Liverpool’s New Boys – The Suarez Spend
Premier League 2014/15
We all know Luis Suarez is close to being irreplaceable for Liverpool, but Brendan Rodgers is trying.
The boss has already been busy in the transfer market this summer, snapping up Southampton pair Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana, German youngster Emre Can and Benfica winger Lazar Markovic, with deals for striker Loic Remy and centre-back Dejan Lovren apparently imminent. We look at how each signing could fare at Anfield.
Rickie Lambert, £4 million
Eyebrows were raised when the veteran striker signed for £3.5 million but it could be a canny, short-term signing – in the mould of Teddy Sheringham to Manchester United – by Rodgers.
Liverpool lacked reinforcements up-front last season and Lambert’s Premier League experience and eye for goal should boost their striking options considerably.
The club’s new number nine will also be looking to prove himself at his boyhood club, where he was released after spending five years in their youth system.
Potential – 2.5/5
Adam Lallana, £25 million
Critics have suggested that Liverpool overpaid for Lallana, given that Toni Kroos has just cost Real Madrid £20 million.
However, they fail to take into account the fact Kroos had just one year left on his contract, his wage demands and the now obligatory “English premium” placed on home-grown players. If the midfielder can replicate his form for Southampton then the fee will be justified.
For £25 million, they are a getting an in-form player entering his peak years, who’ll be a creative addition to the growing English core at the club.
Potential – 3/5
Lazar Markovic, £20 million
Creativity from midfield wasn’t a major worry for Rodgers last season so it’s a surprise that they’ve signed both Lallana and the young Serbian winger Lazar Markovic.
However, the manager may have been unable to resist turning down the signature of a youngster whom many believe to be a future world star.
Markovic’s ability to run at defenders and eye for defence-splitting through balls will be a useful addition as Rodgers plots changes to his system in the absence of Suarez.
Potential – 4.5/5
Emre Can, £9.75 million
Can lasted just 20 minutes of his recent Liverpool debut, but his cameo showcased to fans why Rodgers was willing to splash out £8 million on the Germany Under-21 international.
Can often lined out at left-back for Bayer Leverkusen but Rodgers envisages the versatile player adding strength and creativity in central midfield.
Potential – 3.5/5
Dejan Lovren, TBC
Sources close to the club suggest the deal for Southampton’s centre-back will be concluded in the next 48 hours.
It can’t come too soon for the club, whose failings at the back last season are well noted. It’s undoubtedly the area that needs most improvement, so it’s a surprise and a major concern for Liverpool fans that Rodgers has neglected defence so far, despite signing four offensive players.
Lovren would certainly bolster a back-line that lacked stability and leadership last term and Rodgers will be hoping the Croat can form a formidable central defensive partnership with Mamadou Sakho.
Potential – 4/5
Loic Remy, TBC
While he’s clearly not Suarez, Remy has scored goals wherever he’s played (well, except in ten appearances at Lyon) and is entering his peak years after a personally successful season at Newcastle United.
The striker’s versatility will appeal to Rodgers and his fluid attacking system, with the Frenchman playing in five different positions for The Toon last season.
Remy has plenty of Champions League experience from his time at Marseille, an asset that is lacking throughout the current squad. He scored 14 Premier League goals last season, just three less than Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero, despite missing 12 games through injury and will surely get more chances at Liverpool than he did at an underwhelming Newcastle side.
Potential – 3.5/5