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Who would you buy?

lfc.eddie

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Just because we went back for Van Dijk doesn't mean we are going to go back for Fekr this January. Van Dijk is more of an exception rather than a trend.
 


Anfield rd Dreamer

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I think plans/tactics/formations are evolving and therefore what we target needs to as well.

4-3-3 with Salah and Mane either side of Firmino is slowly fading away and being used less and less.

The formation we use most now you could call 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 it's quite fluid though.

I'd say it boils down to a change from 3 CM's and 3 forwards to 2 CM's and 4 forwards. We used the 4-3-3 after Coutinho left to readdress how shaky we were at the back, solidify things, and because we only had 3 starting capable forwards. It wasn't too bad though as Ox was regularly one of the CM's and he adds a lot of forward thrust and attacking momentum from there. Without him though we've seen how flattened our attack seems in that formation.

We've now solidified our defence and don't need that level of support anymore, our defensive performance is one of the best the English top flight has ever seen. With the success of Shaqiri we also now have four players that could legitimately start so we are reverting back from 3 CM's and 3 forwards to 2 CM's and 4 forwards.

Across the back 5 I don't see much change occurring through our choice. Maybe just changes on back up GK and LB for players more suited to our tactics if or when Mignolet and Moreno go.

The front 6 positions though I see quite a lot of change coming. Keita (who will eventually settle in and boss it, especially when he gets to consistently play CM instead of number 10 or left wing), Fabinho, Shaqiri, Salah, Mane, Firmino and Ox are all set in stone to be staying. I think it's possible either or both of Henderson or Wijnaldum could leave but probably only if the player pushes and I'll go with the assumption they both stay for now.

In the 2 CM spots then that's Fabinho (offers some emergency cover in defence), Keita (offers some emergency cover in the forward positions), Wijnaldum and Henderson. There's room for one more here with Milner (for maybe a little while but not long), Grujic (maybe to replace Milner soon) or possibly the surprise arrival of a signing (such as Rabiot) the options.

In the forward positions I no longer see roles for Ings (deal to leave already agreed), Origi, Solanke (till significantly improved and probably only leaves on loan for now), Markovic and Sturridge (possible exception if he's willing to sign a new contract as a sub/cameo option only).

For me then where we still need some significant purchasing (and the only place in the squad that we do, which shows how amazing this squad is) is the front 4.

Ox, Shaqiri, Mane, Salah and Firmino are 5 options for 8 spots. If Wilson and Brewster are to be trusted then maybe that's another option or two covered (maybe with Sturridge 2 spots covered between 3 players). But I still think that leaves at least 1 possibly 2 positions open for a real top class talent or two.

I think I'd be looking at the front two as choosing from Firmino, Salah and Brewster . Possibly with Sturridge around as a supersub. I'm thinking it's stretched a bit thin for my liking and we'd possibly end up playing just one of them central more often than we'd want to tactically. I think we need to have another strong option here.

On the right we'd be able to pick from Salah, Shaqiri, Ox, Wilson and Mane (although they can all play at least one other position too so it's not as overloaded as it initially looks).

When we play with an attacking mid playing just off a front man the options are from Firmino, Ox, Shaqiri, Mane and Wilson so although any new players who can play here would be good it's not exactly something we need to target.

On the left though we would seemingly be looking at Mane and Wilson as the only natural fits. Firmino can play there but is not a natural fit for the role. Ox, Shaqiri and Salah all probably can play there but Klopp hasn't seemed keen to use them there yet. Keita has had to do a job there but it just seems to be getting in the way of him integrating into his natural CM role. Milner is a bit too slow and not attacking enough these days whilst he's still here. I think we need a real top line player here able to play week in week out, versatile if possible (especially if he can play in the front 2) but that strong choice on the left could always mean either Mane or Shaqiri start on the right increasing competition for places.

So over the next 2/3 Windows I think for me it boils down to;

Mignolet replacement/upgrade. My choice would be someone like Reina or Muslera.

Possible Moreno replacement/upgrade. Could just use Clyne and Milner for now if any promising academy kids around. I think Felipe Luis could be an interesting free signing in the summer for a season or two of experienced cover.

Possible Milner replacement. Although this could just be Grujic and we should only bring someone in if it's a real top line player that's become available and it's too good an opportunity to pass up maybe Rabiot or Eriksen.

