Author Topic: Liverpool's Midfield  (Read 1122235 times)

Offline Ken-Obi

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7960 on: March 18, 2015, 10:41:38 AM »
I'd be very disappoined if those were our options next year, unless Ings is much better than everyone on here says he is (even those who rate him). We wont get a Sturridge level player, I realise that, but I'd guess there are quite a few strikers whose quality is somewhere between Ings and Sturridge that are available to us. Certainly if we get into the Champions League again. I think we need another midfielder as well, but our options in central midfield are better than those up front right now.
What's the cost we're looking at these Ings -- Sturridge players?
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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7961 on: March 18, 2015, 10:48:59 AM »
Lucas came in when the team was piss poor, and he played very well and lifted the team. He has done this other seasons as well. A common weakness of Allen and Henderson, in the past at least, has been that they tend to go hiding when things aren't going well. Henderson, especially, has tended to just hand over the ball to Gerrard as soon as possible, instead of leading by example. Lately we haven't ended up in tough situations very often due to our defense, but I'm curious how Allen and Henderson will handle a tough start.

I hope they stay all three. We need them, plus one more MF. I wouldn't worry too much about the competition. So far this season, all of them have gotten more pitch time than optimal when they have been fit. Lucas played too much when Allen was injured and vice verse.

Offline steveeastend

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7962 on: March 18, 2015, 10:49:57 AM »


My personal opinion, not based on anything other than a gut feeling, is that Lucas will leave in the summer.  Not because he's not good enough or because I have some sort of agenda against him, I just think he's going to go.  If he does then I'll be sorry to see him go, if he doesn't then I'll be very happy to still have him as part of our squad.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if Lucas and Gerrard go and are replaced by James Milner and another new signing.



Replacing Lucas with Milner would be a revival of the Liverpool book of stupid transfers and it would be pretty high up the list. Very high..
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Offline a treeless whopper

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7963 on: March 18, 2015, 11:08:51 AM »
Considering we are losing Gerrard, Johnson and maybe Toure, losing Lucas would be utterly stupid. I would rather keep him until his contract ends in 2 years time and let him go for free rather than try to save 5 or 6m through a fee. We cannot lose all our big characters.

We should be looking to lose as few players as possible. We need another midfielder anyway.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7964 on: March 18, 2015, 11:11:19 AM »
Oh, there's definitely a Cult of Sakho too. It's also fair enough to say the Lucas thing is mostly two posters, one of whom is now banned, but their brand is/was particularly amusing.

Agree with the rest.

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Offline Nessy76

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7965 on: March 18, 2015, 11:29:53 AM »
GrkStav is banned? Oh my. How can one see who is banned?

He got a little overheated over some innuendo.
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Offline paddysour

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7966 on: March 18, 2015, 11:40:11 AM »
I think Lucas should be our Mikel. A squad option used for cover, shutting down games we are leading in, and big games were we need to be more solid. I don't think Lucas would like that though as he's good enough to start for a lot of other clubs

Offline JackWard33

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7967 on: March 18, 2015, 11:50:28 AM »
I think Lucas should be our Mikel. A squad option used for cover, shutting down games we are leading in, and big games were we need to be more solid. I don't think Lucas would like that though as he's good enough to start for a lot of other clubs

He's a sensational player to have in a squad because of his rare ability to come in to a game as a sub or to start a game after a spell out of the team and be bang on his level almost at all times
We'd be dumb to let him go this summer - if we do we have to go out and buy another player who can play the deep lying midfield position as well as him/Allen which really won't be easy

Offline ElstonGunn

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7968 on: March 18, 2015, 11:53:43 AM »
Toure as well. Those two had the mentality to put up a fight no matter what the perceived situation was. If we were to be beaten, at the very least the opposition would have to work bloody hard to earn their win.
See, this is the argument I really disagree with, the people who claim our season turned around when Kolo and Lucas came into the team, rather than when we switched to 3 at the back. Yes, we got 7 points out of Stoke (H), Leicester (A) and Sunderland (H). We were still utterly toothless, didn't particularly control the games (except against Sunderland, who didn't even try to compete) and the Leicester game in particular was terrible, terrible football, we were just lucky enough to come away with a win despite getting outshot 2-1 against the worst team in the league.. Was all that better than Crystal Palace away? Sure, but I'd argue we were never going to keep being as bad as that, no matter who played the following games. If we kept playing like we did in that run of 3 games all year, we'd be in 8th or 9th.

In contrast, the change to 3421 saw an immediate uptick in our performances. We outplayed United at Old Trafford, except of course in the all-important striker and goalkeeper positions. Despite losing 3-0 I'd say that was probably one of our top 2 or 3 performances of the season up to that point, at least in midfield. Then, obviously, we went on our current run. The before and after 3421 performances were absolute night and day, whereas the Stoke, Leicester, Sunderland run was pretty much of a piece with the previous, terrible performances.

