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Marco Reus can bring X-Factor to Liverpool

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Since Luis Suarez swapped Anfield for Barcelona, things have been quite grim on Merseyside.

After seven Premier League games Liverpool find themselves sitting ninth in table with ten points, having already been defeated twice. After last season's superb efforts of almost clinching their first league title in 24 years, it was expected that the Reds would continue their momentum and again push for the top flight trophy.

It is just the beginning of October, however Brendan Rodgers' men trail Chelsea by an incredible nine points after putting in some severely under-par performances.

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Problems at the back

In truth there hasn't been any great sparkles when keeping out goals. Liverpool conceded a whopping 50 goals last term in domestic football - for a team who is challenging for the title, this is nowhere near good enough.

Rodgers' went about trying to counter this problem by spending £20million on centre-back Dejan Lovren and £12million to acquire Alberto Moreno's services. Unfortunately, that has not done much for the side. Liverpool still look rocky when defending to say the least, especially from set-pieces, and have already conceded 14 times in all competitions.

Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has been far from his best, looking tentative when coming to claim the ball and centre-halves Lovren and Martin Skrtel have failed thus far to create a partnership and understand one-another's game.

Lack of goals

However, it is scoring goals that worries me the most. We knew that Liverpool were prone to silly errors at the back at the end of last season and it came unsurprisingly when goals were leaking in every fixture.

Going forward came as a sixth sense to the likes of Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling during the 2013/14 campaign. It seemed as if the Reds had the 'Kevin Keegan' attitude of scoring more than the other side to win games. In other words, if the opposition found the back of the net three times, Liverpool would go and score four.

This was all well and good last campaign and it did work in fixtures such as the 4-3 home victory against Swansea City and the 5-3 win away to Stoke City.

Unfortunately, Liverpool are not even doing that this season. In just one game the Reds have scored over two goals in any single fixture this term, in the 3-0 victory against Tottenham Hotspur.

It is becoming increasingly worrying that the Merseyside club are not finding the net like they once did.

New boys failed

Rodgers splashed out over £100million in the summer transfer window to bring new recruits to his side. A large chunk of that went on forward players in Mario Balotelli and Lazar Markovic.

Balotelli joined the Reds to replace a decent percentage of the 31 Premier League goals that Suarez netting last season. In eight appearances, he has fired just once in the 2-1 Champions League victory against Ludogrets Razgrad.

The Italian striker does not look like he will have a positive impact at Anfield. He strops around when leading the Liverpool line, not moving into space when his side are on the attack. His performance during the 1-0 loss to FC Basel was one of the worst I have ever seen from any player in a Reds.

'Super Mario' did not offer himself for the likes of Philippe Coutinho and wanted the ball at his feet all the time. It was a lose-lose for Liverpool in this situation. Either the ball was played to the former AC Milan striker's feet and it slowed the attack up, or the lack of movement forced whoever had the ball to go alone and lose possession.

Given Balotelli's attitude, it does not seems like he will change. Daniel Sturridge has been missing for most of Liverpool's season due to a thigh strain he picked up when on international duty, however you cannot expect the England International to do it alone.

Last season, he linked up with Suarez so well, and the strike partnership was second-to-none in the league. The pair had a fantastic understanding with one-another, always knowing were the other would be without even looking up. They became the most deadly partnership in the league, and weighed in with 52 goals between them.

It does not seem like Sturridge will link with Balotelli. Although they played well together against Tottenham, there was still a lack of movement from the new-boy and you could see Sturridge getting frustrated at times.

Reus the answer

So often last season, Suarez dropped deep to receive the ball and run at defences. Liverpool are lacking that recently and need somebody to do it... desperately.

It is not often that world class players come on the market. We've seen the impact of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa at Chelsea thus far, making Jose Mourinho's side almost unplayable. Likewise, Toni Kroos has done that same at Real Madrid. 

Rumours float around that Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus will become available in January. It is well documented that the German has a £20million release clause at the end of this season, and it seems that manager Jurgen Klopp wants a higher fee than that and is willing to sell just after Christmas.

He will likely have a host of top European clubs chasing his signature, however Liverpool should confirm their interest early and really push to sign the attacker.

Rues in a lot of ways, offers a like for like with Suarez. They both are always on the move, constantly offering their support when on the move. For Dortmund, Reus often plays just behind the strikers and this is a role the Uruguayan undertook at Anfield.

The former Borussia Monchengladbach man was very impressive for the Bundesliga side last term, netting an eye-catching 16 goals from 30 appearances. Although this is not the same amount that Suarez notched at Anfield, it is a fair amount considering he was playing second string to Robert Lewandowski, who finished four strikes ahead.

Reus has superb movement that Balotelli does not offer at Anfield. Coutinho was a magician at Liverpool last season, linking up with the pairing of Suarez and Sturridge exquisitely throughout. Now he finds himself isolated in the diamond position with nobody except Sterling on the move ahead.

If for some reason, Balotelli does find form, Reus would still be an excellent purchase. He is diverse and can fit in out wide, were he would cause problems for any defender.

The need for a world class player at Anfield is a must. Steven Gerrard cannot impact games like he did previously, Balotelli is not doing it and too much is being put on the expectations of Sterling, who is still a teenager.

If you look at Fabregas and Costa for Chelsea and Angel Di Maria at Manchester United, they have made the difference from last season to this. Reus would do the same if he was to join the Red.

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Topics:
Premier League
Liverpool
Football

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