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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..
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.
- 2 Replies to Colyn
Colyn, I take your point that Downing may not be good enough to be in a CL stating side, but would ask or argue is he good enough to be in either a CL squad, or more to the point in a side that can get into the top 4? If either of those is true is he worth keeping for at least one more season, and if as I tend to agree he is not enough quality for the CL starting 11 do we replace now, or when we are actually in the CL and have the funds available to spend on a top class player?
As a side note to that, and maybe another angle to this, I have a feeling this might be an inflated window when it comes to transfer fees. I come to that conclusion for two reasons. First the prem will be awash with new money from the new TV deal, and second it looks like there will be a number of new managers at major clubs around Europe all of which may feel the need to spend to improve and or put their own stamp on their new team. We already know there will be a new man in charge at Chelsea, Utd, PSG and Munich. It's highly likely Real will have a new boss, and while I think Mancini will stay he will likely spend, plus there is a case to make that Barca will also be active in the market. Not to mention the fact the top 4 in the prem is now a 6 or 7 club race, so like us, whoever does not make it this term may consider rolling the dice with some big spending to help grease the passage back into the those finishing spots.
If a spending spree does unfold, it will mean there will be a lot of cash (which we don't have) chasing a limited number of players, and truly influential wing wizards of CL caliber are not that common. So my point here is that while we do need to improve quality wide, and a CL level player maybe what we need, do we need it next season, and with other priorities (mine being the best CB we can afford) do we hold with what we've got for one more season or spend big now.
Colyn...have to agree with u on this. You are right we MUST look at our squad in this way and ask that all important question...Is he good enough to play Champions League ? If he isnt then he has to go..this is the only way to build a squad that will give us a serious shot at a top 4 slot..we are a very long way off a tilt at The Title imo. We are going to have to spend some real dosh this time to bring in QUALITY..PROVEN WORLD CLASS QUALITY and not as I fear WILL happen a load of "average" players that BR has had contact with before from previous positions hes held with other clubs
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!
- 1 Reply to Hobitez
I'm not in any disagreement with anything you've said Hobs, and I'm sure you'd recall, much like many more of us, he was far from my first choice that summer when looking for wingers with Arda Turan practically begging/offering to pay his own plane ticket (self admitted childhood fan), Ashley (though always Utd), Mata (at least worth sniffing around), and others.. especially the horror of paying 19M for him, so I wouldn't lose any sleep over it, but I have to give him credit for being our most improved, and regardless of who likes him or not, a lot of that is down to BR too. I just think that unless 8-10 comes in, and that might be a lot, it may be less expensive, considering I'd guarantee he's asked to re-work his wage packet from 70-80k down to 40-50, to just keep him on, especially when we probably / presumably will sell Assaidi. I'd seen the guy play a bit in Netherlands, and he was very impressive, but the fact he's barely gotten on the bench says something about him since he made AFCON and was only injured once that we know of...
Also, Sterling will be stronger and more mature, but not sure he's in for a 30+ game season yet, Suso is way out of his waters out wide where he's more the Silva with that silky movement and ball stuck to his foot.. So, I think 1 more year with Downing couldn't hurt considering he could fetch 6M in 2 years vs 8-10 this year. Of course like I said, if his fee is enough to fund Ince and Sinclair, or 2 others, then adios muchacho.. Like Loki pointed out from me mentioning Fischer, if Eriksen goes, which isn't definite, he would never be sold, but I mentioned him as a young, but very classy alternative should Eriksen stay, and perhaps one we were looking at amongst the 3..
Shame about Alderweideld if true.. think he could have been class, BUT I always prefer Skrtel when he's in form, so we'll see what he can do, albeit at his less favored LCB. I think if he stays, which I hope, he and Agger can return to last year's form, then we should be in for someone with experience and some years left, and maybe a youth who's more likely to adjust rather than Coates. Then we'll have Wisdom and Kelly as reserves at CB and RB. If Skrtel stays and we buy 1, I think we're in ok shape there..
I think it's out wide where we need someone who can just blow by their marker, and/or stand them up, and turn them inside out, while interchanging with the front 3-4.. A lot of noise we may sign the Chilean Marcos Rojas after visiting Melbourne this summer for 1M.. from what I've seen and heard and being 20, he's dynamite and a can't go wrong for 1M.. But now we have the whole Reina discussion to start up, and also who we might consider as a LB unless Robbo returns from Wolves and nails it down. Could always try for our favorite Argentine, Insua, who's at Atletico now! =)
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.