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Who would you buy?

Mascot88

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I don't think anyone would expect a major upturn in form of Mignolet, Moreno or Sturridge if they played in Klopp's first choice XI.
I agree about Mignolet (more because the Goalkeeper is almost playing a different game) but I think it’s harsh to say Moreno and Sturbridge wouldn’t look better playing in the first team. Mostly because we’ve seen that they do.

Last night Moreno was playing next to a Midfielder covering at CB, and with Curtis Jones ahead of him. That’s going to test the very best full backs.

Put him next to Van Dijk, and with Sadio Mane ahead of him, and you get a different player. He’ll still only use his right leg to stand on, and tackle like he’s doing a special move in Street Fighter II, but his flaws would be far less exposed than they were last night.
 

Zinedine Biscan

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I agree about Mignolet (more because the Goalkeeper is almost playing a different game) but I think it’s harsh to say Moreno and Sturbridge wouldn’t look better playing in the first team. Mostly because we’ve seen that they do.

Last night Moreno was playing next to a Midfielder covering at CB, and with Curtis Jones ahead of him. That’s going to test the very best full backs.

Put him next to Van Dijk, and with Sadio Mane ahead of him, and you get a different player. He’ll still only use his right leg to stand on, and tackle like he’s doing a special move in Street Fighter II, but his flaws would be far less exposed than they were last night.
Gave this a like as while I do think Moreno's time is up and we need a better LB option, I do agree with the principle that many of the players fielded last night will be fine when swapped into a predominantly first-choice team as required. I think it's fairly obvious that a near-fully second & third choice XI is going to look disjointed and underwhelming, partly because that group of players will have rarely performed together as a group meaning that level of understanding simply isn't there, and partly because there's a reason these lads aren't forming the bulk of the first-XI.

Sure, we'll hit problems if half a dozen first-choice players all go down at the same time and we're forced to rely on a significant number of second-teamers, but you can mitigate the risk of that happening precisely by giving players rest when needed as we did last night. You simply can't expect the same group of 11 players to play 50+ games every season (plus international commitments every other summer meaning basically no rest) while genuinely competing on four fronts.

There are positions in need of improving, mainly because the stand-ins are too injury-prone, getting on a bit in years and/or are BR's last remnants who are not best suited to our current tactics and standing. But it's fewer than many are assuming based on one cup game away at a team that have already taken points off most of the top 6 in the league already.
 

Mascot88

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Gave this a like as while I do think Moreno's time is up and we need a better LB option, I do agree with the principle that many of the players fielded last night will be fine when swapped into a predominantly first-choice team as required. I think it's fairly obvious that a near-fully second & third choice XI is going to look disjointed and underwhelming, partly because that group of players will have rarely performed together as a group meaning that level of understanding simply isn't there, and partly because there's a reason these lads aren't forming the bulk of the first-XI.

Sure, we'll hit problems if half a dozen first-choice players all go down at the same time and we're forced to rely on a significant number of second-teamers, but you can mitigate the risk of that happening precisely by giving players rest when needed as we did last night. You simply can't expect the same group of 11 players to play 50+ games every season (plus international commitments every other summer meaning basically no rest) while genuinely competing on four fronts.

There are positions in need of improving, mainly because the stand-ins are too injury-prone, getting on a bit in years and/or are BR's last remnants who are not best suited to our current tactics and standing. But it's fewer than many are assuming based on one cup game away at a team that have already taken points off most of the top 6 in the league already.
It’s always been like this. We used to moan we had no decent kids coming through because the only chance they’d get is when Rafa would play eleven of them in a cup and get knocked out.
 

Nikola

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I agree about Mignolet (more because the Goalkeeper is almost playing a different game) but I think it’s harsh to say Moreno and Sturbridge wouldn’t look better playing in the first team. Mostly because we’ve seen that they do.

Last night Moreno was playing next to a Midfielder covering at CB, and with Curtis Jones ahead of him. That’s going to test the very best full backs.

Put him next to Van Dijk, and with Sadio Mane ahead of him, and you get a different player. He’ll still only use his right leg to stand on, and tackle like he’s doing a special move in Street Fighter II, but his flaws would be far less exposed than they were last night.
Having Van Dijk, Milner and Mane close to Moreno won't improve his rash tackling, blind crossing, nor his decision-making that borders on insanity, though, especially now that he feels undervalued and uncertain about his future at the club. It's not just about keeping his flaws hidden, I struggle to see what are the qualities he possesses that can justify his presence. He doesn't score goals, he doesn't assist goals, his overlaps are rarely timed well. Every time I see him play, I wonder how the hell did the club end up with him of all people.

