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Season Review and Assessment of Liverpool Playing Staff

 

Hello all.

Thought I'd offer a season review/assessment of the squads performance, with marks out of ten for all the players, and views over whether to keep/sell or loan for next season. I will add verdicts on the strength of each position in the squad.

This is one lengthy post, so make a cup of brew beforehand.

It took quite a while to write this, so I'd love to hear some feedback. I hope you enjoy the read.

(Gks)

Simon Mignolet: 7.0.
A good first season. Weak on crosses, excellent shot-stopper and good in one v one situations. Needs to improve distribution and to become more vocal. Has the potential to become a quality goalkeeper and will be looking to make the No.1 spot his own next season. Unfortunate to rival Courtois for Belgium's No.1 spot, he'd be a regular for many national teams. [keep]

Brad Jones: n/a.
Made a few cup appearances, a reliable backup seldom called upon. Understands his role and never complains, loves LFC and has never let the side down. [keep]

Pepe Reina: n/a.
Loaned to Napoli last year. On high wages and has underperformed since Rafa's departure from the club. Once a fans favourite, Pepe's perceived attempts to engineer a move to Barcelona allied with aforementioned poor form and high wages make the decision easy. [sell]

Danny Ward: n/a.
Highly thought of and has played up to U21 level for Wales. He can be kept to learn from senior players, or loaned if he can secure first team football at Championship level. A decent third-choice emergency backup with a lot to prove. [keep/loan]

Verdict: [No new signings needed]
The only sense in buying a goalkeeper would be in buying a new No.1, and there are few better options than Mignolet, who has a lot of potential and the ability to improve. Spending big on a backup has seldom worked in the past (Carson, Kirkland, Doni) and Jones has always done well if called upon. The money saved on Reina's wages should be a welcome bonus.

(Lbs)

Jose Enrique: 6.0.
Whilst never proving himself as the answer to LFCs left-back problem, Enrique has been unfortunate with injuries. Prone to ball-hogging and poor decision-making, Jose was being utilised in the front 3 in the past, perhaps due to a paucity of options in attack, or perhaps because BR doesn't rate his defensive abilities. Quoted in the press as not understanding why he never got selected for Spain - underlines his lack of on the field intelligence, as anyone notices that Spain's full-backs pass the ball with regularity. Despite all of this, he is LFCs best LB, underlining the weakness in this area. Last chance saloon though, if he wants a new contract, he will have to improve, and is capable of a hell of a lot more. [keep]

Jack Robinson: n/a.
Gone off the radar somewhat; has been on Blackpool on loan for the season and according to reports he has done well. Still only 20 it will be interesting to see what BR does with him. A season on loan in the PL would do him the world of good and if Enrique does not recover for 14/15, he can provide an option. [loan to PL team if possible]

Brad Smith: n/a.
Made debut last season. A promising talent who could benefit from a loan. Just turned 20 and one for the future. Watch out for him next season where he could impress. [loan out]

Verdict: [New left back needed]
Enrique needs top-class competition here whilst Robinson and Smith have an opportunity to stake their claims for the spot whilst on loan. The season has seen a range of players try to cover at LB. Cissokho failed his audition for the role, whilst Johnson, Flanagan and Agger were all tried there at various times, none of which looked convincing.

(Rbs)

Glen Johnson: 6.0.
An abysmal end to a season in which he looked totally lazy and disinterested. At times shamefully so. He has bags of talent but no tenacity whatsoever. Shirks challenged and headers and has no appetite for tracking back. There have been games when he performed well, but they have grown more infrequent. This is England's first choice RB and BR seemingly rates him. BR stated that Johnson carried injuries earlier in the season and that has been taken into account with his 6.0 score. LFC do not have many recognised right-backs, this is part of why I feel he will be retained. As with Enrique however, he is in the last chance saloon, if he wants a new contract, he will have to improve, and he is capable of a hell of a lot more [keep]

