Liverpool Focus – Rodgers left looking foolish after missing out on Dempsey

I need a minimum of three strikers,” said Brendan Rodgers, just over a week before transfer deadline day. “I have got Luis Suarez, Fabio Borini and Andy Carroll. Once the window shuts, that is it until January. I would need to be a nut case to even consider at this moment letting Andy Carroll go out, unless there are other solutions for that.” As the end of the transfer window edged closer, Liverpool allowed £35m centre-forward Carroll to join West Ham on a season-long loan, leaving the Reds with just Suarez and Borini as attacking options. The Merseysiders failed to bring in any replacements for Carroll, leaving the manager to look rather foolish for his previous comments.

Daniel Sturridge, Theo Walcott and Clint Dempsey had been strongly linked with moves to Anfield, but it was the failure to land the latter which was strangest of all. Dempsey ended up moving to Tottenham Hotspur, who also swiped Gylfi Sigurdsson from under the noses of Liverpool, for a reported fee of £6m. The Reds seemingly lost out on the former Fulham man for the sake of just £2m. Now, Rodgers will be relying on his main striker, the not-so-clinical Suarez, and new arrival Borini to score the bulk of Liverpool’s goals.

Questions will be asked about why Carroll was allowed to leave without an adequate replacement lined up. Unfortunately for Rodgers, these questions will follow him after every defeat or draw for the next four months. The loss against Arsenal on Sunday, which saw both Suarez and Borini start, provided firm proof that Liverpool are likely to find life tough without enough attacking options. The Reds did not have any proven game-changers on the bench and that will be a major concern for supporters.

Following that fixture, Rodgers claimed that he would not have let Carroll join West Ham if he had known that Liverpool would not have completed a deal for another striker. Therefore, some fans believe that the manager has been put into this awkward, restrictive situation by whoever was in charge of negotiating transfers at the club. Further details about how the Reds seemed to get it so wrong on deadline day are likely to emerge soon, but as Rodgers pointed out, Liverpool cannot now change the position they are in until January.

Rodgers can however scour the market for free agents. There has been some speculation about the possible return of Michael Owen, while uncertainty over Didier Drogba’s future in China has led to his name being mentioned as a possible signing. Whether or not Liverpool exploit this market remains to be seen, but judging by the lack of attacking options on the bench against Arsenal, the Reds may just be forced into bringing in a forward on a free transfer for emergency purposes.

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