Why there’s no easy answer to Liverpool’s midfield dilemma this summer

Posted by

It’s going to be an intriguing transfer window this summer, with most Liverpool fans waiting expectantly for Brendan Rodgers to land a replacement for departing captain Steven Gerrard, who will join LA Galaxy.

Liverpool’s potential title winning XI for next season, including PSG star and frightening front three
Ten things we’ve learned this season, as Liverpool prepare for final six games
Liverpool transfer news

There’s an almost endless list of scenarios which could play out, all of which make it very difficult to predict what Rodgers is going to do, or at least attempt to do before the start of next season.

In short, he could either stick with what he’s got, look to pick up another young player with the potential to grow into the role, or go against his normal philosophies and go big on a more established name.

There are plus and minuses to all of these three concepts…

If Rodgers were to stick rather than twist, it would involve him keeping faith with the young talent already at his disposal and ensuring that they continue to grow. Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Emre Can are all aged 25 or under, while Lucas Leiva still offers us an experienced alternative.

Can has spent much of this season playing as a defender and has spoken openly about his desire to push further up the field (via ESPN), an opportunity that his performances so far this season should have earned him. Any new arrival will likely see him sticking in the back-line, or will at least limit his game-time in his favoured role.

However, you have to think that Rodgers won’t allow Gerrard to leave without having some sort of contingency plan. Only this week, Divock Origi spoke highly of the Northern Irishman and his reputation for nurturing young talent, and it would not be a surprise to see the boss pull of a similar kind of deal (via official website).

Geoffrey Kondogbia is just one of the names that have been mentioned recently, at least according to L’Equipe [via Le 10 Sport]. The 22-year-old French international would certainly be an intriguing fit.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to be the sort of deal that will get people excited. With the pressure continue to grow on Rodgers following a difficult season on the field, it’s understandable to be seeing something of an outcry for a top-calibre player – such as rumoured target Miralem Pjanic (via the Daily Mail).

There’s no end of problems here. If we miss out on Champions League football, how are we going to convince such players to move to Merseyside – even if we are able to stump up the substantial transfer fee? We couldn’t convince Alexis Sanchez to choose us over Arsenal, even when we finished second (via the Liverpool Echo).

The truth is that replacing a talent such as Steven Gerrard is a near impossible task. The under-appreciation of our captain in recent weeks has been bordering on the criminal, especially when you consider all that he’s done for us over the last two decades.

Yes, he’s 34 now and his influence on the big matches is beginning to fade. Is it the right time for him to move on? Yes, this season has probably proved that it is. But for him to go out anything other than a legendary figure in not only Liverpool, but footballing history, is unfair on a man that has lived and breathed this club for his entire life.

What’s next? That remains to be seen, but don’t expect it to be long before the most fickle of footballing pundits are crying out for Gerrard’s return.

More Stories Miralem Pjanic Steven Gerrard