The arrival of Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez in January for over £50 million is certainly a right step towards bringing in some serious clout for next season, and Liverpool’s 3-1 victory against Manchester United last week revealed that on their day, Liverpool do not lack attacking force. Now that the attacking options have been significantly strengthened, Dalglish may look towards adding more midfield options, and securing a rather leaky defence during the summer.
In terms of defence, the main areas of concern are the current left-back situation and the woeful defending of Glen Johnson. Liverpool have already been linked with moves for left-backs John Arne Riise from AS Roma and Jose Enrique from Newcastle, the latter seeming more likely to complete the switch. The defensive problems persist with the inexperienced 20 year-old Martin Kelly having to plug the gap when required, and the inconsistent Johnson not always fulfilling his defensive duties. The key in dealing with these problems is to add depth to the squad, as the famous saying goes, “a team is only as good as its substitutes” and Liverpool currently need to match the ability found on the benches of rival teams such as Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Arsenal, if they hope to improve next season.
Dalglish is also rumoured to be interested in Udinese hot-shot Alexis Sanchez who would play a similar role to Dirk Kuyt in attacking midfield. The player is allegedly subject to a £27.5 million bid from Liverpool, and may play as an attacking midfielder or a strike partner to either Carroll or Suarez. It certainly seems that Dalglish’s intentions are to play a more attacking style of football in the hope of scoring goals. The out of form Torres meant Liverpool endured a goal drought for the first half of the season, but Dalglish may have cured that problem already – certainly a positive sign for the future.
The next area of concern is the midfield, as much like the defence, it also lacks squad depth. The current system means that Steven Gerrard is relied upon heavily to create attacking options and pull the strings in midfield. New signing Joe Cole has yet to make a significant impact this season, and under Dalglish is being played out of position on the left. After the departure of Javier Mascherano to Barcelona, Liverpool have lacked the all important midfield general, and failed signing Christian Poulsen now means that Dalglish needs to find a player to fill the holding midfield role, which would allow Gerrard to push forward and aid the strikers.
Liverpool’s success next season will depend on the transfers completed in the summer. Dalglish has sought to cure Liverpool’s attacking problems with signings that have already started to make an impact. More depth is needed in the squad, and key players that make up the spine of the team need to be supported by a multitude of top class players if Liverpool are to mount a serious title challenge. With NESV at the helm, we will probably see the cash injection needed to make these all important additions.