One top class attacker who is fast and a goal threat and naturally fits on the left. Preferably can also play CF. In theory this player would be replacing Lallana and Origi but in reality would be used a lot more than both put together. Heung-min Son from Spurs would be my choice but that may not be possible. Timo Werner seems to be mentioned a lot but he seems more a CF pushed out wide so not sure.

Possible Sturridge replacement only if the new left sided attacker can't play CF or if Dan isn't happy to stay as a cameo player. It would only really be a squad role anyway with the strength we have elsewhere and the expectation that Brewster will be given playing time, if that changes and Sturridge leaves as well as Brewster going on loan then we might need a more established option instead. If that were the case maybe someone like Timo Werner but otherwise I think it's best to come to an agreement with Sturridge. It'll probably be Brewsters spot sooner rather than later anyway and Solanke may have a cracking success of a loan and make the spot his too.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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@Anfield rd Dreamer Timo Werner definetely no CF pushed out wide. He started his career at Stuttgart as a winger. He is still being used as a winger at Leipzig from time to time. At the world cup he admitted that he sometimes struggles against deep defending teams and then prefers the wing.
Thanks for the info. Might be a good fit for our needs then. Just a question of if he has high enough quality.
 



Anfield rd Dreamer

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For more information go to the Timo Werner thread :)
Seen that comparison but from what I can tell it seems a bit unfair. Werner has played a lot more as a forward whilst Mane has played a lot more as a provider. The roles haven't quite been the same and out of context could be misleading. I'm sure he's probably good enough, seems a good fit and is still a young and improving player. I'm just going to reserve full judgement till I know a bit more.
 

RedForever2014

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We're all delighted with the transfer activity of the past three years.

We have risen due to the shrewd investment of about £100m net, the gross obviously being higher than that, funded by the sale of players no longer required and the sale of Coutinho.

The club deserves credit, but whilst we all want to see younger players come through as part of the next phase of squad development, the reality is that you still have to spend money to be as competitive as you can possibly be. You also have to do so without constantly losing your best players to fund it.

You might compete short term if you build as we have and then curtail your spending, but if you do that City, United and Chelsea will eventually spend their way ahead of you again.

Good management bridges gaps, but it only goes so far. It's why clubs like Leicester don't sustain success when they have it, and why Spurs have never won anything to date. It's also why City, United and Chelsea have won most of the trophies over the past decade, and always rebound even when they appear to be declining. They spend their way back to it.

I don't want irresponsible spending, but I do think we spend less net as a club than we could.

I still believe FSG are realising a return on their investment by taking money out via FSM in ways I have outlined previously. Whilst it's their right to do so, I believe it's overlooked in the haze and euphoria of our current position that this is money that could cement our trophy winning chances.

There is no doubt that adding more quality to this squad would sure up our chances of winning things and I find it hugely disappointing that we seem to not be taking the opportunity to do so whilst we have the chance. I also find it disappointing that we seem to be looking to trim the squad back at a time when we need the depth to compete on three fronts.

I'm absolutely delighted with our current position, but it doesn't change my view that LFC should be able to spend more, to do so more consistently and I still fear that part of our approach will include the sale our of top players to fund investment that could and should be possible without doing so.
 

Red Ted

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Some good points there above.

"the reality is that you still have to spend money to be as competitive as you can possibly be. You also have to do so without constantly losing your best players to fund it.

You might compete short term if you build as we have and then curtail your spending, but if you do that City, United and Chelsea will eventually spend their way ahead of you again"


Completely agree with this, this is absolutely key if we really want to be back up there again for a good amount of time at least, we always have to be looking and wanting to improve the team/squad, we need to keep spending, I hope we do it again in the summer, we need to go big on 1 preferably 2 signings along with shipping out as much deadwood as feasable.
 

Red Ted

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Ramsey won't really be free, he'll want a big wage and a signing on fee.

Is Sessegnon really any good? He looks like a hype job, so much hype last season, the times I've seen him this season he hasn't impressed at all, he'd still cost a good 30/40 million too & for what really? Potential & warming the bench?
 



Dave-D

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Ramsey won't really be free, he'll want a big wage and a signing on fee.

