1 Aug 2014

'It's a possibility': Boss confirms 'special' £10m LFC target 'could' leave soon. Sign?

Despite being (arguably) oversubscribed in central defence, Liverpool are currently linked with a move for 'special' Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen, and Arsene Wenger has today confirmed that £10m-rated Belgian is available, and will be allowed to leave the club.

Earlier this week, the The Independent claimed:

"Thomas Vermaelen could be offered the chance to join Liverpool. Rodgers will move for Vermaelen in the hope that he can fend off Man Utd and Barcelona".

When asked during a press conference today about Vermaelen's future, Wenger revealed than the Belgian has a 'short-term injury', but conceded that a transfer is very much on the cards. He told reporters:

"It [a transfer) could happen. It's a possibility that he goes. If he goes, we have to replace him. I expect him to stay but he, of course, did not play enough games last year. He's a very important player but I couldn't guarantee him the games".

Even if Rodgers wants to sign another central defender, Vermaelen is not the answer; with TWELVE injuries in seven years, he's almost as injury prone as Agger, and where's the logic in literally replacing one sick-note with another?

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With Lovren, Sakho, Skrtel, Toure, Coates, Ilori, and Agger, why do Liverpool even need another centre-half? Even if Ilori (loan), and Agger (sale) leave, that still leaves FIVE senior central defenders, which is clearly too many.

Additionally, Vermaelen is left-footed, so if Rodgers is genuinely interested in signing him, then it doesn't bode well for Sakho. After all, if the manager has faith in the France international, why sign another left-sided centre-back?

There is one possibility to consider: perhaps Rodgers plans to utilise 352 more often during the upcoming season? If that's the case, then signing another quality central defender makes a little more sense.

As evidenced by the recent Man City game (and countless games last season), Liverpool still have a major problem with gaps being left by marauding full-backs, and with a slow central midfield, playing three at the back is one potential method of addressing this problem. As an example, we could see the following:

------------------- Mignolet

------- Skrtel ---- Lovren ---- Vermaelen

--- Flanagan -------------------- Moreno

------------------- Gerrard

------------ Hendo ------- Lallana

------------------ Sterling

----------------- Sturridge

(or variations thereof)

I'm not the biggest fan of 352, but that looks tasty. Liverpool certainly have the options to utilise this formation (especially in the forward areas), but I'm always loathe to see an attacking player sacrificed for another defender...

That said, if it works, and it's the best way to effectively utilise the squad, then so be it...



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