None of which is to say Lucas did not have a big effect on improving the side (though I'm not sure Kolo did, to be honest). He certainly did, as he played very well in the 3421, and was definitely better than Gerrard for the role. But the dramatic, frankly incredible improvement that saw us go from a midtable side to the best performing team in England was much, much broader than any 1 or 2 (or 3, or 4!) players.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7969 on: March 18, 2015, 12:25:41 PM »
How good would Ings really need to be?

About as good as someone like Remy? Or Welbeck? Those sort of players who occupy a similar squad position at their respective clubs?

I dont think he's too far from that sort of class at all to be honest.
Better than Sterling would do, so that we don't have to use him upfront as much as we have this season. I think Sterling has been great though, and he's scored around one goal in every two games from that position, so I'm not sure how easy it would be to get someone better than him. I haven't paid much attention to Ings, apart from when we played them, so if you think he is that good, I'll have to take your word for it.

What's the cost we're looking at these Ings -- Sturridge players?
Don't know, somewhere around 20 million should get you a pretty decent player, you'd hope. Is that an unreasonable sum for our budget this summer, if we offload Balotelli, Lambert and Borini? Maybe it is.

Offline ElstonGunn

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7970 on: March 18, 2015, 12:27:35 PM »
How good would Ings really need to be?

About as good as someone like Remy? Or Welbeck? Those sort of players who occupy a similar squad position at their respective clubs?

I dont think he's too far from that sort of class at all to be honest.
This is my feeling too. Add to that that Sterling has been excellent in that role, and I don't think there's nearly as much to worry about at striker as many make out.

Offline ElstonGunn

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7971 on: March 18, 2015, 12:29:05 PM »
Better than Sterling would do, so that we don't have to use him upfront as much as we have this season. I think Sterling has been great though, and he's scored around one goal in every two games from that position, so I'm not sure how easy it would be to get someone better than him. I haven't paid much attention to Ings, apart from when we played them, so if you think he is that good, I'll have to take your word for it.
Don't know, somewhere around 20 million should get you a pretty decent player, you'd hope. Is that an unreasonable sum for our budget this summer, if we offload Balotelli, Lambert and Borini? Maybe it is.
Honestly, I think Sterling has looked better there than anywhere else in the 3421. Unlike playing him at wingback, I don't think there's really any waste playing him there, especially if you can add some more goals to the spot next to Phil behind him.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7972 on: March 18, 2015, 12:35:34 PM »
Honestly, I think Sterling has looked better there than anywhere else in the 3421.
He's hardly played in that attacking midfield role though, has he? But sure, going on what we've seen, I agree with you. He's had some outstanding games up front since we switched to the current formation.

Offline ElstonGunn

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7973 on: March 18, 2015, 12:42:53 PM »
He's hardly played in that attacking midfield role though, has he? But sure, going on what we've seen, I agree with you. He's had some outstanding games up front since we switched to the current formation.
Oh, for sure, and I'm not suggesting we move him permanently upfront. I'm just saying I don't think we should be too bothered if he ends up playing 10 games at striker next year.

Offline Gnurglan

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7974 on: March 18, 2015, 12:43:29 PM »
Considering we are losing Gerrard, Johnson and maybe Toure, losing Lucas would be utterly stupid. I would rather keep him until his contract ends in 2 years time and let him go for free rather than try to save 5 or 6m through a fee. We cannot lose all our big characters.

We should be looking to lose as few players as possible. We need another midfielder anyway.

We have no real reason to part with Lucas. Our group of CMs is limited. It's not a concern, but it would be if Lucas is off. The only issue I can see there is if Lucas wants to leave himself. If he wants to stay, we should keep him. He's a solid performer.

If we are searching for money, then Coates, Alberto, Aspas, Johnson, Toure, Enrique, Lambert, Borini and Balotelli are examples of players we could consider selling. For various reasons. Likewise, we might want to consider Wisdom and Ilori as potential departures. That's eleven players who have had fairly limited (or no) roles this season.

The way I view it, going with the 3-4-3 we play now, I'd look to have 4 CMs and 6, maybe 7 players for the front three. So Lucas, Henderson, Allen and Can(?) for the CM. That's OK. For the front three: Lallana, Sterling, Coutinho, Sturridge, Origi and one more. Then we could add Ibe as a bonus because he's young. Throw in Markovic as well and we're talking eight players for the front three. That's more than enough. So we need to add real quality and we need to offload players for the front three. Things look better in CM for next season. Less work required.

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Offline Haggis36

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7975 on: March 18, 2015, 12:45:46 PM »
He's hardly played in that attacking midfield role though, has he? But sure, going on what we've seen, I agree with you. He's had some outstanding games up front since we switched to the current formation.