Is Sessegnon really any good? He looks like a hype job, so much hype last season, the times I've seen him this season he hasn't impressed at all, he'd still cost a good 30/40 million too & for what really? Potential & warming the bench?
Sessegnon is only 18 will turn 19 in May. He’d be a great player to have as a Mane back up and isn’t Moreno which helps at LB.
It’s his first season in the EPL so I expect him to kick on next season
 

Danny Sarge

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Wilifred Zaha

Absolutely top notch, I'd go as far as saying he's arguably the best player outside the top 6 and one of the best wingers in the league not to mention blistering pace to suit our swift attacking play.

Stick Mane back on the right, Firmino in the 10, Zaha on the left and Salah up top.
 

ILLOK

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Wilifred Zaha

Absolutely top notch, I'd go as far as saying he's arguably the best player outside the top 6 and one of the best wingers in the league not to mention blistering pace to suit our swift attacking play.

Stick Mane back on the right, Firmino in the 10, Zaha on the left and Salah up top.
Zaha's quality but I'm not so sure that's true anymore. There are some really good wide players outside the top 6 - Richarlison, Pererya, Anderson and Fraser come to mind.

Fraser is very seriously underrated I feel, his delivery into the box is consistently excellent.
 

Dave-D

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I’d have Fraser over Zaha not only because Fraser would be significantly cheaper (contact runs out 2020) but he will already have an understanding with Robertson as they both play on the left for Scotland and I feel he’s a better player than Zaha
 



RedForever2014

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For me it's concerning to see us reducing the squad size at this point of the season.

Players like Clyne, Moreno, Origi and Solanke are limited, but put any of them in our best 11 and they do a good enough job versus an untried kid.

The difference between us and City is the depth of our squad and in particular in the forwards.

Reducing what depth we have and not adding any extra quality up top, is not what a club looking to cement its advantageous position should be doing.
 

ILLOK

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For me it's concerning to see us reducing the squad size at this point of the season.

Players like Clyne, Moreno, Origi and Solanke are limited, but put any of them in our best 11 and they do a good enough job versus an untried kid.

The difference between us and City is the depth of our squad and in particular in the forwards.

Reducing what depth we have and not adding any extra quality up top, is not what a club looking to cement its advantageous position should be doing.
Even if the untried kid is a better footballer? We'd never have given Trent or Gomez a chance if Klopp was as conservative as this and we'd still be playing lesser footballers in their stead.

It wasn't long ago that you didn't consider Solanke as a 'senior option', yet 0 minutes later and suddenly he is? There's a good chance Brewster offers as much as Origi or Solanke straight from the go IMO.

The only players to have left so far are Clyne and Solanke and they have 200 minutes of football between them in our first team this season.
 

Iluvatar

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Looking at the squad as a whole, We are pretty close I think. I'd like the following;

  • Forward - Werner (depth for the front line and someone who can play alongside or in place of Firmino)
  • Defender - Kelly (left back depth as Moreno will leave and can learn from Van Dijk as center back)
  • Forward / Defender - Sessegnon (primarily back up for Mane on the left but can play left back against weaker teams where we will have a lot of the ball)

Wilson coming back from loan to be back up for Salah on the right. If he doesn't or moves on we need a wide forward who can play no.10 to come in.

Starting 11:

Alisson

TAA - Gomez - VVD - Robertson

Gini - Fabinho

Salah - Firmino - Mane

Werner
Depth;

  • RB Cover - Gomez, Milner, Fabinho
  • LB Cover - Kelly, Milner, Sessegnon
  • CB Cover - Matip, Lovren, Kelly
  • CM Cover - Henderson, Keita, Milner
  • FW Cover - Shaqiri, Wilson, Sessegnon, Brewster
 

RedForever2014

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Even if the untried kid is a better footballer? We'd never have given Trent or Gomez a chance if Klopp was as conservative as this and we'd still be playing lesser footballers in their stead.

It wasn't long ago that you didn't consider Solanke as a 'senior option', yet 0 minutes later and suddenly he is? There's a good chance Brewster offers as much as Origi or Solanke straight from the go IMO.

The only players to have left so far are Clyne and Solanke and they have 200 minutes of football between them in our first team this season.
The squad is getting too light.
 



Richard88

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Looking at the squad as a whole, We are pretty close I think. I'd like the following;

  • Forward - Werner (depth for the front line and someone who can play alongside or in place of Firmino)
  • Defender - Kelly (left back depth as Moreno will leave and can learn from Van Dijk as center back)
  • Forward / Defender - Sessegnon (primarily back up for Mane on the left but can play left back against weaker teams where we will have a lot of the ball)

Wilson coming back from loan to be back up for Salah on the right. If he doesn't or moves on we need a wide forward who can play no.10 to come in.

