By Ben Ritson
It is obvious to you and I that Liverpool’s squad is clearly weak in some departments, last season was absolute torture. This season seems to be more joyful but that’s because of a new manager more than an improvement in results which is yet to happen. Liverpool have been able to be complete magic at times with a 4-1 win away at the Etihad and a 6-1 demolition of the team we might as well call “Liverpool Reserves”, however we still find ourselves struggling to find any sort of consistency and that is due to some big frailties in the team, so what positions and what people do Liverpool need in order to fix this and get top 4 next season?
Probably our weakest position on the pitch is what you could arguably say is the most important position, the goalkeeper, we have Simon Mignolet to start who is certainly not meeting standards of a top 10 team let alone top 4, poor distribution and a lack of presence really hampers him down, as well as having difficulty in collecting and catching crosses. Our backup is Adam Bogdan, I won’t say anything about him just that he isn’t anywhere near as good as Mignolet, that tells you how dire our need is to improve this position.
So who should Liverpool get? I have three suggestions, Butland, Ter Stegen and Leno however the one I think we should get is Butland, he’s been in fantastic form for Stoke this season as well as last and is sure to be England’s number one soon, if not now, he could cost us anywhere between £12-20m but it’d be worth it, his shot stopping is a class above and that alone is a big improvement to what we already have, he’s also has a much bigger presence than Mignolet and his catching is a significant improvement. He’s also only 22 years old (5 years younger than Mignolet) which is surprising due to how good he already is, this means he could be our keeper for the next decade or more and we wouldn’t ever have to worry about buying for this position again until 2026. One reason I’ve also picked him over the two Germans is he’s English, this helps the home grown talent that is needed when registering squads, and is quality is just as high, we’d be foolish not to move for him now before anyone else can.
Ah yes the position of which Liverpool have managed to make look bad compared to the rest of their team in recent years, now that’s an achievement considering how woeful we have been (bar 13/14). It looks like we are getting Joel Matip and that’s great, he’s the man that makes sense to get, firstly it’s on a free transfer so there’s no risk in getting him, secondly he’s 24, tall, strong, quick, basically he’s physically perfect for a centre back in the Bpl. Now it’s great that you have physical aspects but that doesn’t mean you’re a good player, fortunately he is, now I personally haven’t watched him much but when I have I recall thinking quite highly of him, and it seems like the whole of Germany agree as I’ve been told by several Bundesliga fans that Matip is one of the best centre backs in the league right now with one saying “him and boateng are the best two”. This is just the news we all wanted to hear, he’s obviously very comfortable with the ball at his feet (thank god we finally have one) and has a lot of experience at the top level for someone as young as he is. Now I’m not saying that Sakho is terrible on the ball but he does give us all the odd cardiac arrest and don’t you dare try to deny that! Lovren has come into form ever since Klopp came in but there’s still doubts about him, Matip coming in would probably start ahead of one of them, with some rotation throughout the season, who would he replace in the squad? That’ll all be revealed in a future article.
WOAH WOAH WOAH, please Smith fans crying for him to start over Moreno, please don’t come at me with pitch forks, hear me out. We have a problem at Left-back Moreno is quick, rapid in fact, but he seems to lack something quite crucial at times, a brain, so Smith should start ahead of him again more detail on this in the future, however Smith is just not proven quality and if we want top 4 we need to get as much proven quality as possible across our starting eleven.
My suggestion, Ricardo Rodriguez, this guy would help us in so many areas it’s a bit sad, he’s a fantastic set piece taker, free kicks and corners (basically means he won’t sign for us now) and is a quality left back overall, going forward with crosses and his passing for a full back is up there, defensive wise he’s solid and smart with his decisions which is what we need, for example Jon Flanagan is great defensively but going forward he offers about as much as Benteke (NOWT!) we need someone who’s solid at both on the left a bit like Clyne is, although he hasn’t proven it completely as of yet. Price wise this could set us back £15m or £25m but either way I would pay it like that *clicks* Klopp will know him well from his time in the Bundesliga so it’s a very likely signing, Wolfsburg have already lost there best player in De Bruyne in the summer so it’s definitely possible that we can snatch Rodriguez of their hands, maybe we’ll throw Bogdan at them as well to rub salt in the wounds. One more thing about him is he’s experienced at the very top level, he has 33 caps for Switzerland and has played in many European games too, quite similar to Matip except Rodriguez has the international experience.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed my debut article there will be two more on the same subject, midfielders, and attacking mids and strikers. If you want to hear more from me then go and follow me on twitter @TheKopsLatest