As well as he plays up top (to be honest he probably plays better there than Daniel has in this new formation so far) does he really get enough goals to justify being a striker? 3 in 10 in the league as a striker, it's only really in the league cup (3 in 3) that he's been putting them away.

For me the sticking point in the comparison to other team's backup strikers is that none of those teams have a first choice player as injury prone as Sturridge is bar City with Aguero, and then they have the likes of Dzeko, Jovetic and Bony for backup. If Sterling was gonna play any meaningful time as a striker in this formation going forward then you'd need whoever plays alongside Coutinho to be fairly prolific, cos wee Phil doesn't score all that many.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7976 on: March 18, 2015, 12:52:33 PM »
Oh, for sure, and I'm not suggesting we move him permanently upfront. I'm just saying I don't think we should be too bothered if he ends up playing 10 games at striker next year.
Certainly agree with that, and I have argued for some time that we don't need four strikers next season because of Sterling's ability to play up front. Sturridge, Origi and Sterling, along with a new signing should be enough, especially if we most often play one up front. Remains to be seen who that signing will be though. Considering Sturridge's injury problems, it is an important signing to get right.

As well as he plays up top (to be honest he probably plays better there than Daniel has in this new formation so far) does he really get enough goals to justify being a striker? 3 in 10 in the league as a striker, it's only really in the league cup (3 in 3) that he's been putting them away.
So 6 goals in 13 starts? I'd say that is a great return for a 3-4th choice striker, even good enough for a second choice really. For example - as he was mentioned before - Ings have 9 from 28 in all comps, admittedly all in the league and for a much worse team.

But as said above, we do need to take our best striker's injuries into consideration and get someone else in as well. I have no problem using Sterling up front from time to time, but we shouldn't rely on him as much as we have this season.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 12:59:10 PM by Roger Federer »

Offline Haggis36

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7977 on: March 18, 2015, 01:04:35 PM »
So 6 goals in 13 starts? I'd say that is a great return for a 3-4th choice striker, even good enough for a second choice really. But as said above, we do need to take our best striker's injuries into consideration and get someone else in as well. I have no problem using Sterling up front from time to time, but we shouldn't rely on him as much as we have this season.

On the face of it it's a great rate (though the league rate is a bit on the low side) for a clear 4th choice striker but the only reason Sterling would be 3rd/4th choice would be because he's not really naturally a striker. What I mean by that is that "4th choice" is slightly misleading in that it suggests that he would be 4th best in terms of quality or how threadbare the squad was, but in reality a group of strikers including Origi, Ings and Sterling - well it's all a bit much of a muchness in terms of goal return. There is no reason that, out of that group, Sterling should be behind Origi and Ings other than that he normally players in other positions.

I think given how injury prone Sturridge is we could really do with a player a level above those players for a back up striker. It might be less of an issue if we had goalscorers all over the pitch, but we really don't. If our central striker is (at absolute most) a 1 in 2 player, then we really need players like Coutinho and whoever plays alongside him to be scoring much more freely, cos we don't get goals from anywhere else on the pitch bar Hendo really.

It's one thing if Sturridge is missing the odd game, it's an entirely different matter if he's going to miss over a half of a season ever again.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 01:07:44 PM by holymoly »

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7978 on: March 18, 2015, 01:16:21 PM »
I think we agree, a page back I said I would be disappointed with Ings and Origi has our striker options behind Sturridge. I too believe Sterling would play more than both Ings and Origi in that situation, and then we're only an injury to Sturridge away from relying on Sterling almost as much as we have this season.

Our striker singning must be so good that we'll consider playing him from the start in a two, and be better than Sterling in that role. No idea who that is, but not even those who rate Ings suggested that he was that player, when we were linked with him. Most said something along the lines of 'he's a good signing, as long as we also buy a top striker'. I prefer to get that top striker only, and let Origi and Sterling share the back up role.

Offline ElstonGunn

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7979 on: March 18, 2015, 01:21:13 PM »
On the face of it it's a great rate (though the league rate is a bit on the low side) for a clear 4th choice striker but the only reason Sterling would be 3rd/4th choice would be because he's not really naturally a striker. What I mean by that is that "4th choice" is slightly misleading in that it suggests that he would be 4th best in terms of quality or how threadbare the squad was, but in reality a group of strikers including Origi, Ings and Sterling - well it's all a bit much of a muchness in terms of goal return. There is no reason that, out of that group, Sterling should be behind Origi and Ings other than that he normally players in other positions.