Starting 11:

Alisson

TAA - Gomez - VVD - Robertson

Gini - Fabinho

Salah - Firmino - Mane

Werner
Depth;

  • RB Cover - Gomez, Milner, Fabinho
  • LB Cover - Kelly, Milner, Sessegnon
  • CB Cover - Matip, Lovren, Kelly
  • CM Cover - Henderson, Keita, Milner
  • FW Cover - Shaqiri, Wilson, Sessegnon, Brewster
I doubt we'd sign BOTH Sessegnon and Kelly. They'll know that Robertson is going to be tough to supplant at LB and won't want to be competing with him AND each other. Either one would be a good signing though.
 

Iluvatar

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I doubt we'd sign BOTH Sessegnon and Kelly. They'll know that Robertson is going to be tough to supplant at LB and won't want to be competing with him AND each other. Either one would be a good signing though.
One plays center back as well.
One is primarily a left winger.
 

Zico Nealy

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Looking at the squad as a whole, We are pretty close I think. I'd like the following;

  • Forward - Werner (depth for the front line and someone who can play alongside or in place of Firmino)
  • Defender - Kelly (left back depth as Moreno will leave and can learn from Van Dijk as center back)
  • Forward / Defender - Sessegnon (primarily back up for Mane on the left but can play left back against weaker teams where we will have a lot of the ball)

Wilson coming back from loan to be back up for Salah on the right. If he doesn't or moves on we need a wide forward who can play no.10 to come in.

Starting 11:

Alisson

TAA - Gomez - VVD - Robertson

Gini - Fabinho

Salah - Firmino - Mane

Werner
Depth;

  • RB Cover - Gomez, Milner, Fabinho
  • LB Cover - Kelly, Milner, Sessegnon
  • CB Cover - Matip, Lovren, Kelly
  • CM Cover - Henderson, Keita, Milner
  • FW Cover - Shaqiri, Wilson, Sessegnon, Brewster
Some great points here but I can’t see Hendo staying if he won’t play much and even Shaq will want a bigger role soon. TAA might move to cm in the near future?
 

Richard88

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Big opportunity for Brewster now that Solanke has left.

You'd think Klopp will want to sign an attacking player, and even if he does Brewster would still be 3rd choice up front if Sturridge and Origi also leave by the summer.

I can see Klopp and Edwards pushing very hard to get Werner by the summer. He would add a perfect option for the attack, challenging the established front 3 for a starting spot, as well as being useful tactically. Only 18 months left on his deal which smells like Edwards territory.
 



big noyd

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Is Sessegnon really any good? He looks like a hype job, so much hype last season, the times I've seen him this season he hasn't impressed at all, he'd still cost a good 30/40 million too & for what really? Potential & warming the bench?
he certainly hasn't been great. but he's still only 18 and has at least gotten himself in dangerous positions, even if he hasn't taken his chances

robertson is too vital to rotate in the strictest sense, imo, and it's unlikely a direct alternative of requisite quality would come to play so little. so i think a left-sided CB who can fill in there (kelly), plus a wide player who can play up and down the left side would be the way to go. makes more sense if we occasionally revert to the 4 3 3 i guess
 

big noyd

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with chelsea evidently closing in on lozano & having already signed pulisic, have to think they're out of the mix for fekir even if he plays more centrally
 

Richard88

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Fekir left out of 18 man squad.... Here we go again.... haha
I can't see Fekir being an option anymore, for three reasons:

1. If the reason for not signing him was because of his medical - meaning that an insurance company wouldn't cover the club due to the likelihood of re-injury, it's extremely unlikely that they'd be willing to cover it now, just 6 months on.

2. Since the failed signing last summer Shaqiri has been signed and impressed in basically the same role in the squad (left-footed inside-right attacker).

3. Ox is 6 months closer to a return and also plays in that RM/AM position, meaning that it is one of the most well-covered areas of the pitch in the squad.

If we do sign an attacker, it will surely be someone capable of playing on the left instead, given that Mané is the only natural fit on the left. Hence the strong rumours for Werner given that he primarily likes to play from the left and up front.