Sturridge can probably have his uses, mainly to rest Firmino, in my opinion, provided the rest of the team can provide runs for his passes (he's undervalued in this aspect, I'd say) but I'd also be unsure of his contributions in a centre forward role. No pace, no acceleration anymore, and it's been a while since he even got into a good area to have a pop at goal.

I'm pretty downbeat about certain options that are at Klopp's disposal, especially looking at what he's up against at Man City and Tottenham, so I hope he can at least add some defensive cover in January - that Kelly lad, for example, is the kind of transfer you'd associate with this Liverpool, even though Klopp is reluctant to add to his squad in January. It would be great if Klopp had more options from the academy but I fail to see any of them beyond Camacho and, at a push, Brewster being ready to contribute until the end of the season.
 

Zoran

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Still don't think Klopp will bring someone in, unless Lovren's injury proves to be more of a long term one (hopefully not, but we'll know more in a few days).
 

Mascot88

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Having Van Dijk, Milner and Mane close to Moreno won't improve his rash tackling, blind crossing, nor his decision-making that borders on insanity, though, especially now that he feels undervalued and uncertain about his future at the club.
Yes it would. We’ve see that it does!

I’m not saying he isn’t shite on his own terms, and we do obviously need to do better. But there is a world of difference between having Van Dijk telling him what to do and Fabinho who, with respect to him, is going to be more concerned with his own performance in an unfamiliar position.

He has started two games this season (Cardiff and Burnley) and we won both comfortably, and he looked fine. He has also had a few appearances off the bench.

As a squad option he is alright. Not great. Not someone you’d be happy starting at the Etihad, but alright against the lesser clubs every now and then. The problem would be if you surrounded him with players who are also ‘alright’. That’s when he, or any squad player, would start to look exposed.
 

Nikola

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Yes it would. We’ve see that it does!

I’m not saying he isn’t shite on his own terms, and we do obviously need to do better. But there is a world of difference between having Van Dijk telling him what to do and Fabinho who, with respect to him, is going to be more concerned with his own performance in an unfamiliar position.

He has started two games this season (Cardiff and Burnley) and we won both comfortably, and he looked fine. He has also had a few appearances off the bench.

As a squad option he is alright. Not great. Not someone you’d be happy starting at the Etihad, but alright against the lesser clubs every now and then. The problem would be if you surrounded him with players who are also ‘alright’. That’s when he, or any squad player, would start to look exposed.
To be fair, I didn't see the improvement you're speaking about, I thought he was average at best (then again, I also though Keita was decent last night, so there's that as well). Speaking specifically about that Burnley match, I think it was Moreno who got hooked because he was simply ineffective, with Liverpool winning the match after he was subbed off. I think you're giving him too much credit, even though I fully agree that Klopp's first choice XI does a lot to cover for his flaws.

I'm not judging him on two cup exits, just to make it clear, otherwise I'd be giving a lot of players both barrels. He just doesn't contribute enough in attack, in my opinion, to justify his defensive flaws and overall lack of football intelligence. As brutal as it sounds, I hope Klopp never has to rely on him and that we won't see him donning a Liverpool shirt again - unless Liverpool are leading comfortably in matches and Klopp decides to give Robertson a breather towards the end of said matches.
 

Danny Sarge

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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.
Totally agree that Fraser's a good player and very underrated in that matter but I think Zaha's class and in a big team (Like ours) he would shine.
 

Limiescouse

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Ake, as mentioned by the poster above you, would actually be a really sound shout. Good quality in two positions, and would allow us to move on both Matip (simply injured too much to rely on) and Moreno and upgrade both positions, depth-wise, at a stroke. Rarely injured, afaik. Not sure how much he would cost, £30-40m maybe (pure speculation on my part and am in ignorance about his contract situation). We also seem to have a good relationship with Bournemouth when it comes to transfers. Could get behind a move like that.