I think given how injury prone Sturridge is we could really do with a player a level above those players for a back up striker. It might be less of an issue if we had goalscorers all over the pitch, but we really don't. If our central striker is (at absolute most) a 1 in 2 player, then we really need players like Coutinho and whoever plays alongside him to be scoring much more freely, cos we don't get goals from anywhere else on the pitch bar Hendo really.
I can't really disagree substantively, but unless we can, e.g., convince Vietto and his exceedingly reasonable price tag to join (when I'm sure he'll have a dozen offers), I think this is much harder to do than it sounds. When you spend £30m on a striker, you're taking a huge financial risk, and there's far from a guarantee it would work out. Some recent examples of £30m strikers include Bony, who would score a few goals but be a disaster upfront for us, and Carroll (ugh), and not to mention slightly cheaper guys who were supposed to be sure things like Soldado or Jovetic. When people talk about spending big on a striker, they're usually talking about Icardi (just signed a new deal, I think, and plays in Italy, which has translated poorly to England); Dybala (incredibly sought after and Italy again); Benzema (who is always rumored to leave but never does); and Lacazette (who is one of the most obvious regression candidates out there for people who buy into stats at all); or even Berahino (who barely has a better scoring rate than Ings).

Now, I know you're not saying we need to spend £30m on a striker, but I'm just emphasizing that it's really, really hard to find that player who's a level above Ings/Remy/Welbeck, and there's a good chance you get it wrong and find someone who might be pretty good but is an atrocious fit (Balotelli) or is a pretty good fit but is actually really bad at football (Borini). I think we'd better off targeting whoever we think is straight up the best player for the best price we can get who scores goals, whatever position he plays, and then filling in around him with players like Ings and Origi. If that's a striker, maybe that's ideal, but it probabliy isn't imo.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7980 on: March 18, 2015, 01:23:49 PM »
I can't really disagree substantively, but unless we can, e.g., convince Vietto and his exceedingly reasonable price tag to join (when I'm sure he'll have a dozen offers), I think this is much harder to do than it sounds. When you spend £30m on a striker, you're taking a huge financial risk, and there's far from a guarantee it would work out. Some recent examples of £30m strikers include Bony, who would score a few goals but be a disaster upfront for us, and Carroll (ugh), and not to mention slightly cheaper guys who were supposed to be sure things like Soldado or Jovetic. When people talk about spending big on a striker, they're usually talking about Icardi (just signed a new deal, I think, and plays in Italy, which has translated poorly to England); Dybala (incredibly sought after and Italy again); Benzema (who is always rumored to leave but never does); and Lacazette (who is one of the most obvious regression candidates out there for people who buy into stats at all); or even Berahino (who barely has a better scoring rate than Ings).

Now, I know you're not saying we need to spend £30m on a striker, but I'm just emphasizing that it's really, really hard to find that player who's a level above Ings/Remy/Welbeck, and there's a good chance you get it wrong and find someone who might be pretty good but is an atrocious fit (Balotelli) or is a pretty good fit but is actually really bad at football (Borini). I think we'd better off targeting whoever we think is straight up the best player for the best price we can get who scores goals, whatever position he plays, and then filling in around him with players like Ings and Origi. If that's a striker, maybe that's ideal, but it probabliy isn't imo.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7981 on: March 18, 2015, 01:24:55 PM »
I also be very surprised to see Lucas go as in terms of experienced midfielders who can sit & do the simple things well we only have Lucas and still a very indifferent Allen. The lad is doing well right now but good form in a handful of games is hardly something you can plan for next season or even next month as he could be on the bench again. Can is another who could come into the role but that seems to be for emergency cases only, ie both Lucas & Allen out as his immediate future seems to be as a center back.

If Milner comes in then he is more of an attacking CM, wide man and might even be Brendan's idea of a wingback. Much prefer to let Ibe grow in that role so Milner adds to the squad quality but does he improve the starting 11? Debatable considering we should be aiming to replace the quality we saw in SG last season (& years previous), not the current player who may or may not get into our starting 11. Henderson seems to be grooming himself for that role anyway so do we look to a Coutinho - Henderson - Allen as our future title hopeful CM? I fancy Brendan wants to add more goals / assists to that CM trio so expect some serious money to be spent on our midfield this summer.
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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7982 on: March 18, 2015, 01:30:37 PM »
We have no real reason to part with Lucas. Our group of CMs is limited. It's not a concern, but it would be if Lucas is off. The only issue I can see there is if Lucas wants to leave himself. If he wants to stay, we should keep him. He's a solid performer.

If we are searching for money, then Coates, Alberto, Aspas, Johnson, Toure, Enrique, Lambert, Borini and Balotelli are examples of players we could consider selling. For various reasons. Likewise, we might want to consider Wisdom and Ilori as potential departures. That's eleven players who have had fairly limited (or no) roles this season.