John Flanagan: 7.0.
Earns a score of 7.0 for proving that he can do a job for LFC, emerging as a useful member of the squad and being the best full-back at the club over the season. Some excellent performances have been tempered by some errors, Flanagan plays on the fringes of the rules at times with his rash style, but he is young and can yet improve. His passing has been a plus and he has always given his all, it will be interesting to see how high he can go, because he must improve if he wants to stay. He can't remain a pleasant surprise for all his career. Can also play at LB, such versatility is always welcome. [keep]

Andre Wisdom: n/a.
Could merit a mention at CD, but has made his mark at LFC whilst playing RB and has starred for Derby in the same position to much acclaim, playing a key role in their playoff push in the Championship. I'd like to see him compete for the RB and CD roles next season. With extra games in the CL and hopefully a good run in the domestic cups, he can hopefully get some chances to emerge in competition with the likes of Kelly, Flanagan and Llori. He has the ability to stake a claim for a starting berth in either position. [keep]

Ryan McLaughlin: n/a.
A rising star at the club. Attacking full-back likely to make his debut for N. Ireland over the coming weeks. Expected to be loaned out next season. A season in the Championship seems the most likely option. Played a few games at that level with Barnsley this year [loan out].

Verdict [No new signings needed]
I'd like to see Flanagan directly challenge Johnson next year to see if he can make the leap to first team regular. The likes of Martin Kelly and Wisdom can also be used in this area and have proved capable of performing well in the role, though their futures may be at CD. McLaughlin's will have an opportunity to stake his claim for the spot by impressing on loan.

(Cds)

Martin Skrtel: 7.0.
Despite the O.Gs and some errors, he has been Liverpools best centre-back. Always available as he is seldom injured, Skrtel is tough, has a good turn of pace and is experienced, he is also a great threat on set-pieces and more comfortable on the ball than he is credited for. Has a tendency to switch off, yet I suspect a lot of sides would be glad to have him in their side. BR seems to trust him more than other options, yet he may have to battle to retain his starting berth. [keep]

Daniel Agger: 6.0.
Has had a poor season by his high standards. Dominated physically, he has never looked at 100% and has failed to keep his place in the team despite several opportunities to stake his claim. As with Skrtel, he is prone to switch off and Sakho seems to be BRs first choice left-sided centre-back. If he wants to stay and fight for his place I'd be happy enough, yet based on form he has no right to be a starter. He is on high wages, has a history of injuries and yet has a high profile. Sad to say but it may be time to part while his stock is high and the club is stocked with promising young CD players. Part economic decision, and part footballing. [sell]

Kolo Toure: 6.0.
Started well, and whilst expected to be a stabilising influence, Toure has struggled. As the season progressed he became increasingly edgy in possession. He made less and less appearances as the season progressed, with BR trusting Skrtel more. A likeable guy who has had a great career, yet at his age he will likely be looking for more first team football and if a chance for an exit arises that is agreeable to all, he could be gone. Like Agger, the decison is part economic and part footballing, his wages are high and there are young players looking for a chance. [sell]

Mamadou Sakho: 6.5.
A decent start to his LFC career. Unlike Mignolet, who made an instant impact with a crucial penalty save, Sakho started shakily but has grown as the season has progressed. He possesses pace, strength and heading ability but still adjusting into the role of first-choice centre-back. A new league and language issues aside, at times he seems the complete central defender. Needs to communicate with his fellow defenders more, but this should develop given time. We will all be hoping for a big year from him next season. [keep]

Martin Kelly: n/a.
Kelly has frightening potential. A great prospect at RB and at CD, where I feel his future lies; partly because the injuries he has sustained do not bode well to marauding tirelessly down the flanks, and partly because he has all the attributes to be an excellent centre-back. Constantly crocked by injuries, he has been brought back slowly into action and BR has openly said he will get games next season. A truly awesome prospect once, now 24 years old. I hope he can overcome the injury problems and emerge as the star that he should be. He could save the club a fortune and emerge as a long-term solution at CD. He will have competition from Llori, Wisdom and other emerging talents. [keep]

