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Defensive summer transfer plans if I were LFC manager
Despite a turnaround in form since the turn of the year and a Liverpool Player of the year award by Liverpool legends, I think I speak for most fans when I say that Mignolet, and the club, is still quite deficient in the goalkeeping department. He is an incredible shot stopper, and at times has kept us in games with his saves, however, he is poor at commanding his area, organizing his defence and distributing the ball. Moreover he has a tendency to flap at crosses, and is not the strongest keeper. It has been suggested that he needs decent competition, but in truth, how many truly decent keepers will agree to move to the club, competing with Mignolet without any future trophy prospects? That being said, if I wanted to bring a decent keeper to the club, I'd go hunting in Germany for either of Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt), Sven Ulreich (VfB Stuttgart), Oliver Baumann(SC Freiburg), Thomas Kraft (Hertha BSC) and Timo Horn(FC Koln). Luckily, at least one of those clubs will be relegated, which may make a deal easier. Additionally, Neto (ACF Fiorentina), free in the summer and Guillermo Ochoa (Malaga CF) have been linked to the club. Personally, I would go for Ron-Robert Zieler, Germany's no.3 as I feel he is the best of the bunch. Alternatively, I would first assess Danny Ward and Lawrence Vigouroux, both 21 to see if they could step up. Brad Jones should probably be sold.
Team next season: Mignolet, Zieler, Ward
With Glen Johnson's contract set to expire in the summer and Jon Flanagan's continued injury woes, the club should be looking for a quality right back in the summer. The pick of the bunch, Nathaniel Clyne, is probably beyond the club means at the moment, while two equally exciting players in Danilo (FC Porto) and Serge Aurier (on loan at Paris Saint-Germain) moving clubs in the summer. That being said, there is no shortage of right-backs out there who could fill the right-back berth. The club have been linked with Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Martin Montoya (FC Barcelona) and Daryl Janmaat (Newcastle). Players like Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan) and Mario Fernandes (CSKA Moscow) should probably be considered too. Ignazio Abate is overally the best of the bunch, quick, attacking and experienced but approaching the dreaded age 30, defensively he is suspect though. Montoya, Janmaat and Fernandes would probably need a few months to settle down. Eventually, signing Abate at a rumored cut price would represent good business for the club since the Academy is not short of quality in the right back berth in the likes of Conor Randall, Kevin Stewart and Ryan McLaughling. Andre Wisdom should also be in contention for a first team slot as well. It would also be wise to cut Javier Manquillo's calamitous loan deal short.
Team next season: Abate, Wisdom, McLaughling
Despite the arrival of Alberto Moreno in the summer, the club's left back slot has proved to be a problem position throughout the season. The Spaniard has underwhelmed defensively throughout the season, most memorably gifting Juan Mata a brace in a 2-0 win at Anfield. Offensively, he has flattered to deceive and still needs to work on his crossing. Moreno's back up, Jose Enrique should probably be moved on and seems to have played his last game for Liverpool. It was hoped that Brad Smith would be given a chance this season after his debut against Chelsea last season but was loaned out to Swindon, but recalled just two months later by Liverpool after Moreno's injury. Quite baffling is the fact that the youngster, now 21, has not featured since. This is another case of very poor management on the club's part. If the club should seek reinforcements for this position, I really hope Liverpool-born Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United F.C) will be the top priority. The 25-year old, signed in the summer from Ipswich has enjoyed a good debut season for the Hammers, proving to be solid both defensively and offensively. Abdul Rahman Baba(Augsburg) is also a good option.
Team next season: Moreno, Cresswell, Smith
Well, here we go again, what can I say about the club's center backs that has not been said before? The club has a formidable-looking Skrtel, Lovren, Sakho, Toure on their books. Emre Can has also been played there most of the season. In addition, Coates, Ilori and Wisdom can all play in Center back and have been loaned out. Much is expected from u21 center back Lloyd Jones as well. For all the clubs options in center-back, they have shipped 42 goals so far heading into the final round of fixtures. It has been suggested that the club needs better defensive coach and I couldn't agree more given the poor defensive displays throughout the season. This fact is even more telling when looking at the u21s performance this season. The second-placed youngsters have easily been the divisions' sharpest attack with 45 goals, seven more than first placed Man United. Defensively however, they have shipped 35 goals, a staggering 15 more than Man United. If I was in charge of the club, a proper defensive coach will be my top priority. Kolo Toure should probably leave too along with Sebastien Coates. Tiago Ilori looks set to leave the club after being poorly managed, perhaps a new manager could convince him to stay? The club should probably not move for a new center back unless there are exits of the current bunch. However, I am going to be a little biased when I say, the club should go all out to sign Fabian Schar on a free and sell Skrtel to any suitors. I am a fan of Fabian; classy, goal scoring defender, who has reads the game well and likes to launch attacks from defence, Schar is also a set-piece expert.
Team next season: Lovren, Sakho, Schar/Ilori, Jones
23 May 2015
Appreciate your insight mate,
Flanno is out injured for 6months i think and we need reinforcements. I agree that Peruzzi is a good option but I had Abate in mind so he wouldn't block any youngsters coming through.
Cresswell is a Liverpool fan, so maybe he'd pick us. Additionally, I forgort to mention Luke Garbutt, who I'd prefer over Cresswell.
I'd take any German keeper anyway. Oliver Baumann's Freiburg has been relegated as well.
23 May 2015
Agree with most of your assessment but I have some issues/differences in opinion with some of your comments. Personally, I would put Flanagan above McLaughlin in the pecking order even though Flanno has had some injury issues because Flanno has a lot more experience and has proved that he can cut it at this level last season, while his new contract must also be taken into account. Also, I don't feel Abate would be the right option and De Sciglio will also be out of reach for the club, so I will say that the right-back slot should be fought for between Flanno and Wisdom, although I would be happy to see the club sign Perruzzi (who is quite under-hyped). Additionally, I don't think we'll be able to get Cresswell because it seems like City and Chelsea might turn to him, so Baba (quite underrated) will be a great option if we sign him. Finally, although I haven't actually watched any of the German goalies you've listed, I've heard that Trapp is the best of the bunch after Neuer and Ter Stegen, but I will still be optimistic about our goalkeeping prospects if Zieler was signed.