The way I view it, going with the 3-4-3 we play now, I'd look to have 4 CMs and 6, maybe 7 players for the front three. So Lucas, Henderson, Allen and Can(?) for the CM. That's OK. For the front three: Lallana, Sterling, Coutinho, Sturridge, Origi and one more. Then we could add Ibe as a bonus because he's young. Throw in Markovic as well and we're talking eight players for the front three. That's more than enough. So we need to add real quality and we need to offload players for the front three. Things look better in CM for next season. Less work required.
Agree regarding Lucas. He's worth so much more for us than we could get, and we would have to spend more than that on a replacement anyway.

The only reason to sell him would be if he really wants to himself. Lucas is one of those players that have been incredibly loyal to the club and deserves to be treated well.

Offline ElstonGunn

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7983 on: March 18, 2015, 01:32:32 PM »
Agree regarding Lucas. He's worth so much more for us than we could get, and we would have to spend more than that on a replacement anyway.

The only reason to sell him would be if he really wants to himself. Lucas is one of those players that have been incredibly loyal to the club and deserves to be treated well.
I agree with this, by the way, and you've all convinced me to some extent. It would be hard to replace Lucas, and there's no need to have more player turnover than necessary.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7984 on: March 18, 2015, 01:38:06 PM »
I can't really disagree substantively, but unless we can, e.g., convince Vietto and his exceedingly reasonable price tag to join (when I'm sure he'll have a dozen offers), I think this is much harder to do than it sounds. When you spend £30m on a striker, you're taking a huge financial risk, and there's far from a guarantee it would work out. Some recent examples of £30m strikers include Bony, who would score a few goals but be a disaster upfront for us, and Carroll (ugh), and not to mention slightly cheaper guys who were supposed to be sure things like Soldado or Jovetic. When people talk about spending big on a striker, they're usually talking about Icardi (just signed a new deal, I think, and plays in Italy, which has translated poorly to England); Dybala (incredibly sought after and Italy again); Benzema (who is always rumored to leave but never does); and Lacazette (who is one of the most obvious regression candidates out there for people who buy into stats at all); or even Berahino (who barely has a better scoring rate than Ings).

Now, I know you're not saying we need to spend £30m on a striker, but I'm just emphasizing that it's really, really hard to find that player who's a level above Ings/Remy/Welbeck, and there's a good chance you get it wrong and find someone who might be pretty good but is an atrocious fit (Balotelli) or is a pretty good fit but is actually really bad at football (Borini). I think we'd better off targeting whoever we think is straight up the best player for the best price we can get who scores goals, whatever position he plays, and then filling in around him with players like Ings and Origi. If that's a striker, maybe that's ideal, but it probabliy isn't imo.

Goals is the one factor that would most improve our team. Spend 20m on CM, especially as a DM replacement for Lucas, and you're looking at an improvement of maybe 5 goals at most over a season (and that's in a good year). If I were to target improving our goal tally, I'd expect a lot more than that for 20m, which was the figure you gave for a midfield upgrade. If strikers are a financial risk at that level, at least they're not guaranteed to never go beyond a certain ceiling, which would be the case for a DM.

The most desirable DMs in the league, the kind of player who would command 20m+ fees and be the kind of instant improvement on Lucas/Allen that many would love, are Matic and Schneiderlin. Going by the PL's stats, Schneiderlin has 10 goals from 90 games, while Matic has 1 goal from 45 games. Spending that kind of money on that kind of player, when what we need most is goals, is baffling.
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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7985 on: March 18, 2015, 01:39:29 PM »
Next season if Brendan goes out and spends big money on a central midfielder (with Gerrard leaving) they would have options of Henderson, Allen, Can and Lucas and this new CM. That will push Lucas right down the pecking and he may leave if wants first team football which I don't see happening next season.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7986 on: March 18, 2015, 01:43:48 PM »
Goals is the one factor that would most improve our team. Spend 20m on CM, especially as a DM replacement for Lucas, and you're looking at an improvement of maybe 5 goals at most over a season (and that's in a good year). If I were to target improving our goal tally, I'd expect a lot more than that for 20m, which was the figure you gave for a midfield upgrade. If strikers are a financial risk at that level, at least they're not guaranteed to never go beyond a certain ceiling, which would be the case for a DM.

The most desirable DMs in the league, the kind of player who would command 20m+ fees and be the kind of instant improvement on Lucas/Allen that many would love, are Matic and Schneiderlin. Going by the PL's stats, Schneiderlin has 10 goals from 90 games, while Matic has 1 goal from 45 games. Spending that kind of money on that kind of player, when what we need most is goals, is baffling.
€20m, which is what I said at the high end, doesn't even get Danny Welbeck or Mario Balotelli under current exchange rates. It won't get you Saido Berahino. It's also hardly mutually exclusive with spending upfront. You'll see in the very post you're responding to that I suggested buying the best player for the best price we can get who scores goals, and simply not being fixated on that player being a striker. I even agree forward signings are a bigger priority. All I'm saying is we're better off spending £15m in midfield and £25m on two attackers (one of whom being very cheap in INgs) than £30-40m on one player, regardless of where he plays.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 01:45:23 PM by ElstonGunn »