Tiago Llori: n/a.
Impressed on loan in Spain with Granada, who are looking to extend the loan. Llori is a player on the periphery. I expect him to return and compete for a place in the side if Agger and Toure depart, otherwise, a season on loan should do him no harm either. [keep]

Sebastian Coates: n/a.
Has had a rough time struggling with injury and form since joining LFC, now he has battled back to fitness on loan at Nacional. Once one of the brightest prospects in S.America after the 2011 Copa America. It now looks like Coates will depart this summer. Selected for the World Cup, but whether a starring role with Uruguay can change his fate remains to be seen. If BRs mind is already made up, a starring role may increase interest in him. [sell]

Stephen Sama and Lloyd Jones: n/a.
Two other examples of the young talent at the club who could benefit from loans next season. Sama has been on the scene for some time now and will be looking to impress given first team action. An impressive season could see him considered next summer, but the onus will be on him. Whilst Jones is still only 18. [loan]

Verdict: [No new signings needed]
The aforementioned moves would see a first choice pairing of Skrtel and Sakho, with Kelly, Llori and Wisdom as other options for CD. A great opportunity for the youngsters to show their quality and to reduce the wagebill. I see little logic in a making big signing to stand in the way of the youngsters' progress when the current crop have so much potential.
(In a scenario where a senior CD is signed, it is likely that it is Skrtel who will be worrying about his long-term future, whilst Llori or Wisdom could be afforded the opportunity to depart for top-level loan experience. Either scenario seems agreeable imo.)

(Dms)

Steven Gerrard: 7.5.
Has performed admirably in an unfamiliar role. Scored a lot of penalties, and delivered a lot of free-kicks, an area in which his delivery has been excellent. Statistical hyperbole as a result over goals/assists ratios may cloud judgement over the England Captains deficiencies in other 'bread and butter' aspects of the position he plays, but nonetheless set-pieces are still important contributions. In my view he lacks the positional sense and acumen to know when to keep the game simple and to maintain possession, and can also be guilty of switching off defensively. Always gives his all however, and when given space he can overrun lesser sides and expose their weaknesses with his passing range and exploiting the excellent movement of our forwards. [keep]

Lucas Leiva: 6.5.
A man who in my opinion was (before the first of his two serious injuries) one of the finest defensive midfielders in the world. However, injuries have seemingly taken their toll and Lucas has seemingly lost a yard of pace whilst his all-round game seems rusty. Hopefully a full pre-season will see him return to his imperious best, yet (unsubstantiated) rumours remain abound that BR may be looking to replace him. That BR seldom plays Lucas in his best position seems to support such ideas, but BR also gave him a long-term contract last summer, so I expect him to stay. Many forget some of his vintage displays, such as in the 5-0 v Spurs, and barring his injury he may have kept his place in the side. Brazil's finest defensive midfielder. Injury is cruel. [keep]

Conor Coady: n/a.
Played regularly and impressed for Sheffield United playing in a defensive midfield role in League One. Coady is a talented player who may yet emerge as first-team material. If a loan at a higher level could be agreed, perhaps that would be the best option as playing time may be limited in a DM role at Anfield. He only has a year left on his contract, but I expect a new deal to be offered to him and a development plan arranged. [loan out]

Jordan Rossiter: n/a.
Another promising youngster at a different stage of development to Coady. Obviously one to keep and to develop at the club. Perhaps a loan this season will be too soon as he is only a kid. [keep]

(Cms)

Joe Allen: 7.0.
As with Flanagan, a much maligned player who has emerged as a useful member of the squad. He has slotted in all the central midfield roles at various times and always given a good account of himself. Offers backup in DM, CM and as BR seems to enjoy, also as an attacking midfielder. A model pro and a great option to have available, his possession-based style and pivotal passing and movement offers something different in the centre of midfield. [keep]

Jordan Henderson: 8.0.
For me, the pick of the bunch in midfield, surpassing even Gerrard. He has been a star from start to finish and has dominated games with his passing range and physicality. He is technically under-appreciated, often due to the awe he garners from those who are shocked by his work-rate. Tops Gerrard in that he has unanimously been consistently good all season long, I doubt anyone would dispute that. Has emerged as a first-choice Liverpool midfielder and was sorely missed in the run-in. Well done, my son. [keep]

