By Chris Rowland.
It’s another Symposium folks, and after last week’s question of selecting a Best First XI from within the existing squad, here’s the chance to really address the bigger issue, the squad itself. Our Symposees (copyright The Tomkins Times!) gave these responses:
Jon Rushton: If money was no object – then I’d bid £30m and over £100k per week wages on Lacazette.
If we’re operating on a budget: Saido Berahino would get my vote. I assume we could get him for under £15m, and that we could afford to better his wages at West Brom. He’d be up for it you’d imagine, and he’s clearly one of the most promising up-coming players. There are very few top established strikers who are likely to move clubs in January – and Berahino offers the pace and movement that Balotelli and Lambert lack.
He’s not the type of player that’s going to come in and save your season – but clearly Rodgers is best when focusing on attack, and right now we simply don’t have the options to score the number of goals necessary to hit the top four spot. Berahino would be a calculated gamble that could at least help towards that whilst also boosting our squad for years to come.
A lot of people might talk about signing a centre-back or a goalkeeper, but – ultimately – we showed last season that those positions are irrelevant if you are scoring goals. Admittedly, lots of goals! But next season a line up of Berahino, Origi and Sturridge – plus one other “star attacker” addition – would leave us looking pretty tasty up top.
I doubt many people will be agreeing with my novice and potentially flash-in-the-pan new striking addition – but he’s a damn sight better than Wilfred Bony!
Anthony Stanley (TTT Subscriber Dannyluke10): In the light of the latest crushing news regarding Sturridge, we have to target a striker who Rodgers would trust to play with Balotelli or to lead the line with Daniel. It would be a bonus if he could lead the line on his own.
As far as I can tell, we’ve two options that may be attainable; give Lille an extra £5-10 million to release Origi or make a pretty big bid (£20 million) for Berahino. I know it looks like FSG may not be willing to release funds this January, but Sturridge’s latest setback may persuade them to dig deep. Quite simply, our hopes of a top four finish may rest on it.
It’s more than a little galling that the convoluted mess that was trying to sign Remy – and the ultimate failure to do so – may cost us CL football. What appears to be a player’s decision to potentially safeguard against a dubious club asset could cost us millions. Ironic that, eh? Even if we’d got Remy, we could – and should – have gone after Mario. Indeed (and with hindsight), acquiring the Italian would make even more sense if he had either Sturridge or Remy as a foil.
But we can still recover from this if we loosen the purse strings in January. Both Berahino and Origi would offer us that which we miss most in Daniel’s absence: pace, mobility, direct running, trickery and link up play. Their finishing ability (which, from what I’ve seen, is decent) is almost secondary to this.
Here’s a bit of a wild shout from left field. If the funds aren’t there or won’t be released, how about trying to get Defoe on loan? As short-term first aid bandaging goes, it just might get us through this bruising period…
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