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7987 on: March 18, 2015, 01:47:16 PM »
I can't really disagree substantively, but unless we can, e.g., convince Vietto and his exceedingly reasonable price tag to join (when I'm sure he'll have a dozen offers), I think this is much harder to do than it sounds. When you spend £30m on a striker, you're taking a huge financial risk, and there's far from a guarantee it would work out. Some recent examples of £30m strikers include Bony, who would score a few goals but be a disaster upfront for us, and Carroll (ugh), and not to mention slightly cheaper guys who were supposed to be sure things like Soldado or Jovetic. When people talk about spending big on a striker, they're usually talking about Icardi (just signed a new deal, I think, and plays in Italy, which has translated poorly to England); Dybala (incredibly sought after and Italy again); Benzema (who is always rumored to leave but never does); and Lacazette (who is one of the most obvious regression candidates out there for people who buy into stats at all); or even Berahino (who barely has a better scoring rate than Ings).

Now, I know you're not saying we need to spend £30m on a striker, but I'm just emphasizing that it's really, really hard to find that player who's a level above Ings/Remy/Welbeck, and there's a good chance you get it wrong and find someone who might be pretty good but is an atrocious fit (Balotelli) or is a pretty good fit but is actually really bad at football (Borini). I think we'd better off targeting whoever we think is straight up the best player for the best price we can get who scores goals, whatever position he plays, and then filling in around him with players like Ings and Origi. If that's a striker, maybe that's ideal, but it probabliy isn't imo.

Yeah I agree it's definitely not easy, and there aren't any real "standout" candidates in terms of out and out strikers that we could bring in. To an extent that is where the committee should be earning their corn, but like you say, it's difficult to predict how a player will do and there is no guarantee of success. Added in that strikers are usually the most expensive players, and it just ups the stakes of transfer success/fail even more.

I can't remember if it was yourself that mentioned Depay in another thread and how those links would make a lot of sense, as regardless of position he is a genuine goalscorer, and I would tend to agree. For me the issue is not just the striker and how injury prone Daniel Sturridge is, it's the relative lack of goals from around him. Take Sturridge out of the equation and Sterling is our most prolific goalscorer by some distance, and at a rate of somewhere between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4. Last season Lallana was a 1 in 4 player, but for LFC the closest players are probably Henderson and Coutinho, who are both around 1 in 5/6 players over the past 2 seasons. We really could do with a player (or two) around the Sterling end of that scale, and that's before you consider moving Sterling up top if Sturridge is injured.


On Lucas - the rumours have for quite some time now been that he wants to move to Italy which I think would make a lot of sense for him personally (he's been here a long time and might want to try something new, he'd probably absolutely dominate Serie A where his weaknesses would be much less of an issue, there has always been a sense that he wants to be a guaranteed starter, etc) if not necessarily for us. I do think it would cost us far more to replace him than retain him but ultimately if he wants to go, and given that I don't think Rodgers sees him as essential, I think it will probably happen this summer.

Offline ElstonGunn

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7988 on: March 18, 2015, 01:54:27 PM »
Yeah I agree it's definitely not easy, and there aren't any real "standout" candidates in terms of out and out strikers that we could bring in. To an extent that is where the committee should be earning their corn, but like you say, it's difficult to predict how a player will do and there is no guarantee of success. Added in that strikers are usually the most expensive players, and it just ups the stakes of transfer success/fail even more.

I can't remember if it was yourself that mentioned Depay in another thread and how those links would make a lot of sense, as regardless of position he is a genuine goalscorer, and I would tend to agree. For me the issue is not just the striker and how injury prone Daniel Sturridge is, it's the relative lack of goals from around him. Take Sturridge out of the equation and Sterling is our most prolific goalscorer by some distance, and at a rate of somewhere between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4. Last season Lallana was a 1 in 4 player, but for LFC the closest players are probably Henderson and Coutinho, who are both around 1 in 5/6 players over the past 2 seasons. We really could do with a player (or two) around the Sterling end of that scale, and that's before you consider moving Sterling up top if Sturridge is injured.


On Lucas - the rumours have for quite some time now been that he wants to move to Italy which I think would make a lot of sense for him personally (he's been here a long time and might want to try something new, he'd probably absolutely dominate Serie A where his weaknesses would be much less of an issue, there has always been a sense that he wants to be a guaranteed starter, etc) if not necessarily for us. I do think it would cost us far more to replace him than retain him but ultimately if he wants to go, and given that I don't think Rodgers sees him as essential, I think it will probably happen this summer.
Yep, I agree with all of this. And I'm not sure it was me who mentioned Depay, but I am in love with him, and I honestly feel like if we signed him and fucked up all our other signings we'd still have a successful summer! :)

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7989 on: March 18, 2015, 01:58:12 PM »
Next season if Brendan goes out and spends big money on a central midfielder (with Gerrard leaving) they would have options of Henderson, Allen, Can and Lucas and this new CM. That will push Lucas right down the pecking and he may leave if wants first team football which I don't see happening next season.
On paper that seems to be the case, but not if you think a bit further. Can has been better as CB, and will likely stay there. A new CM to replace Gerrard would likely be more of a playmaker and therefore compete primarily with Henderson. Allen, finally, has had his fair share of injuries. Plus, it's a position where we could really benefit with some rotation.