(Acms)

Coutinho: 7.0.
Talent to burn but yet to find consistency in his game. Can play as a playmaker or on either flank, at the tip of a diamond or as part of a central midfield three, his best position is open to debate. The potential to be a great and has a good attitude, making up for his lack of physical presence with his hard-work and magnificent passing ability. He is good enough to be a real star, but must learn to use his ability to influence games more. Still young and we're lucky to have a player of his talent. [keep]

Suso: n/a.
Enjoyed a successful loan at Almeria. A phenomenally talented midfield player, who can play the role of central midfielder, as an attacking midfielder, or on the wide sides of a front 3, Suso should have earned a place in the squad for next season. He can be David Silva or Xavi - that's how good he is imo. BR sees him as a playmaker, he can be either type. Another versatile player too. [keep]

Joao Teixeira: n/a.
Another player with great talent. Has recovered from a host of injuries to make his debut this year. A season on loan at either Championship or PL level to test his mettle may be the way forward. Finding a footballing side to suit his talents at those levels may prove problematic however, so as with Suso, a move to a side in Spain may be preferable. Has the ability to play for LFC. [loan]

Luis Alberto: 6.0 (borderline n/a)
Signed for a decent amount of money for a youngster (c.£7m), Alberto is clearly talented but has so far failed to seal a place in the side. Signed as one for the future, he can still emerge as a talent, but perhaps a loan move to get some regular competitive action will be the best move. An attack-minded option, seemingly suited to playing as the most advanced option in a midfield trio-or on the tip of a diamond. Also has a reputation as a player who can play across the front, though we have seldom seen him used there. He faces stiff competition for a place in any of these areas and needs to knuckle down. [loan out]

Verdict: [No new signings needed]
I would have a fully-fit Lucas occupying the role which Gerrard has taken and have him work together with Henderson and Stevie as our first choice central midfield trio. Allen is an option across any of the midfield positions whilst Coutinho and Suso offer other central options. If a diamond is preferred, either can step into that role also; as can Sterling.

It would take one hell of a signing to dislodge Gerrard, Lucas, Hendo and Allen as BRs experienced midfield 'base', whilst the amount of talented and youthful 'playmaking' options available to the club are almost absurd. We have some of the finest talent anywhere imo.

Finally Lucas fails to rediscover his form after his injuries then we can reassess that position next year; but I hope he can return to form as not only will our options then be excellent defensively, but it would be great to know he will be there when the time comes to eventually phase out Gerrard, so that even when thinking longer-term we can be positive.
But for now, we're well stocked.

(Wfs)

Raheem Sterling: 7.5.
One of the brightest prospects in English football, Raheem has developed well this year after finding his self-belief. He is starting to play against the men how he used to play against the boys at youth level. Capable of playing on either side as a 'wing-forward' or Inside forward (for want of a better description) or at the tip of a diamond, Raheem will be a key player next season, and will be looking to maintain his good form. There is no room for complacency if he wants to fulfil his potential. [keep]

Oussama Assaidi: n/a.
Loaned at Stoke where he has found appreciation. They are keen to sign him and LFC may even make slight a profit on him. Likely to be sold as Rodgers looks for a top level creative option in the 'Konoplyanka' mould to supplement the young talent in the squad, unless BRs views on this have changed since January, which is doubtful. [sell]

Jordan Ibe: n/a.
Still only a kid, Ibe is another bright young star. Loaned to Birmingham last year, a season on loan at a club willing to let him play may be the best option for the coming season. The boy has serious pace and possesses more physicality than Sterling, [loan out]

Iago Aspas: 6.0
Scarcely earns a rating of 6.0, but in his defence he has always tried his best and has had limited chances to shine. Interest in him is still retained in Spain, where he is still well thought of. He will likely depart this summer. [sell]

Verdict: [One player needed in wing-forward areas]
I expect an experienced signing aged 23-27 (Konoplyanka/Lallana type) to arrive to take the pressure off the likes of Sterling and Coutinho; and to support the gradual integration of the likes of Suso, Ibe and Teixeira into the side. Youngsters of 19-20 years-old cannot be expected to play 40+ games a season and we will clearly need much greater depth than last year if we are to challenge in all competitions.

