By Arun Nair
With the Reds likely to look to sign another striking option to support Luis Suarez in January, I take a look at the reported targets.
Club: Schalke 04
Last Season Stats: 48 goals in 47 games
This Season Stats: 6 goals in 12 games
Reported Valuation: £6-8 million
Thoughts: Huntelaar’s goal record is phenomenal, and has an existing partnership with Reds striker Luis Suarez. With his contract expiring in the summer, Schalke are thought to be willing to sell the Dutchman in January for a cut-price fee. However, the Liverpool owners FSG may be reluctant to break their transfer strategy, as at 29 Huntelaar has little or no sell on value, and isn’t a long term solution.
Last Season Stats: 11 goals in 46 games
This season stats: 7 goals in 11 games
Reported Valuation: £10-12 million
Thoughts: Walcott is another player whose contract expires next summer and with contract talks no closer to a positive conclusion, the Reds are rumoured to be considering taking advantage. Inconsistency is a hallmark of Walcott’s game however, but a strong start to the season, despite not always starting, has gone some way to reducing his tag of underachiever. The Londoner, who allegedly supports Liverpool, will supply plenty of assists (10 last season, 4 this season) as well as offering pace, a commodity the Reds have lacked in recent years.
Last Season Stats: 16 goals in 36 games
This Season Stats: 7 goals in 11 games
Reported Valuation: £7 million (release clause)
Thoughts: Ba has been one of the numerous successful signings Alan Pardew has made since becoming Newcastle boss. Physical, with a decent amount of pace and technical ability, Ba is a clinical finisher with proven Premier League pedigree. He’s within Liverpool’s price range, with his £7 million release clause reportedly still active.
Last Season Stats: 13 goals in 43 games
This Season Stats: 2 goals in 5 games
Reported Valuation: £15-20 million
Thoughts: Sturridge has been on the fringes this season at Chelsea, and possibly with good reason. Technically sound, but Sturridge is inconsistent and is well out of Liverpool’s price range, with a valuation arguably well above his real value.
Last Season Stats: 12 goals in 19 games
This Season Stats: 10 goals in 10 games
Reported Valuation: £15 million
Thoughts: Martinez could well be above Liverpool’s budget, but he is an out-and-out goalscorer, and can finish with both feet. His record for Porto this season is fantastic, and he has shown his ability in the Champions League this season, with 2 goals in 3 games so far. He fits the age profile FSG are looking for, so Martinez could be a good option. However, you can never tell whether a player will adapt to Premier League.
Last Season Stats: 5 goals in 30 games
This Season Stats: 5 goals in 11 games
Reported Valuation: £10 million
Thoughts: An unfamiliar name to most fans, Son is a versatile attacker with good feet, great pace and dribbling ability. He’s currently regarded as the brightest prospect in Asian football, and has been in good form for Hamburg this season. At just 20, Son will only improve and could be one to watch, but not necessarily the right solution for the Reds at this time, due to his inexperience and lack of proven Premier League ability.
Last Season Stats: 29 goals in 53 games
This Season Stats: 1 goal in 4 games
Reported Valuation: £10-15 million
Thoughts: Llorente is proven quality at the highest level. Great feet, brilliant hold up play and a good finsher. Llorente is no stranger to posession football, having been part of the Spain set-up for several years. The Spaniard’s contract is up in the summer, so he could be available at a bargain price.
So, the list of striker targets is full of quality. Brendan Rodgers is under some pressure to make the right choice, to bolster the Reds at the top end of the pitch. Who would you make your main target if you were the manager? Please leave your preferred player and why in the comments below.
Note: All stats correct up to and including 05/11/2012