfield is killing us....That was especially evident vs Southampton!

  69. LOL !!!
    Good one I must say.

  70. Let's stop with this CL stuff being the be-all and end-all for prospective signings eh.

    Mkhitaryan was already at a CL club and would have joined us if a better club hadn't stepped in.

  71. The thing that everybody neglects though is that every team in the Premier League is getting younger anyway.

    So while we're getting excited about the potential of inexperienced 19/20 year olds, the other top teams are getting excited about 20-22 year olds that have already gained tonnes of experience, while also having their own talented teenagers waiting in the wings.

  72. Just because you can't name them, that doesn't mean they aren't out though. There are THOUSANDS of professional football players playing every week all over the world, and plenty of obscure players with the requisite talent to improve our team.

    We as Liverpool fans are aware of and regularly watch a small selection of those. It is the job of professional scouts to identify those less obvious talents to improve our team before other top clubs pick them up

  73. Thats a very text book stuff. I was talking about the likes of Eriksen, Jovetic, Lamela, Negredo, et al. Proven qualities. Almost all of them are gone.

  74. As I said, the obvious names that we can easily reel off of the top of our heads may be unavailable, but there always are plenty of proven players available still regardless, not to mention the many unproven but equally talented players waiting for their opportunity to prove themselves