In addition to the adaptability of Coutinho and Suso in offering additional options in these roles, our forwards are also versatile. Suarez, Borini and Sturridge can also occupy such spaces and act as further tactical options.

(Cfs)

Luis Suarez: 9.0
Missed the opening 6 games and was an absolute machine throughout the season. He is a genius and is at his best as a central striker. Has sacrificed himself by playing in wider roles to ensure that Sturridge can play centrally. Goals, assists, endless hard work and moments of absurd genius. Needs a rest as he was shattered by the end of the season. Smashing goalscoring records regardless, Imagine if he hit the penalties and freekicks too. An utter freak of a footballer, who doesn't even need pace. Imo he'll be even better at 34. Only Aguero rivals his talent imo, but whilst Aguero relies on sharp bursts of pace and is rather injury prone of late, Suarez is seemingly made of titanium. [keep]

Daniel Sturridge: 8.0
An amazing season for Sturridge, who has shown his quality on many occasions and proved his doubters wrong. I for one never foresaw his transformation into one of the leagues finest strikers. He has scored crucial goals and at times appeared more akin to what one imagines from a Brazilian striker. Best used centrally and not quite as adaptable as Suarez, but still has excellent movement. His pace stretches teams well, whilst he can also drop off and link the play well. As BR says, if he can keep this up, he'll be viewed as World Class. [keep]

Fabio Borini: n/a
Enjoyed an excellent season at struggling Sunderland where he gained cult-hero status for his endless running, won the young player of the year award and grabbed ten goals. Has excellent movement centrally and his loan spell saw him play across a front-3. Which is also a useful trait. A great attitude to come back from his injuries fighting for a place and deserves to be in the squad. I feel he can prove a real asset next year. [keep]

Verdict. [No new signings needed]
As Aspas found out, LFC primarily play with one out-and-out striker and the 'SAS' are two of the most on-form strikers around. Borini is more than capable of filling the void left by the likes of Aspas and the departing Moses and providing additional support across the front-3 positions.

All in all: Squad of 22.

Gk- Mignolet, Jones,
LB- Enrique, [new signing],
RB- Johnson, Wisdom, Flanagan.
CD- Skrtel, Sakho, Kelly, Llori,
DM- Gerrard, Lucas,
CM- Henderson, Allen,
ACM- Coutinho, Suso,
WF- Sterling, [new signing],
CF- Suarez, Sturridge, Borini.

Note: If any of the more senior players are to leave (eg. Skrtel, Johnson, Lucas), they will likely be replaced with senior quality signings.

So:

Needed: Two quality players.
Sell: Reina, Agger, Coates, Toure, Assaidi, Aspas.

Loan out: Ward (gk) Smith, Robinson (lb) McLaughlin (rb) Sama, Lloyd (cd) Coady (dm) Alberto, Teixeira (acm) Ibe (wf)

Other notables at Academy/U21 and U18 level. Rafael Paez (cd), Pedro Chiravella (dm), Marc Pelosi (lb/cm/wf) Cameron Brannagan (cm/wf), Sergi Canos (wf), Jerome Sinclair (cf)

There you have it. The future is bright. As you can see, I think we have the nucleus of an excellent side. BR has said he'd prefer 2-3 quality players rather than signing 7 with less ability. I have to agree.

Any feedback would be most welcome. I hope you enjoyed the read. Looking forward to seeing how things shape up for next season.

Take care, fellow reds. YNWA.
SuarezisaGenius

Comments
Enter your comments

07 June 2014
A really enjoyable read mate.

My only point is that I would have given Sterling an 8.0 also.

Cheers.

