by Chris Rowland.
It’s Symposium time again, and we asked our panel for two names – we said ‘two’ for no other reason than one is too singular and more than two is too frantic! It seemed the right number for January window.
Krishen Bhautoo (Krishaldo): Firstly I feel we are pretty shocking in midfield at times. We have a plethora of talent in that area of the pitch, but either too young, too old, injured, on loan or the combination that we are left with doesn’t have the right ‘blend’ (Lucas/Gerrard axis for example *ducks*). The style of play that Rodgers wants, that we witnessed vs City and Tottenham (as well as other games), requires real high energy, mobile midfielders. Obviously this isn’t Steven Gerrard of Istanbul anymore, and if he is to be played more often than not in the deep role (as it seems he will be), we need a partner for him. A purely defensive midfielder would very possibly take away from our attacking and passing ability to work our way to the attack so they would need to be a hybrid of Masch and Xabi.Of course age and costs come into account so I would look at either M’Vila on loan with the option to buy (which has been touted) or Fernando Reges. Both big, strong, fast, combative midfielders who can pass as well as tackle/destroy, and would give us more mobility in that area of the pitch. Not to say Lucas should be binned, far from it, but when he is tired/injured/suspended/etc, we need a viable option there and Allen isn’t the man for that role (although I am a big fan of his).Secondly, I think we should get another forward. Not a typical #9 (do we have a buy back clause in Carroll’s contract?), but a Suarez or Sturridge type player who can play in any of the front three positions AND chip in with goals. We aren’t going to solve our leaky defence with just a full-back or another centre-back (I think the leaky defence is a case of individual errors along with more coaching needed. These aren’t BAD defenders, they’re just defending badly). So if we can’t defend, let’s just blow the opposition out of the water Man City style.We already have the best (?) forward in the world, probably the best English forward and one of the top young talents coming through, but if we could get one more real world beater, we could be almost impossible to stop. We can’t sign Messi or Ronaldo, so we have to look elsewhere. Diego Costa is almost certainly out of our reach, so possibly someone like Sidney Sam (almost certainly Schalke bound, but not done yet!), Di Maria is reportedly available for the right bid, or even Adam Lallana. Heung-Min Son is another very interesting player. With age and ability as well as Far East sales, this could be the one well worth looking at.At a push I would say Fernando Reges and Di Maria.
Chris Rowland: Until recently I’d have said a DM. But something Rodgers said recently tells me he doesn’t feel you need one, at least not in the conventional sense of how we understand it. For me, a midfield athlete who can compete with the midfield dynamos other teams throw at us (Toure, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Sandro, Ramires – bloody hell it’s Brazil!) but who is comfortable with the ball and can contribute in a attacking sense, is on my list. A cross between Mo Sissoko and the Joe Allen that I think is in there somewhere would do. Does this mythical hybrid have a name? Fernando Reges of Porto or Yann M’Vila of Rubin Kazan, though Derby’s Will Hughes might be the likelier option.
The other one is undoubtedly a full-back – left or right, take your pick. Might need to be able to do a bit of both, depending on whether Johnson or Enrique is most broken at the time – Johnson has me wondering whether he’s permanently broke, and I’m not referring to his contract talks, where FSG may be playing hardball over an asset they may see as meeting and in need of need liquidation. Erkin of Fenerbahce has been mentioned but I’ve never seen him in action. Martin Montoya of Barcelona would be my choice, but it sounds as though he may stay put, and why wouldn’t he? Apart from Alves and Alba, that is. I don’t have a Plan B for full-backs, they’re hard to find.
Fernando Reges and Martin Montoya for me.
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