You have £25m to spend on one player to improve the Reds, we told our panel (hypothetically speaking, of course – we couldn’t give them ALL £25m). Who would it be and why?
By Chris Rowland
The trouble with only having £25m is (fill in your own joke here), it’s towards the top end but not the real top end. It doesn’t get you Falcao, Neymar, Bale, Suarez (oh, we’ve already got him, OK). However it’s the kind of money we got him and Torres for.
Assuming we’re not going to spunk all that away on a defender, keeper or defensive midfielder, at that price it’s got to be either a striker or a false something-or-other who’s a cross between a striker and creator. Which helps narrow it down a bit. I’m going for the latter – the Eriksen/Ben Arfa/Mkhitaryan/Honda/Arda Turan kind of area. But which one?
It might be possible to offset Ben Arfa against Carroll – but I’m not 100% convinced by him anyway. I just don’t know enough about the Scrabble word from Shakhtar Donetsk. I like Turan, but not quite enough. Honda would generate interest and potential income from Japan. I’d like Ozil from Real or Kroos from Bayern but have seen no links and don’t think either are feasible.
So for me it’s a choice between Christian Eriksen from Ajax, Isco from Malaga and Gotze from Dortmund. All young, all play just behind the striker in the hole, all can pick a defence-unlocking pass like Coutinho, but can also score a few too. My slight preference would be for Eriksen – he’ll have been coached well at Ajax, he’s an international team- mate of Agger so not coming in ‘cold’ as it were (though Isco would have Reina, Enrique and Suso to confide in too!), and his career has perhaps plateau’d after massive early promise. I see that as a potential positive – the move to a new stage might be what’s needed to re-ignite him and take him the full flowering of his talent. So that’s where my money goes – except I’m not sure I’d need quite that much. But if I’ve still got £several million left towards someone else, who’s complaining?
By Barry Meehan (TTT subscriber Bazmeen):
Although I understand we have had difficulties at the back, I really feel we should be adding to what we have already in these positions rather than undertaking a massive overhaul. An experienced replacement for JC is definitely required, and a challenger for both Pep and Enrique too but I won’t be splashing this amount of money on any of those individual positions.
Again, up front I believe we have some quality and need to add to what we have rather than splurge this amount of money. As Steven Gerrard gets older and his role changes I think it’s important for us to ensure we have a replacement in to learn from the great man before it is too late. SG has been such an all rounder at the club that it may take more than one player to pick up the slack when he is gone, but between Hendo, Lucas and Suarez I think we have most aspects covered. As he moves further back though I often feel we are lacking in that dynamic position which drives us on where he creates chances and (used to?) score bag-fulls himself.
As I look around the best person I believe currently filling this role is Marco Reus. He’s dynamic, skilful and young. He is also tenacious in the tackle and has a bit of steel about him. He has a good injury record and has already moved clubs successfully. It may be difficult to get Dortmund to part with him for that kind of cash but transfermarkt.de list him at €30 million so I think that qualifies him as my pick.
By Martin McLaughlin:
RCB and LB are positions which need addressed, but we should be looking at Kompany (£7.5m), Zabaleta (£7.5m), Azpilicueta (£7.5m) level purchases, with Nastasic, Vertonghen, Vermaelen (£10m-£13.5m) illustrating the very top of the market for defenders.
I’m going to be bitterly unimaginative and go for Christian Eriksen. I have my concerns that Gerrard-Eriksen-Suarez is a tactically unbalanced spine and that Rodgers won’t be able to resist playing them together though.
Long term I can see Eriksen as the true AM player that Rodgers midfield needs, an heir to Gerrard but one which fits his role in the system. He comes across like a hybrid of the technique and vision of Coutinho but with more of the mobility and strength of Henderson. Gerrard in his current role still feels like a square peg in a round hole with all the compromises needed to balance out the cracks*. Lucas-Allen/Henderson-Eriksen feels like the future.
*Gerrard is 33 next month, if anyone suggests spending £25m on a dominant DM partner for him, I would question their sanity.
By Joe Pepper:
Torres. Just for the hell of it. Life is short (as is this entry! 😉 – Ed.), and it would be exciting for a few weeks.
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