 

25 May 2014
Thanks Mr.T,

I'm a long-time fan of your work.

"Drink your milk. Grow up strong."

Wise words.

 

23 May 2014
Well done lad. Great effort.

Don't agree with all your comments. I personally think we need CB, LB, CM, ST.

Big window a foot.

Mr. T

 

23 May 2014
To the latest poster.

Cheers for your opinions and kind comments,

I can certainly agree with you suggestions at improving even more areas, perhaps we'll be spoiled this summer and treated to 5 top class-signings.

I would not object to that!

 

23 May 2014
A decent review.
Personally I think if a better right sided 1st team centreback can be found skrtel is gone. I don't agree he's as comfortable on the ball as you've made out

I'm not a fan of konoplyanka. I think for the money we'd dpend on him, he's not much of an improvement on assaidi. I think the sale of assaidi will happen though and some 1 will come in.

This has to be kelly's breakout season, I'd love him to start ahead of skrtel. I hate the BR has this thing about left and right footed CB's

 

22 May 2014
Very good overall summary, few minor differences of opinion to myself but that's got to be expected with the volume.
For me, the type of player/positions we need are;
A Leader at CH
A monster CM
A flying out and out winger
A good defensive (first and foremost) left back
And, Funds permitting I would be tempted to try and upgrade on Mingolet, I am not totally disappointed with him but got some doubts.

 

22 May 2014
I meant to write [SuarezisaGenius] there. lol.
Can't even spell my own name... very sad...

Cheers all.

 

22 May 2014
Thanks for the kind comments lads.

Is the first poster Mr. Lahey from the trailer park?? The winds of sh*t are certainly blowing... lol.

Regarding the Skrtel question poster 2 posed...

I'd feel comfortable selling him if a quality replacement was found. If BR thinks Lovren is the man to help us progress then so be it. Skrtel was the best of a bad bunch last year, is approaching 30, on high wages and is not irreplaceable.

If Skrtel was keen to fight for his place he could yet stay, I guess only BR knows what will really happen.

Also, I'd love to see Kelly given a run in the team and I hope that a new signing won't block his prospects.

Perhaps those 4 could contest the starting berths, affording Wisdom and Illori the chance to spend more time on loan? Or perhaps BR sees Wisdom as an option at RB? Good options whatever is decided.

To the next poster:

Thanks for the post, and cheers for the Sama update, and interesting views on Robinson, Coady and Toure too, though I do feel/hope we'll hold onto Wisdom.

The view that Llori will be loaned is a sensible one too.

To the last poster:

We think alike.. cheers for your thoughts. I like the 'bottleneck' comment. Spot-on description. :)

Cheers lads. Respect to all.

[SuarezisaGod]

 

22 May 2014
I agree with some of it. I agree with you that there is more to solving our defensive problems than just throwing money at it. We have defenders with ability. In theory we have decent options at CD. Agger is the vice captain. Skrtel has lots of brawn and will look very good with a proper leader beside him. Sakho can develop to be a fantastic player and Ilori should be given a chance. Obviously one maybe two has to move on to prevent the bottleneck affect that I think has contributed to the problems. I think Johnson should move on and a left back signed.
Midfield is a strange one, maybe another strong holding player to give a different option. I think Stevie must share some of the blame but to be honest I just think that's how Rodgers wants us to play.
Again up top perhaps a wing forward like kono or a Lallana could provide good options.
In general only one or two singings are needed barring replacements, so I agree.

 

22 May 2014
Very good summary and very close to my own thoughts.

Sama is out of contract and will leave this summer.

Wisdom, Robinson, Coady and Alberto will be sold IMO and Kolo Toure definitely not going to leave this summer.

BR says he wants Kelly to stay and I think we will sell Wisdom because of this.

Ilori will go on loan IMO, since we are clearly interested in signing a CB.

 

22 May 2014
Very good read, I have done a review myself but you have brought it to a different level.

An open ended question in relation to Martin Skrtel, I agree Rodgers has seen him as his centre half as he played most out of all centre halves this season. But would you take Martins goals and start him or would you drop him or sell him for another vocal player at the back to sure up the defence?

