Liverpool: The challenges ahead
Liverpool opinion: Brendan Rodgers must spend wisely to reach the next level
Last season, Liverpool again struggled in the league. With large scales of investment in the squad and a club hero in Kenny Dalglish managing the club, the Reds were expected to qualify for the Champions League.
But what followed was disappointment - with many of the new signings not justifying their price-tag. The Summer saw Dalglish depart and Brendan Rodgers arrive.
Rodgers had an impressive first season in the Premier League with Swansea playing attractive football and the newly promoted swans finishing a commendable 11th. He was expected to rejuvenate the side with a better style of play which is highly influenced by Barcelona's tiki-taka. Everyone expected this season to be one of transition, where Rodgers imports his style on the team, and develop the side so that they are able to challenge for major honours in the near future.
Liverpool will most likely finish this season outside the European positions, hence they must ensure they address the shortcomings in the squad so that they are able to mount a serious challenge for the Champions League positions next season.
The Reds defence has been a problem this season, as individual errors has cost them far too many points. Martin Skrtel, who was a colossus last season, has this season he's been an accident waiting to happen.
With Agger playing below his standards and Carragher retiring, Liverpool need two centre-backs. Swansea's Ashley Williams fits the bill and having already having worked with Rodgers is a bonus. Another possible addition could be Angel Ogbonna from Torino as he has showed strong potential.
The full-back positions are reasonably covered by Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique, with Martin Kelly and Andre Wisdom as capable deputies. Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard have been irreplaceable for Liverpool this season.
Additional back up is required for Lucas as Liverpool don't have another specialist defensive-midfielder. Victor Wanyama would be a good addition to the squad, but he might not be willing to give up Champions League football.Henderson and Shelvey will only get better next season.
In the 4-3-3 formation that Rodgers prefers, Suarez, Sturridge and Coutinho are good first choice players. But they cannot be expected to play all the games in the season. With Downing inconsistent, Carroll most likely sold off and Sterling, though extremely talented, still not the finished product, a genuine quick winger would add a lot of firepower.
Tom Ince, the Championship Young Player of the Year will most likely be heading towards Anfield next season. And if Borini finds his missing touch, then that is a fearsome frontline.
If the owners are willing to back Rodgers and make considerable investment in the squad, this Liverpool side has the potential to reach the very top and reclaim their past glory.
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