Football

Three key areas that Liverpool need to improve this summer

Published Add your comment

Football News
24/7

Despite the quite stunning turn around in Liverpool's season, it has proven to be too little too late. On December 14th the Reds slumped to a crushing 3-0 defeat at the hands of the old enemy Manchester United, and the future looked bleak.

However, what nobody (including Brendan Rodgers) expected to happen next was the run of 13 games unbeaten in the Premier League that saw the Anfield giants rise from 10th in the table to within touching distance of a place in next seasons Champions League.

This run also saw Rodgers adopt a different formation which included three central defenders; which was clearly successful as Liverpool conceded only eight goals throughout this time.

Article continues below

But when Liverpool next met the Red Devils, they were much more thoroughly beaten then the 2-1 scoreline suggested. Not only this, but this weekend saw United rise eight points clear of Rodgers' side as they saw off a gallant Aston Villa whilst Arsenal put four past Liverpool.

So, as a side now looking nervously down the table instead of ambitiously up it; they may turn their attentions to the work that needs doing in the summer. 

Article continues below

Consistency

A word often thrown around the football business, consistency is perhaps the most vital part to Rodger's plans for next term. Of the eight players brought into the squad in the summer of 2014, only one player exceeded the age of 26 (Rickie Lambert).

The youth have always been important to Liverpool as seen by the breakthroughs of Raheem Sterling, Jordan Ibe and Jon Flanagan in recent seasons. This is why consistency in selection is vital to the teams development.

For example, Chelsea have retained an almost identical starting XI all season, only altering the team because of injury or suspension and their success is clear to see.

Closer to home; Liverpool also saw their best run of form with an unchanged back line of Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel and Emre Can. Consistent Premier League and European exposure to young talent will develop experience like nothing else, and Rodgers has always been a manager to put a lot of faith in youth.

New Additions

Three key areas need strengthening in the the Liverpool squad. First of all the right side of defence. It's been something of a weak spot for the Reds for some time now, and it's about time that it was settled once and for all.

Lazar Markovic slotted into the role reasonably well when needed this season but on many occasions lacked the defensive capabilities to really suit the 'wing-back' position.

Another young starlet Ibe featured in this role briefly this campaign and his maturity far-surpassed his 18 years, showing that he may become a future Premier League star.

What Liverpool really need is a quality wide man who possesses both attacking and defensive qualities. A potential target could be AC Milan full back Ignazio Abate, whose contract comes to an end in this summer.

The Italian International has featured for Milan over 150 times in a career spanning 12 years, but with no new deal being proposed; he may look to move to the Premier League, with Anfield being his most likely destination. 

Another area needing depth is central defence. With the departure of Steven Gerrard; makeshift centre-half Emre Can will be needed in his favoured midfield role more often next season; therefore, another defender needs to be added to the squad in the summer.

We've seen a much improved Sakho join the Liverpool back line alongside the rock of Martin Skrtel. However, we've seen little of new signing Dejan Lovren, and even less to justify the £20 million price tag he arrived at Anfield with.

This could finally be the year Liverpool sign long term target Kyriakos Papadpoulos, but other options could include out of contract Andrea Rannochia of Inter Milan. 

The final and most obvious area of investment is up front. It's no secret that Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini have all been poor this season, and Rodgers will no doubt be looking to find new clubs for all three.

However, I believe that Balotelli deserves another season to try and prove himself with more first-team games and a strike partner to play with. But this campaign is proof that Daniel Sturridge cannot be relied upon due to his many injury woes, and thus a new centre forward must be added to cover his frequent absences.

Out of contract Danny Ings is the most likely player to join the Reds after a fantastic breakthrough season in the Premier League for Burnley which has seen him net nine goals. And at only 23, his best years are certainly still ahead of him.

Brendan Rodgers needs to handle this summer with care, to ensure he does not undo all the hard work of last season which brought Liverpool back to the big time once again. 

Who do you think Liverpool should sign this summer and who would you like to see leave?

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms

Topics:
Football
Premier League
Liverpool
Brendan Rodgers

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author

DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again