Overall though lad a great read and fair play!

 

22 May 2014
A brilliant balanced sensible well written summary.and a very enjoyable read...thank you very much sir..Jim lahey tps

 

22 May 2014
In reply to the additional thoughts.

I left out Cissokho and Moses deliberately as they will not be retained beyond their loans. Sorry!

As for Enrique. I would retain him as he is our only recognised left-back, but we certainly need a top-class left-back to challenge him. Eventually I expect one of our young left-backs can emerge, such as Smith or even Robinson, if he succeeds on loan, but next year I feel we may need Jose for a backup.

I agree with the sentiments of needing to replace Toure and Agger if they depart, and can understand the reasoning. But personally, I would like to see the likes of Kelly, Wisdom and Llori given a chance to prove themselves as defensive partners to Sakho.

All that said... I still wouldn't object to a top-class centre-back arriving. But does Lovren really have more potential than Kelly? I need convincing on that. If a centre-back is signed I'd expect that Llori may be loaned out too, as another poster here has suggested.

I don't expect to sign another striker unless Borini leaves tbh.

Cheers again for the replies. A lot of good and convincing opinions here.

 

22 May 2014
Excellent read mate but think sterling deserves a better rating he was one of the few bright sparks during the end of the season when everyone else was burnt out or disinterested (think Johnson)

 

22 May 2014
Cheers lads. Thanks for the comments. Sorry for the glaring omissions too. I shall rectify that now.

Krisztian Adorjan: n/a.
Now 21, he has been on loan at Groningen in Holland, where he has failed to impress enough to merit a place at LFC. He has one year left on his contract and is expected to move on. [sell]

Samid Yesil: n/a.
The prolific German youth international has been blighted by serious injuries over the past year. Damaged cruciate ligament in his knee whilst on international duty and had recurrence of the injury in Jan. It will be a long road to recovery, but the club will stand by him. Great expectations need to now be tempered, but hopefully he can return to form. [keep]

As for the comments on Johnson, I stand by them. But I did not say to sell him. He has talent but must make the effort. Personally, I would (try to) sell him, but I don't think that BR will. Last chance Saloon.

You may be spot-on about Llori, I have high hopes for him and loaned or not, I just hope he keeps progressing, and you may also be right about us chasing another GK.

As I said though... I only see sense in buying a really excellent goalkeeper, one who can really push for the No.1 spot. I don't see the likes of Vorm as an improvement on Mignolet tbh and I can't see him signing to be a backup.

Personally, I admire Tim Krul and see him as the future Dutch No.1. Cech could also be an (ambitious and expensive) option if Courtois supplants him. I can't see him staying at Chelsea as a reserve.

Or perhaps BR has spotted some exciting talent elsewhere who he deems good enough to offer a challenge to Mignolet. We shall see.

 

22 May 2014
You forgot Aly Cissokho. I didn't agree with a lot of it, but thanks for your effort.

 

22 May 2014
Disagree with a few, if we let toure and agger go we need a new top center back. Even if we dont we need one top center back cause the rest lack a leader. Need a left back, let enrique go. Also we need a solid DM for the games against bigger teams to give more defensive cover and allow 5 players to attack ahead. Need a new CF for the extra games to give cover as well as a winger.

 

22 May 2014
Excellent article

 

22 May 2014
Good read, agree with most a quality left back, left mid /wing and experienced DM maybe one more striker because of extra games needed u forgot yesil whats happening with him and adorjan :)

 

22 May 2014
I have always supported our players going back to the seventies but Glen Johnson has cheated every one of us for three years now . Bone idle, or as you say, lazy and disinterested . Sell, Sell, Sell ! What an attitude !

Ilori will be a great player for the first team, starting in six or twelve months time, not yet . Finally, no top four club would enter next season with only Mignolet and Jones as goalkeepers, and neither will we .

Apart from that, not bad, well done!

 

22 May 2014
Great read mate

 

22 May 2014
Excellent review

 

 
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