Liverpool Focus - Despite striking problems, positives remain in Rodgers' Liverpool squad
A huge fuss has been made about Liverpool’s lack of striking options following the recent closure of the summer transfer window. However, it must be remembered that Liverpool have made other signings over the last couple of months which have strengthened other areas of the team.
As has been the case for a number of years, Jose Reina is the first-choice goalkeeper at Anfield and many assumed that he would the ideal stopper for Rodgers, therefore no replacements were drafted in. The Spaniard has made a patchy start to the campaign and it appears as though he, like other members of the squad, may take a little more time to adapt to the new style of play. With backup options Brad Jones and the absent Alex Doni not seen as being suitable candidates for the role between the sticks, Reina will have at least until January to prove his credentials.
The Merseysiders kept key defensive duo Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger in the summer and with Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique still in their prime, Liverpool’s defensive unit is the same as it was last term. While the Reds faltered in front of goal last season, they were relatively stable at the back, so there does not appear to be too much for Rodgers to worry about in this part of the field. However, the former Swansea boss could be tempted to look for further options at left-back, with Enrique not fully convincing since his arrival at Anfield.
There is a feeling that Rodgers has ‘sorted out’ his midfield during this window, which will come as a relief to many who were disappointed at seeing the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Jay Spearing and Jordan Henderson bundled together in the middle of the park in the last campaign. Spearing has departed for the Championship, while another frustrating player to watch, Charlie Adam, recently left for Stoke. Rodgers has brought in Joe Allen and Nuri Sahin as replacements and those two arrivals have left supporters genuinely excited about Liverpool’s midfield options.
Some have even compared the current options of Allen, Sahin, Lucas and Steven Gerrard to the midfield of Xabi Alonso, Gerrard and Javier Mascherano. Such comparisons are premature but with Henderson and Shelvey as backups, it looks as though Rodgers has certainly put a big tick next to the midfield box on his list.
In attack, while the Reds have good options for the wider roles, with Raheem Sterling particularly impressive, Luis Suarez also able to slot in there and Oussama Assaidi yet to feature but with many looking forward to seeing him play, it is clear that the main problem is Liverpool’s lack of central strikers, with only Suarez and Fabio Borini currently on the books.
Thus, on paper the Anfield outfit have a strong first-eleven and although Rodgers may be looking to strengthen his squad in areas other than attack, only Enrique and possibly Reina look as though they may face stiffer competition for a place if this is the case.
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