A look at what Liverpool FC fans shouldna t expect big name signings, why therea s little need for a transfer overhaul, and why Danny Ings may not be the goal-scoring messiah Liverpool fans are waiting for.
Do you realise that Inter Milan won the Champions League in 2010? Just 5 years ago. And today theya re sitting at the 8th position in the Serie A table. Only 5 years to go from the best team in all of Europe to the 8th best in Italy. Would you expect a Edinson Cavani, or a Radamel Falcao to sign for them? No. Yet Liverpool fans exhibit surprise when Liverpool fail to sign players such a big name playersa . They forget that Liverpool havena t won the Premier League or the Champions League in the last decade.
The idea here isna t to say that Liverpool FC fans should just lie down and accept that theya ll never win anything. But expectations should be tempered based on ground realities. Liverpool FC simply dona t have the financial clout to land the best players in the world, so fans should read rumors linking players like Marco Reus or Paul Pogba with a pinch of salt. Like, a whole lot of salt.
By and large the transfer strategy is bound to remain the same as the last few seasons. Buy young players, ones who have shown talent, but have not necessarily yet proven that they can make it in at the top. Most of Liverpoola s signings fit into that mould, and thata s not going to change this season.
No a Transfer Overhaula Needed
Due to the below par performances this season, knee-jerk reactionaries have been quick to talk about a a transfer overhaula . But is one really needed? Leta s look at the state of the squad for the coming season:
|Position||Players Likely To Be Retained||Headed Out|
|Goalkeepers||Simon Mignolet||Brad Jones (likely)|
|Central Defenders||Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren, Tiago Ilori||Kolo Toure (likely), Seb Coates (likely)|
|Full Backs||Alberto Moreno, Andre Wisdom, Javier Manquillo (50-50 chance of loan extension), Jon Flanagan||Glen Johnson (confirmed), Jose Enrique (likely)|
|Central Midfielders||Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen, Emre Can||Steven Gerrard (confirmed)|
|Attacking Midfielders||Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling, Jordon Ibe, Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana||Luis Alberto (likely)|
|Forwards||Daniel Sturridge (out injured till September), Divock Origi||Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert, Fabio Borini, Iago Aspas (all likely)|
This list is does not include players who may get promoted to the first team, like Sheyi Ojo, Joao Teixeira, and Jerome Sinclair.
Ita s evident that talks of Liverpool needing a a transfer overhaula are unfounded. The number of defenders and attacking midfielders available is a healthy number, especially considering Liverpool FC wona t be in the Champions League next season. In central midfield, while Gerrarda s departure leaves a big hole, this season has shown that Liverpool can function well without him at the heart of the team. After all, midfield control has not been the major problem this season, scoring goals has.
There is a need to sign backups for Simon Mignolet, but finding 2 goalkeepers to sit on the bench shouldna t be the most difficult task.
Which brings us to the only real pressing area of need: the strikeforce. Last transfer windowa s gambles failed to pay off; neither Mario Balotelli nor Rickie Lambert have even marginally filled the gap left by the departure of Luis Suarez and the injury streak of Daniel Sturridge.
The Danny Ings Dice Roll
One of the names being touted as being close to signing for Liverpool FC is Burnley striker Danny Ings. 22 year old Ings has scored 10 goals so far this season, and will be available for free this summer. While the price is right, Danny Ings is still a big gamble.
Hea s scored 0.32 goals every 90 minutes, which is better than Lambert (0.24), Borini (0.22) and Balotelli (0.10), but not nearly as good as either Origi (0.36) or Sturridge (0.48). The worry is that he has almost always played as part of a two man strike-force, where he is the second striker. As a result his usual role is mix of center forward and a central attacking midfielder, often coming quite deep to receive the ball and even help initiate moves.
The big risk when signing Danny Ings is that he has all the makings of another Fabio Borini. They are both rather versatile players who have never quite been prolific goal scorers. Both would make good second strikers, but in a 4-3-3, or even a 3-4-3, they are neither totally suited to play as a number 9 nor out wide. While this description may seem somewhat similar to how Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge were regarded when they signed, their dribbling skills alone set them considerably apart from Ings and Borini, who dona t really have that in their repertoire.
Could he grow into a mature number 9 for a side? Of course, you can never completely discount such a possibility. And many make the argument that he would get a better supply line at a club like Liverpool, and is therefore more likely to score more goals. But one must remember ita s one thing to score goals for a side like Burnley where most goals will come from counter-attacks against relatively open defenses. Ita s quite another to do so for a side like Liverpool, where a majority of opposition teams will choose to sit deep with narrow, compact defenses.
As a free transfer, Danny Ings isna t the worst transfer move Liverpool could make. But he should only be regarded as a third or fourth choice striker, nothing more. He is not the answer to Liverpoola s striking woes. Along with back-up goalkeepers, Liverpool FC have to make a forward their top priority, one with the potential to become Liverpoola s first choice Number 9.