This season we have also had five CMs, if you include Can, still Allen and Lucas has played most of the time when they have been available. More than once, they have played when they could have used some rest (for instance, Allen vs Beşiktaş) but we didn't have the depth.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7990 on: March 18, 2015, 02:06:36 PM »
Yep, I agree with all of this. And I'm not sure it was me who mentioned Depay, but I am in love with him, and I honestly feel like if we signed him and fucked up all our other signings we'd still have a successful summer! :)

I'm desperate for us to get Depay, I really hope there is something in the links to him, but I have a horrible feeling he'll end up at United. I think if he came here alongside Ings that would be an excellent summer in an attacking sense for a very reasonable outlay, particularly given that Ibe and Origi will be in the squad proper next season. That would leave us a fair whack of money to get in a midfielder, defender and a backup GK.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7991 on: March 18, 2015, 02:09:46 PM »
How long does Lucas have left on his contract? I'd rather let him run it down and move for free, than lose him this summer for 4-5 million or whatever we'd get. With so many senior players going, and no other midfielder with his defensive qualities, I think his worth to us is greater than any transfer fee. I can understand if he wants to go, but unless we buy a truly great midfielder with similar attributes, I hope we force him to stay.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7992 on: March 18, 2015, 02:14:32 PM »
How long does Lucas have left on his contract? I'd rather let him run it down and move for free, than lose him this summer for 4-5 million or whatever we'd get. With so many senior players going, and no other midfielder with his defensive qualities, I think his worth to us is greater than any transfer fee. I can understand if he wants to go, but unless we buy a truly great midfielder with similar attributes, I hope we force him to stay.

He'll have two years left come the summer. It's difficult though - it's one thing trying to force a player to stay when they're an integral part of the team, it's another when they're a squad player. Regardless of what us fans would prefer I do think if Lucas genuinely wants to go this summer then he will.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7993 on: March 18, 2015, 02:38:09 PM »
He is in talks with Barca for 2016 according to the ballbag!

Stupid if true. What striker wants to go to a club that has Suarez, Messi and Neymar
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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7994 on: March 18, 2015, 03:07:52 PM »
Yeah I agree it's definitely not easy, and there aren't any real "standout" candidates in terms of out and out strikers that we could bring in. To an extent that is where the committee should be earning their corn, but like you say, it's difficult to predict how a player will do and there is no guarantee of success. Added in that strikers are usually the most expensive players, and it just ups the stakes of transfer success/fail even more.

I disagree on it being 'not easy'. Transfer scouts are full time professionals. They have far more access to statistics and videos than anyone on these boards. We have a committee and it's not too much to ask for, for them to find a suitable player in the £10-25m range that will be a good enough back up striking option for us. They've failed with Aspas, Lambert and Balotelli, surely they can learn from their mistakes. We don't have to buy a 20 year old and we don't have to buy someone that we've identified as massively undervalued in the market.

Vietto is an option. Dybala is expensive but someone like Aubameyang could be prized. Lacazette isn't unobtainable (just expensive, and even if we got a 15 goals) but if PSG delay their inevitable purchase of him then we could easily make a move for his strike partner, Fekir. It's really not hard for me to go to Whoscored and look down the European goalscorer rankings and see who's available for us, and there's a shitload of players that make sense for us.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7995 on: March 18, 2015, 03:12:35 PM »
I disagree on it being 'not easy'. Transfer scouts are full time professionals. They have far more access to statistics and videos than anyone on these boards. We have a committee and it's not too much to ask for, for them to find a suitable player in the £10-25m range that will be a good enough back up striking option for us. They've failed with Aspas, Lambert and Balotelli, surely they can learn from their mistakes. We don't have to buy a 20 year old and we don't have to buy someone that we've identified as massively undervalued in the market.

Vietto is an option. Dybala is expensive but someone like Aubameyang could be prized. Lacazette isn't unobtainable (just expensive, and even if we got a 15 goals) but if PSG delay their inevitable purchase of him then we could easily make a move for his strike partner, Fekir. It's really not hard for me to go to Whoscored and look down the European goalscorer rankings and see who's available for us, and there's a shitload of players that make sense for us.