VVD & Joe are the first-choice CB pairing now for the next 6 or 7 years, Lovren and Ake backing them up is pretty strong, although I would certainly have an eye on replacing Lovren in subsequent windows as and when the opportunity arises.
I know he played a fair bit at LB, but I think that was more a case of him being left footed and just what you do to blood a kid into a senior football (see Stevie). He certainly doesnt play the role in a way that would provide a legitimate challenge to Robbo in the role. The way he plays I think he is a more a DM/CB combo than a CB/LB combo player, and even then I dont think he has developed into quite the quality of CB I thought he would despite a couple of season of regular football now at Bournmouth.

Would it make sense though for us to have a player who could drop into any of 3 positions? Sure. Not sure it would make sense for him though given he would have to improve a ton to ever not be a distant second best in any of those roles. At this stage it would likely be more a repeat of the Zenden move...someone who looks like it makes sense on paper, but ends up being notably inferior than your other options in every role he is given leaving the fans to smack their heads whenever they see his name on the team sheet.
 

GermanRed

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I know he played a fair bit at LB, but I think that was more a case of him being left footed and just what you do to blood a kid into a senior football (see Stevie). He certainly doesnt play the role in a way that would provide a legitimate challenge to Robbo in the role. The way he plays I think he is a more a DM/CB combo than a CB/LB combo player, and even then I dont think he has developed into quite the quality of CB I thought he would despite a couple of season of regular football now at Bournmouth.

Would it make sense though for us to have a player who could drop into any of 3 positions? Sure. Not sure it would make sense for him though given he would have to improve a ton to ever not be a distant second best in any of those roles. At this stage it would likely be more a repeat of the Zenden move...someone who looks like it makes sense on paper, but ends up being notably inferior than your other options in every role he is given leaving the fans to smack their heads whenever they see his name on the team sheet.
I like Joe Gomez as a RB option and i think there will be situations in the future where we will need him there - probably very few games.

For me Aké at LB is as good as Gomez at RB. Robertson is the total package - very good in attacking and defending. But after all the years with Moreno i'd be happy with a more defensive option like Aké.

Of course its personal preference but i had enough of 'failed wingers turned into fullbacks'. That was also the reason why i wasn't impressed with Camacho a few days ago because he looks more like a winger than a defender.
 

Limiescouse

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I like Joe Gomez as a RB option and i think there will be situations in the future where we will need him there - probably very few games.

For me Aké at LB is as good as Gomez at RB. Robertson is the total package - very good in attacking and defending. But after all the years with Moreno i'd be happy with a more defensive option like Aké.
The problem with that comparison is that Gomez is a spectacular defender. What we may lose in attacking quality (and I think that is sometimes over stated), is balanced by how well he can shut down that flank defensively. Ake is not on that level defensively. He is a very good footballer who has found a home in defense and is now trying to learn how to play it.

I like Ake, but I dont think he has kicked on to the the player I thought he would be during his 3rd year of regular football. I think he is probably still learning, but at this stage if we were to buy him he would be a notable drop off in quality in either of the two positions he is being touted as cover for. And even then, it doesnt address the real issue, that a kid at his stage of development isnt going to leave a good situation like Bournmouth to come and be a Phil Neville type hole filler player for 15 games a season.
 

RedForever2014

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I agree about Mignolet (more because the Goalkeeper is almost playing a different game) but I think it’s harsh to say Moreno and Sturbridge wouldn’t look better playing in the first team. Mostly because we’ve seen that they do.

Last night Moreno was playing next to a Midfielder covering at CB, and with Curtis Jones ahead of him. That’s going to test the very best full backs.

Put him next to Van Dijk, and with Sadio Mane ahead of him, and you get a different player. He’ll still only use his right leg to stand on, and tackle like he’s doing a special move in Street Fighter II, but his flaws would be far less exposed than they were last night.
It is true that backups need to be considered in the context of how they do when in a best 11, as en masse their flaws get exposed more.

In that context Moreno can be partially excused, as he does ok against the right opposition in the best 11. His attitude still sucked at Wolves though.

Whilst the same can be said of all departments, the reality is that in the forwards there is not the required depth to compete on all fronts.

We are the only top 6 club that rarely gets beyond the early rounds of any domestic cup competition, something that is just not acceptable.

The fact that having a squad to compete on all fronts actually also makes you more likely to compete for the title and CL as primary objectives, strengthens the argument for building such a squad.

I can just about accept us consciously going into the second half of the season with only 7 defenders, even though 3 of them are injury prone, as some of our midfielders can be used there.

