In recent years, we had some few “big singnings”, bringing world class players to Liverpool. We saw some young players being thrown in the starting XI when only few adapted to the play.
Fernando Torres was one of the best transfers we had in our great history, he’s a skillfull striker, a threat for any opposition defence and a natural goal king netting 50 goals in his first 72 league games. We need more players like him coming in to Anfield, trying to win some trophies, notably the Premier League. Aquilani, he’s been injured and there’s a big gap between the Serie A and the EPL, so hopefully next season will be good. Glen Johnson has also been good although he has made few mistakes that cost us many games, like against Arsenal at home or Portsmouth away, but his goals and his performances recently at the FIFA World Cup with the English side were very good, so he’ll have a good next season if he doesn’t go to Real Madrid.
Martin Skrtel and Emiliano Insua have been the only players that were capable of shining amongst those of their likes: Lucas and Babel. While Skrtel, was a rock next to Jamie Carragher, showing his importance and influence on Liverpool’s back line after his injury, when Agger couldn’t show enough strenghts at the back, and when playing in Champions League football in the past seasons. Insua, he was given big responsibilities… and he managed. Sharp at his deliveries and quick on the left side of the pitch, he gained his first cap for Argentina and looked promising for years to come, but an injury disturbed him and, we have to say, disturbed Liverpool’s season. Lucas has also gained a starting place… But for completely different reasons. Lucas might have been Rafa’s favourite player! When he was clearly out of form, away from the expectations that he was given to be the replacement of Xabi Alonso, he was put in the starting XI! He didn’t have enough qualities at defence nor at attack, he was just an ambitious Brazilian player playing at the best team in the world, Liverpool FC. But the manager didn’t have any other option, he had to play Lucas, but he could have changed formations, and the youngster showed some promising performances and was clearly working very hard but he seems to be a late bloomer. For Babel, he was signed as the new rising star of dutch football. He was on the right wavelength during his first season or so at Anfield… He had it all: goals, crosses, skills and tricks, pace, technique,… But he just failed to keep it up. He didn’t prove his worth for the club in last season’s campaign. He was injured, then he had his chance, he was re-injured. So there was, and there will be, a lot of highs and lows in his Liverpool career, so it’s preferable to put him on the transfer list.
So now, with a new manager coming, there will be a new philosophy. And to put next season beyond all doubts, the arrival of big names to the Merseyside club is a must. Joe Cole is a free agent so we better make an approach. He’s been good for Chelsea scoring even when being introduced from the bench, his main reason for his desire to leave the club. Liverpool would be another big club in Cole’s career who has stated about his will of playing at a high level.
Another player that could be good for us is a controversial one: Antonio Cassano. He would link up well with Torres as he did with Giampaolo Pazzini, his Sampdoria teammate. Plus, he has something of experience from his time at Roma and Real Madrid. Another good supporting striker would be Juan Angel Albin. The 23 year old Uruguayan is not a goal machine but he’s just what we need. From his time at Getafe, he has gained experience and showed some of his qualities, scoring on big occasions, against Real Madrid in the 2008-2009 season a couple of times. For defence, there is many alternatives. There’s Diego Godin, who has been good for both, Villareal and Uruguay sides. He’s a fast and composed defender. Tomas Ujfalusi is another option at the back. He’s a player of tremendous physical strength and stamina, he can operate as either a central or right defender, he’s playing for Atletico de Madrid. At midfield my number one target would be Mathieu Flamini. Whether he’s lined up with Mascherano or Aquilani he can help both of them. He’s been given the role of “utility player” at Arsenal and doesn’t seem to have a good time at AC Milan. So his arrival at Anfield would reignite his career and reignite Liverpool’s midfield.