Where LFC Should Look To Strengthen In January To Achieve A Top 4 Finish

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By @Jack28Booth

Almost halfway through the season and almost at the end of the year, we are very close to that time – the transfer window. As always, teams are looking to make their team better in the transfer window, in hope of achieving  perhaps a league title, a top four finish, league consolidation or hoping to stay in the league. In Liverpool’s case, a top four finish is a minimum expectation. Currently sat in 2nd place, things are looking good. However, things are only going to get tougher, with Man City and Chelsea away from Anfield approaching in the coming days and weeks. Hopefully after the Christmas period, we will get a better idea of how Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool will fare for the rest of the season.

In my opinion, in the January window, Liverpool should be looking at a left/right back, a defensive midfielder and another number 10 (a Coutinho-like player). As Brendan said, if money was to be spent this window, it would be to improve the team, not the squad. Here are some suggestions as to who could be looked at to solve those problem areas –

Ricardo Rodriguez – Wolfsburg – Left Back

Rodriguez has appeared in all of Wolfsburg’s league games this season. He looks a good prospect at the tender age of 21, a player who would fit into FSG’s visions being at the age of 21. He has scored 3 goals this season, which from full back, in my opinion is a good return, and made 2 assists for his team-mates. He seems strong and comfortable on the ball, which is an important factor in this Liverpool team. He has a pass success rate of 78.4%, compared to Jose Enrique’s 80.4%, however in less games. Rodriguez has a very good crossing/set piece ability, scoring at the weekend. Rodriguez could be a good choice for LFC at left back, in the long term. Not that Flanno’s doing too badly!

Blaise Matuidi – PSG – Midfielder

Matuidi has played in 14 league games for PSG this season, scoring twice. Matuidi is 26, so has years to improve and get better, again an age bracket fitting in with FSG’s vision. For me, Matuidi is a proper defensive midfielder, and could be the DM many fans have been calling out for. In my own opinion, Lucas is a player that should play alongside a DM, being able to press and break up play further up the field. Matuidi is quick and has lots of energy to cover up the ground, and very good in the tackle. He also has an eye for a pass, with a pass success rate of 91.7% in the league, marginally bettering Leiva’s 91.1%. Matuidi is in the last year of his contract, so this player could come on the cheap.

Julian Draxler – Schalke – Midfielder

Draxler has played in 14 league games this season, scoring once and making 4 assists. I feel LFC need another top quality creative midfielder, due to the fact I think LFC missed Coutinho’s creativity when out injured. Draxler is only 20 years old, and definitely one for the future as well as now. Draxler has publicly expressed his desire to play in the Premier League. Draxler isn’t afraid to have the ball at his feet, with 72 successful dribbles this season. Draxler would also add some height to the team, at 6’1. Brendan Rodgers was spotted at Schalke’s match in the Champions League last week, perhaps having a look at Draxler for himself, a game in which Draxler starred for Schalke and scored. Schalke have said they don’t want to sell Draxler, as he is a prized asset for them, but if a good bid was to be put in for the player, I would say Draxler could be on his way, considering his wish to play in the Premier League and the player being on a lot of clubs shortlist. Draxler would be a very good acquisition for the Reds.

With some clever signings like last January and if the Reds carry on playing well, hopefully Liverpool will be back on their way to achieving Champions League football.