But if we look at the 12 players we have for the 6 midfield/attack positions, Lallana's fitness cannot be relied on, Keita is not performing, despite his goal Origi does not look like a player who can offer us any real rotation for Bobby, and Sturridge just doesn't offer enough other than in late cameos. That's a third of the midfield/forward squad, leaving us with only 8 real rotation options for 6 positions - Fab, Gini, Hendo, Milner, Shaqiri, Bobby, Mo, Mane.

I'd argue that's not enough anyway, but given that midfielders might end up in defence during the run in, now that we've weakened our defensive squad and that our centre backs have again shown themselves to be injury prone, I do not believe that we will win the title if we remain in the CL to the semi final, if the squad remains as is.

There is a very strong case for adding a quality attacking midfielder and/or forward to the squad this January, to upgrade our options AND facilitate the greater use of midfielders to cover defence.

I find it very frustrating and indicative that the club seems unable or unwilling to do this, although I hope that it may still happen.

If we can sell Origi and add a quality option, it would make a world of difference to our chances, it really would.
 

Limiescouse

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There is a very strong case for adding a quality attacking midfielder and/or forward to the squad this January, to upgrade our options AND facilitate the greater use of midfielders to cover defence.

I find it very frustrating and indicative that the club seems unable or unwilling to do this, although I hope that it may still happen.
What if we know exactly who we want, but appreciate that while getting him in the summer is likely, getting him now is near impossible?
 
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Iluvatar

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What if we know exactly who we want, but appreciate that while getting him in the summer is likely, getting him know is near impossible?
That doesn’t suit his narrative. He is so entrenched that for him to climb out and say FSG and Edwards are doing a good job would be near impossible.
 

Fhree

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As a Swiss Liverpool fan I'd really love to see Manuel Akanji with the Reds. Would be an outstanding player (CB). Unfortunately just got injured but someone, Liverpool should focus on imo --> Player Profile

btw don't know if you knew that, but did you know FC Basel did only buy Mo Salah from Egypt as a replacement for Xherdan Shaqiri's departure? If Shaq wouldn't have left to Bayern Munich, Mo Salah might never have changed to Europe!
 

W00die

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As a Swiss Liverpool fan I'd really love to see Manuel Akanji with the Reds. Would be an outstanding player (CB). Unfortunately just got injured but someone, Liverpool should focus on imo --> Player Profile

btw don't know if you knew that, but did you know FC Basel did only buy Mo Salah from Egypt as a replacement for Xherdan Shaqiri's departure? If Shaq wouldn't have left to Bayern Munich, Mo Salah might never have changed to Europe!
So I suppose the important question is who did they buy to replace Salah? :-)
 

Iluvatar

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As a Swiss Liverpool fan I'd really love to see Manuel Akanji with the Reds. Would be an outstanding player (CB). Unfortunately just got injured but someone, Liverpool should focus on imo --> Player Profile

btw don't know if you knew that, but did you know FC Basel did only buy Mo Salah from Egypt as a replacement for Xherdan Shaqiri's departure? If Shaq wouldn't have left to Bayern Munich, Mo Salah might never have changed to Europe!
We tried to sign Akanji before he went to Dortmund.
 

RedForever2014

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Personally I still favour us doing something this window.

I think adding some quality to the squad this month would be a further step in the evolution of the squad, especially as several players will leave this summer and need replacing. A face or two now would ease the transition in a summer that could see both back up full backs, the back up keeper, a centre back, a couple of midfielders (Milner and Lallana), and two forwards (Sturridge and Origi) move on.

It would also take advantage of our current standing, and firm up a challenge that could yet unravel.

We are heavily reliant on VVD and Salah, and whilst most sides are reliant on a few players, the depth of quality beyond those players determines what happens if you lose them for a while, namely whether you still compete regardless or fade away.

Looking at the squad, we can probably survive without defensive reinforcement. Moreno can play 3 or 4 matches during the run in to give Andy a rest, without risking results, if he's in a strong 11. We can cover right back with other players from midfield and centre back should be ok as long as VVD remains unscathed. His absence from the CL first leg will give him two weeks off, a positive from a negative.

Central midfield is ok, albeit that if Milner and Fabinho get used in defence it will stretch the rotation options there and Gini and Hendo won't get much rotation and rest.

It is in attacking midfield and the forwards we could do with a boost.