Rarely translates between leagues though. Cisse, Kuyt, even Sean Dundee, were all extremely prolific scorers in other leagues before coming here.
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Offline ElstonGunn

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7996 on: March 18, 2015, 03:15:43 PM »
I disagree on it being 'not easy'. Transfer scouts are full time professionals. They have far more access to statistics and videos than anyone on these boards. We have a committee and it's not too much to ask for, for them to find a suitable player in the £10-25m range that will be a good enough back up striking option for us. They've failed with Aspas, Lambert and Balotelli, surely they can learn from their mistakes. We don't have to buy a 20 year old and we don't have to buy someone that we've identified as massively undervalued in the market.

Vietto is an option. Dybala is expensive but someone like Aubameyang could be prized. Lacazette isn't unobtainable (just expensive, and even if we got a 15 goals) but if PSG delay their inevitable purchase of him then we could easily make a move for his strike partner, Fekir. It's really not hard for me to go to Whoscored and look down the European goalscorer rankings and see who's available for us, and there's a shitload of players that make sense for us.
And yet roughly half of transfers at basically every club fail.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7997 on: March 18, 2015, 03:27:31 PM »
I disagree on it being 'not easy'. Transfer scouts are full time professionals. They have far more access to statistics and videos than anyone on these boards. We have a committee and it's not too much to ask for, for them to find a suitable player in the £10-25m range that will be a good enough back up striking option for us. They've failed with Aspas, Lambert and Balotelli, surely they can learn from their mistakes. We don't have to buy a 20 year old and we don't have to buy someone that we've identified as massively undervalued in the market.

Vietto is an option. Dybala is expensive but someone like Aubameyang could be prized. Lacazette isn't unobtainable (just expensive, and even if we got a 15 goals) but if PSG delay their inevitable purchase of him then we could easily make a move for his strike partner, Fekir. It's really not hard for me to go to Whoscored and look down the European goalscorer rankings and see who's available for us, and there's a shitload of players that make sense for us.

That's oversimplistic though.

If you want to talk about statistics, a fair few of the players we've bought who have "failed" have been purchased based on statistics that simply haven't held up when players have arrived here. Downing is a notable example, but I think Aspas and to a degree Luis Alberto were lower budget versions of similar mistakes.

Looking down goalscoring charts doesn't work either. Last season the top scorer in Serie A was Immobile but he's had a torrid year in a new league this season, scoring only 3 goals. Likewise his new strike partner Ramos was prolific in the same league the season before, but has scored only 2 goals this year in a different team. Granted, Dortmund are having a terrible season, but goals don't necessarily translate that way. Jesus look at Soldado - four 20 goal seasons in a row, including a 30 goal season right before he left. His record was not only excellent but very consistent, and yet he's been utter dogshite for Spurs, scoring about 2 non penalty league goals or something ridiculous like that.

As for the players you've mentioned I've never seen the former two play, though my impression is that they are largely unobtainable. I'd swerve Aubameyang who strikes me as incredibly wasteful and vastly overrated and it's been widely speculated that Lacazette will struggle to maintain his scoring rate (not least with moving out of a shit French league). I'm sure he'd still be a good striker, but maybe not for the price you'd need to get him.

Buying in any old player on a top scorers list isn't the way forward. Hell, if you did that for last year or even the year before you could very well have ended up with some absolute duds.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7998 on: March 18, 2015, 03:31:55 PM »
And yet roughly half of transfers at basically every club fail.

And that is the difficulty- for all throwing names around about who could be good for us, we just don't know. I think that hopefully the area we have learned from last summer is what type of attributes we want from our strikers and to rigidly stick to them.

A clear out of what we currently have could effectively fund the striker pruchase this summer, with Aspas Borini Lambert and Balotelli leaving could quite easily bring in conservatively £20m+. Spend all this on a decent striker and it leaves us with Sturridge, Origi, Sterling plus the new striker. I think that would easily be sufficient considering we only play with one striker in our current formation, especially if we have another option from the academy like Sinclair or Ojo who could be an option.

I think that the striker option isn't going to be the difficult decision this summer though, it will be what type of midfielder we want to bring in to enhance our options of Henderson, Allen, Lucas and Can (if we think he will revert back to midfield). Its going to be interesting seeing how the manager thinks this team will evolve, but I do hope we look to strengthen our squad to continue to play 343.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #7999 on: March 18, 2015, 03:33:24 PM »
That's oversimplistic though.

If you want to talk about statistics, a fair few of the players we've bought who have "failed" have been purchased based on statistics that simply haven't held up when players have arrived here. Downing is a notable example, but I think Aspas and to a degree Luis Alberto were lower budget versions of similar mistakes.


Agree with the general point, but Luis Alberto was basically signed as a kid with potential. I don't know why his signing was treated by so many as such a big deal for the whole future of the club. Chelsea do six or seven of these every year and you never see the lad again.
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