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With just under one month left to go in the transfer window, 3 of the world’s biggest current transfer sagas involving 3 of the biggest stars in world football are beginning to heat up. The futures of Wayne Rooney, Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez continue to dominate back pages as the unhappy trio push for moves.
Liverpool fans who have been hopeful they could keep their star man have been dealt what looks like the final blow, as Uruguayan forward Suarez has indicated his willingness to force through a move. With a switch to Premier League rivals Arsenal looking more and more likely, and a 30 goals-a-season hole being left in the forward line, who should the Anfield club be looking to recruit as a replacement?
7 Recommended Replacements For Liverpool’s Number 7
Adrian Lopez - Atletico Madrid
Strengths: Positioning, Movement, Finishing, Dribbling
He would suit the tiki-taka style of football Rodgers has introduced at Liverpool, and would make good use of the creative play from the likes of Coutinho and Gerrard. Lopez has a contract clause with a release fee of around £15m, a price which would mean Liverpool could use the remaining budget to further strengthen the squad. Whether he would fancy the move is another question, as Atletico can offer Champions League football, yet a season at Anfield would boost any World Cup hopes.
Javier Hernandez - Manchester United
Strengths: Speed, Movement, Finishing
Hernandez would be a sound investment. He’s proven his quality in the Premier League and has popped up consistently with important goals. With Rooney’s future in doubt and no major signings made as of yet, Manchester United wouldn’t be inclined to sell. New manager David Moyes would steer clear of this move in his debut season, which would invoke anger and kindle the scepticism amongst Manchester United fans. Hernandez himself would probably reject the move, although he was very much 4th choice last season. If I was Rodgers, I’d think there’s no harm in trying.
Hulk - Zenit St Petersburg
Strengths: Strength, Power, Speed, Dribbling, Skill
He’s long awaited a move to the Premier League, and Chelsea FC have pursued him a number of times to no avail. After completing a big money move to Zenit, the racism he’s experienced from his own club’s fans have made him ready to move on. He would be costly, but Liverpool could afford his fee and wages if the sale of Suarez is to happen. After experiencing first hand of his talents, Liverpool would be wise to chase the player that who knocked them out of the Europa League.
4. Jackson Martinez - FC Porto
Strengths: Power, Speed, Finishing, Composure
A potential stumbling block could be the fee, as Napoli found out recently. His current club are reluctant to let him go for any fee below £35m, and Liverpool couldn’t afford to risk wasting that fee on another striker with minimal experience in a top league. A move to the Premier League would interest Martinez, and I’m sure he’d be a option.
5. Leandro Damiao - Internacional
Strengths: Strength, Speed, Finishing, Heading, Skill
The player himself has said he’s waiting on a move to Europe, and Liverpool’s chances of signing a striker of his quality will become limited in future if they continue without Champions League football. The asking price of Internacional for a player coming from the Brazilian league may put the club off, but I’m sure he’s being considered.
Erik Lamela - AS Roma
Strengths: Dribbling, Speed, Technique, Skill
With Suarez scoring 30 goals last season, replacing him would probably be too much of a tall order for Lamela, and for all the quality he’d bring to the squad another attacking player would probably have to be signed to weigh in statistically. Roma are looking to tie him down to a new contract, so Liverpool and the other clubs sniffing around him would have to move quickly to secure him.
Jermaine Defoe - Tottenham
Strengths: Speed, Agility, Balance, Finishing
He struggled for game time in the 12/13 season, and the Tottenham signing of Roberto Soldado would do nothing to suggest a change in 13/14. With interest being shown by West Brom, QPR and Besiktas, a move to Anfield would be a no brainer for Defoe at this point. He wouldn’t be too costly and would be the safest investment to make in adding goals to the squad, yet Tottenham may be reluctant to sell to a rival for a Champions League spot.
Photo courtesy bbc.co.uk
Luis Suarez: Replacements?... Liverpool Forward Looks For Anfield Exit?
by Rich Vanden
If you believe in the Brendan Rodgers philosophy, Adrian Lopez is the player you would want on your team. A striker who played the role of Robin in his partnership with Falcao for the last two seasons, is both underrated and has gone under the radar. Lopez being a Spaniard, has great technical ability, and clever positioning and movement. He can finish with either foot, and is comfortable in the air. His football intelligence makes him a good link up player, as shown with Falcao and he would flourish next to Aspas.
Photo courtesy arsenation.co.uk
A transfer that would be deemed impossible almost immediately, by anyone with a hint of knowledge of the Manchester United/Liverpool rivalry. With Liverpool however likely to receive a hefty sum for Suarez, could a significantly large offer cause Manchester United to consider selling to their bitter rivals? Surely stranger things have happened….Figo from FC Barcelona to Real Madrid. Cole from Arsenal to Chelsea. Van Persie from Arsenal to Manchester United.
Signing Hulk would be one of the biggest statements Liverpool could make. He is as direct and attacking as they come, and would add an abundance of quality and force to the Reds attack. He is strong, quick, loves to run with the ball and packs a powerful left footed strike. He would undoubtedly add goals and assists to the team, and can play as a winger on both flanks and as a centre forward, and is a mainstay in the Brazil national team.
Photo courtesy of theshedender.com
Martinez is a player that has caught the attention of Europe’s biggest clubs over the last two years, including FC Barcelona and Liverpool. Liverpool monitored his situation before he moved to FC Porto, and he a remains a player they watch. He’s quick, powerful and knows where the goal is. He finished his first season with FC Porto with 34 goals in all competitions, and is a player who possesses the hunger for goals much like Suarez.
Leandro Damiao is a very complete forward, and of the Fernando Torres mould. He’s Brazil’s best striker at the moment, and is set to lead the line for them at the World Cup should he have a good season as expected. He has 2 good feet, speed, dribbling ability and is very strong in the air. His strength would see him transition into the Premier League without any problems. His game was made for Europe and Liverpool would secure a major coup my signing him.
Erik Lamela is a player of great promise. He was chased by FC Barcelona as a youngster, and is still monitored by Europe’s biggest clubs. He has remarkable dribbling abilities, and moves the ball at great pace when attacking. He’s direct and has good technique. At the age of 21, you’d think he fit the profile of what Liverpool are looking for. As well as a striker, he can also play as a wing-forward, and versatility is something Rodgers looks for in players.
Photo courtesy of goal.com
At the age of 30 Defoe wouldn’t be an option for a club so intent on signing young players, with the potential to grow into profitable assets. The England forward would however bring a wealth of Premier League experience to Liverpool’s forward line, and is a proven goalscorer at the top level. A player who is hungry for games and hungry for goals, a move to Liverpool would bring serious appeal to him in a World Cup year.