All five of the players mentioned below have contracts ending imminently and are not close to renewing terms with their current employers or anyone else…
Which would you take at Liverpool, if any?
Daniele De Rossi
We’re likely losing Lucas on a free, so what better way to replace his experience than bringing in Roma’s midfield lynchpin? De Rossi is a tenacious defensive midfielder who’d provide us a great option at the base of a central three. Italians have never done well in England, especially at Liverpool, but De Rossi has the attributes and character to succeed. Our dressing room arguably lacks leaders, too, and the 33-year-old would immediately command respect from his team-mates.
When he’s fit, the Spaniard is one of the first names on Arsenal’s team-sheet, but injuries decimated his season. Cazorla is a brilliant footballer though and Liverpool would be lucky to get a year out of him if he fully recovers. He still hasn’t signed a deal with our rivals and the creativity he’d inject into our midfield when needed would be tremendous. He obviously wouldn’t play all the time, but against sides who sit deep, Cazorla would have more chance of opening the lock than the more physically impressive Emre Can and Gini Wijnaldum – who’d be used in the majority of games. Worth thinking about.
The last free transfer we acquired from Manchester City was right-winger James Milner, who now plays left-back – so perhaps it would be sensible to sign a real one! Clichy is interesting PSG which demonstrates he’s still got it, and we can only look at some other veteran fullbacks and there success after leaving on Bosman deals to strengthen our claim. Dani Alves is still probably the the best fullback in the world at Juventus after leaving Barca for free, and Manchester United undeniably let Patrice Evra leave too soon as well. If we’re signing 17-year-old Ryan Sessegnon, we should supplement that deal by capturing Clichy for nothing on top.
The Portuguese thunder-b*stard has not renewed terms at Real Madrid and is playing a waiting game with his employers, with Inter Milan sniffing. Pepe wouldn’t be a long-term option, but he’d certainly provide some much-needed grit and nastiness into Liverpool’s sometimes all-too-forgiving backline. Pepe has a wealth of experience at the highest level and is a master of the dark arts. Plus, he’s a proven winner – something else we lack in the squad. The only issue is with his personality and whether it’d fit in with Jurgen Klopp’s ethos.
Now hear us out… Liverpool have lost Alex Manninger to retirement (statue on its way, no doubt) and probably need another third-choice goalkeeper brought in – especially with a European campaign coming up. Hennessey is a multi-capped Welsh international who could help on the training ground and provide very solid backup. We’d rather Danny Ward left on loan again to continue his development, but Hennessey is only 30 and may want first-team football somewhere. If he wants a move to a huge club though, it might make sense for all parties.