I put Lallana and Keita in that group, as you'd never use them in a midfield two in a 4231. Keita is showing very little, Lallana cannot stay fit long enough to get game time to get match fit.

Origi shows glimpses, like his goals (good follow up instincts versus Everton and a good technical strike at Wolves), but his all round game doesn't offer what we need. He's a last half hour man in matches already won and very occasional starter.

As to Sturridge, if his workrate and physical presence was ever enough, which IMO it wasn't, he'll most likely be too scared to get himself injured in the months before his contract expires to extend himself.

Only Shaqiri is a genuine option to use alongside the front 3 in a 4231, or as one of the forward 3 in a 433. But even he blows hot and cold and doesn't seem a top class 10 or mobile enough forward.

With so many issues in that group of 5 players other than Bobby, Mo and Mane, who you'd use in the 31 of a 4231, I do think we should be adding someone.

Bring a Fekir or Werner in and we'd definitely be more equipped to manage the PL and CL challenges.

People talk about integration time, but quality players adapt quickly, or at the very least offer more from the bench whilst they settle than average and/or unmotivated players do. During the last 30 minutes of matches the 'game plan' is often deviated from and sheer quality shines through.

I know some think I'm negative, it's more frustration because I see an opportunity to win both the CL and PL this season and I really want the club to do something to increase the odds of it happening.

But in Sturridge, Origi, Lallana, Keita and even Shaqiri, I don't see enough of what we need for that to happen.
 
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Brigadear

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Gary Cahill on a six month loan?
I would defo go with this. I have to say I am worried about our CB's as apart from VVD they all seem to be made of glass and they are another injury away, I worry that if we don't address this it will cost us the title.
 



SirBillShankly

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I would defo go with this. I have to say I am worried about our CB's as apart from VVD they all seem to be made of glass and they are another injury away, I worry that if we don't address this it will cost us the title.
Don't think it's necessary really. Matip was on the bench yesterday, Lovren will be fit very soon as will Gomez. Besides, Fabinho has been a fabulous stand-in.

As for who I would buy. Has to be Timo Werner.

Looks like a faster, more technical version of Kuyt. Seems a real team player aswell, I think he would fit in very nicely.
 
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wibseyred

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People talk about integration time, but quality players adapt quickly, or at the very least offer more from the bench whilst they settle than average and/or unmotivated players do. During the last 30 minutes of matches the 'game plan' is often deviated from and sheer quality shines through.
Fair point but I raise you the issues Keita is having he's now been in her 7 months and is still struggling to adapt he's offering nothing at present. To a slighted lesser extent is Fabinho who didn't really become a valued first team member till his 3rd month at the club.
 

Mascot88

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Fair point but I raise you the issues Keita is having he's now been in her 7 months and is still struggling to adapt he's offering nothing at present. To a slighted lesser extent is Fabinho who didn't really become a valued first team member till his 3rd month at the club.
This is exactly it. Why RedForever, who’s seen players come in and have to spend months learning the system, expects players to come in and contribute to the title challenge I don’t know.

Besides, if we short because Keita hasn’t settled, wouldn’t it be better to let him settle than get another body in?
 

Barnestormer

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It would seem sensible to get another body in with regard to backing up the front three; its presently Shaq Sturridge and Origi, thats an intermittent 1 out of 3, which is bad. A marque signing now, to play up front, would be such a statement of intent. Im not sure the club want that pressure and are looking to ease into champions pedigree rather than kick start a media event; because such a signing would feed the journos and intensify this run in.
 

MW2833

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This is exactly it. Why RedForever, who’s seen players come in and have to spend months learning the system, expects players to come in and contribute to the title challenge I don’t know.

Besides, if we short because Keita hasn’t settled, wouldn’t it be better to let him settle than get another body in?
Shaqiri is playing more and more matches as we play 4-2-3-1.
So if one of our front 4 gets injured?
I would rather Werner comes to replace one of the injured players, rather than Origi or Sturridge coming on or Keita playing LW out of his natural position.
Even if we revert back to a 4-3-3, the rest of our front players cannot play every game.
This summer, Sturridge and Origi will move on, harry Wilson may come into the first team and Brewster will also be promoted. AOC will hopefully also have recovered and come back stronger.

But imo we still need an attacking option this January, especially considering our low depth this season and manes relatively poor form.


Besides if we bring Werner in, it should help Keita get settled too due to their past relationship.