This summer transfer window

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The 2014 FIFA World Cup™ is currently in full swing. And since my country is not, and probably will never be, represented in this supposed premier football competition, I fell asleep in the few times I tried watching the matches.

The truth is, nothing quite excites me as Liverpool football does. The pride swelling inside of me when I hear Anfield sings YNWA in unison, the roller-coaster ride we experienced last season, and the annual disappointment of not winning the only title that counts. These sensations are not always hunky dory but they sure are always exciting. But alas, the World Cup still has some legs to run and I might have to wait just a wee bit more before we can get back to more entertaining matters, i.e. the 2014 summer transfer window.

In the meanwhile, we can always indulge in a little fantasy, a little Football Manager. Back in early June, I took a look at our squad from 2013-14, added six realistic targets who were linked to our club, and gave some of my personal views. I asked around my friends, albeit fellow Reds, and the verdict was the squad should at least keep us in top-four. Here goes…

Position Player Remarks
22 GK Simon Mignolet Need to handle crosses better; great shot-stopper
1 GK Brad Jones No fuss backup
2 DR Glen Johnson Extremely overrated but still a serviceable squad player
38 DR Jon Flanagan Still has some flaws in his game but should start as XI
? DL *Alberto Moreno £16m – We seem to have hit a brick wall in this pursuit
3 DL José Enrique It is about time he gets back to action
5 DC Daniel Agger Elegant but weak; still our vice-captain
17 DC Mamadou Sakho Has to improve his passing, especially when under pressure
37 DC Martin Škrtel Strong but error-prone
? DC *Dejan Lovren £10m – Not much news on this front
8 DMC Steven Gerrard Hope he can maintain last season’s standard of play
21 DMC Lucas Leiva Does not seem like someone who will complain
14 MC Jordan Henderson Please continue to improve, especially your shooting
? MC *Xherdan Shaqiri £15m – Could be the marquee signing this window
? MC *Emre Can £10m – Hope he can contribute significantly next season
24 MC Joe Allen His confidence is coming back
? AMC *Adam Lallana £25m – Possibly the most Rodgers-like player in the league
10 AMC Philippe Coutinho Amazing talent; needs to improve shooting
31 AMC Raheem Sterling Probably overrated, unless he continues to improve
7 ST Luis Suárez World-class; need to stop biting
15 ST Daniel Sturridge Awesome; seems to have lost a bit of his shooting accuracy
? ST *Rickie Lambert £4m – 15 goals next season will be great

On top of having 22 players of decent or better quality in our squad, we have some fringe players who may yet come to the fore in the coming season:

Position Player Remarks
26 DC Tiago Ilori He should at least get a chance, no?
34 DC Martin Kelly Hope injuries have not crippled his career
47 DC Andre Wisdom One dimensional but could still be a useful squad player
6 AMC Luis Alberto Season-long loan to Malaga
30 AMC Suso Immense talent but could lack consistency
33 AMC Jordon Ibe Should become better than Sterling
53 AMC João Teixeira His cameo last season gave me much hope

Our defence is probably still suspect. But this squad is significantly deeper than what we had to make do with last season. We have already signed Lambert and Lallana, while Can’s signing should be finalised anytime now. The other three signings on my speculative squad list will likely be more difficult propositions. With our increased depth, we should be able to remain in the top-four, if not contend for the title yet again. Yes, I think it is possible for us to contend for the title again, despite the added Champions League fixtures and the fact that we probably punched above our weight last season.

On the other hand, some of our players no longer have a place in our squad. They are:

Position Player Remarks
4 DC Kolo Touré £0m – Nerves got the better of him
9 ST Iago Aspas £2m – Complete rubbish
11 AMC Oussama Assaidi £4m – We need better players than him now
16 DC Sebastián Coates £1m – Unlikely to come good
25 GK Pepe Reina £3m – Goodbye (letter)
29 ST Fabio Borini £9m – Big heart, but just not good enough
36 ST Samed Yeşil £1m – Where has he been?
49 DL Jack Robinson £0m – Wasted talent

Ideally, we should be able to raise another £20m from these sales. With the much talked about £60m transfer kitty that we now have as a result of qualifying for the group stage of the Champions League, the combined £80m war chest could be spent on the players added to my proposed squad list above. And the estimated cost, with a high margin of error, is coincidentally also £80m.

Please indulge me in this fantasy as I struggle through the dreaded offseason. The lack of football, or my kind of football, has no doubt driven me nuts. I cannot wait to see Lallana and Lambert combine for the winner against Southampton at Anfield! And I hope you feel the same too!