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Scott Sinclair, Ben Arfa and Ince are all interesting players. Personally, I think we should cash in on Downing, we have added some value to him again this season but he just seems lacking in pace and doesnt really chip in with goals in the way Coutinho is now or really create that clear opportunities. He looks confident and is playing well but I dont think the goal threat will come and age will come into it soon. Ince seems the perfect build for the future player and has a definite eye for goal, Ben Arfa looks awesome but struggles to stay fit, he defintely has the most ability whilst Sinclair is the safest blend of the pair and at an age to come in and do well instantly. I would personally be happy with any of them replacing Stewie but I would rather get Eriksen in and leave Coutinho wide if we can't afford to go for 2 attacking midfielders.
I think I'd like to stick with Downing for at least one more season, although you do make a good point regarding the age. But these days 29 I don't see as a major issue in terms of his ability, but it does mean his sell on fee will start dropping. But to be honest even with the improvement we've seen from him this season I don't see us getting our money back on him as its only mid table or lower clubs that would go for him.
But I think he can still be a real asset for us. Right now he's still number one for the wide right position, and unless we went for a big name I think that would still be the case next season. But I think he does represent a bridge between now and when the likes of Sterling, or Ince (if he comes) are ready to be starters.Sinclair might push harder for a starting slot, but since we've not seen him in 12 months not sure about that. Ben Arfa on a good day would be better, but I'm just not impressed with his work rate, and his injury issues would be a major concern.
Probably a shock to you and most to hear me say that I don't think we should sell Downing, unless a very generous offer comes in, and who knows. He doesn't get the goals/assists as the other top wide players, but ironically enough, under Rodgers guidance, his attacking game and overall has dramatically improved, as has his ability to use 2 feet.. I think he's on 4 goals 6 assists, and 2 of them were superb RIGHT footed deliveries to Sturridge/Agger respectively. That said, his age is a factor, but at 29 he can still improve a bit, and I think the other guys mentioned could learn a bit and push him, not to mention, his ability to play left back is invaluable.. But again, 8-10M and yes I'd take it.
The thing is, if we do sell him, we'd have to add 2, so figure Ince & Sinclair, since I personally don't rate Ben Arfa as far as his fitness, consistency, and ability to play inverted attacking winger, though he's awfully talented. I think having Ince and Downing would do nicely, or Ince and Sinclair of course, both could cost 10-12 combined, but I think next year another key element to this is, Rodgers wants the experience and competition, and there's no guarantee Ince will step up to the plate right out of the gates, or Sinclair will adapt 100% after rotting all season at City..
As for Eriksen, he was more or less my #1 realistic target (unless there's any chance at Tello), but having seen what Coutinho can do in the 10 spot, which puts pressure on Sturridge and Henderson who both play through the middle and won't take a spot from Suarez, makes me think Coutinho could be just about damed close to Eriksen, only he's younger, maybe less goals. So from that area, he can create all day long.
The really interesting thing with Eriksen, whether we get him or not, and I'd heard him once say he'd only leave for Madrid, but things change, is that the Sporting Director and Manager of Ajax have said LFC have been the most frequent visitors as far as scouting trips and watching players, and Eriksen, and Toby Alderweirdeld, the Belgian Centre Back both the primary links and targets. HOWEVER, not sure if anyone's heard of, or seen this lad, but if there's any chance in the world we can get 2 players, he's got to be one of them, absolutely DYNAMITE, faster, and more explosive than Eriksen, plays all spots up front, even CF.. Viktor Fischer - Denmark, you heard him here first!!! Obviously a ManUre fan made this clip, but have a look, he's ridiculous. We need to send Agger to Ajax for our recruiting trips..
- 3 Replies to Jason
This is a good thread as it touches on the problems facing Rodgers this Summer. We need players to lift us above 7th. That means some of current squad will have to leave. But who? My point is that we have to be ruthless. Is Downing, for example, a player that would play for a CL side? I cant see it myself and therefore he needs to go. I think we also need to look at others in the same way as well. When you think of it in that way the choices get a little bit more obvious but it also highlights the true extent of the work that was facing Rodgers when he first arrived.
Jason, I definitely agree that Downing has improved no end, he has been one of the first name on my team sheets every week but to be honest, I think that is more to do with our options then his outstanding quality. To me, it feels like he responded to the kick up the backside, maintained his form then kinda dribbled away but is almost resting on the laurels of his good run? My worry is that he won't get any better next season, at this time, I am just happy to see people progressing and I just don't know what else he can add to his game with the tools in his box. It isn't a slight on him, I wouldn't pull my hair out if he stayed here but my feeling is, over 38 games, he won't go and take it to teams, he will be more of a 'can do a job' guy.
When Suarez does return, my feeling is that Coutinho will find himself back out wide again, he seems excellent at both and it isn't like Mata, Hazard, Ozil etc have much bother coming inside and moving around to cause problems in front of opposition centre halves.
Yes, Erikssen looks the business, he can play on the flanks as well, think he can just be another one to slot in along those 3 attacking midfield berths.I know about Fischer, he is a great little talent, other ones that always spring to mind are Valentin Stocker and I always liked the underused Marko Marin at Chelsea, just he has quite the formidable task ahead of him!
Alderweild signed for Roma today I believe and I keep seeing links to the Dutch-Brazilian confusion that is Douglas, he looks like he can play a bit. Your man, Skrtel will play the last 2 prem games with Agger out for his op, I reckon he might well be staying on so I would lean toward the idea of buying cover rather then a first team starter!
If youre looking at cost to benefit ratio, For me it would be Sinclair and Ince. We could get them both for half the price of Eriksen. Fischer as you say is pretty good, not sure he is massively superior to the others, if Ajax sell Eriksen would they get rid of him anyway?
We need two players for each position and 3 goalies for us to have a decent balanced squad. If we can get 2 players oc sufficient quality for 10-12 mil, we should go for it. Then we're gonna need 1 more water carrier, 2 CBs a LB and one more striker! I don't envy Rodgers task this summer at all.