Should we trim the squad in January?

With our financial situation being in the state it is, I’d say it’s pretty certain we won’t be given any money during the January window. So if we need to strengthen, which in all honesty we do, we’re going to have to sell to raise the money.

Although we may have to lose six or seven players in order to fund one major transfer it may be that one player we need. There are plenty of players at the club who could easily be moved on and I don’t suspect too many Liverpool fans would lose sleep over their transfers.

There’s also a pool of youngsters waiting in the wings with a lot of talent, hunger and desire. With that talent at Benitez’ disposal losing a few from the first team shouldn’t be as much of a problem.

In goal we’ve got Reina as number one choice and Cavalieri to come in. Neither should be sold in January although we do have a handful of young keepers in the reserves should a good offer for Cavalieri come in.

Along the back four there’s a few who could be moved on quite easily. With youngsters like Darby and Kelly impressing on a regular basis in the reserves, as well as the few first team outings they’ve had, Degen could easily be shipped out. And if I’m being honest, he’s hardly been solid when he has played. I’m sure some club on the continent would be prepared to give us two maybe three million for his services.

It’s slightly more difficult for the heart of the defence because experience is invaluable for that position. Though with the players we have coming through the ranks in Kelly, Ayala, Mavinga and San Jose, we could possibly afford to lose one of the first team centre halves. It then begs the question of which one. Firstly we can rule out Carragher going anywhere, so one of the other three. Skrtel has had a nightmare start to the season, Agger seems to get injured far too often and Kyrgiakos looks lost at times. Out of the three I think Agger would be the most likely to be sold, and could probably fetch the highest fee. A possible transfer that I wouldn’t like to happen.

Left back is one position which almost every Liverpool fan would like to see a transfer go through on. Andrea Dossena must be sold at some point during 2010 and the quicker the better as far as I’m concerned. In Aurelio and Insua we have two very tidy left backs along with the emergence of the highly rated Chris Buchtmann should we get short. I doubt we’d get anywhere near the eight million we spent on Dossena but anything back would be good enough for me. Just to see him gone would be enough.

In midfield we have a lot of players without the top quality we need, especially out on the flanks. On the right we have Kuyt, Benayoun, El Zhar and Gerrard if injuries hit the other three as well as Johnson who I’m sure could play higher up the pitch. Out of those options I see no reason as to why El Zhar can’t be sold, especially since Amoo looks a better prospect. Unfortunately for El Zhar, he’s never going to be a regular at Anfield and he is one of the few youngsters who could bring in a decent transfer fee.

As for the middle of the park there’s too many players for just two positions. Mascherano, Lucas, Aquilani, Spearing, Plessis and also the possible move of dropping Gerrard back. Six players for two positions, though only four are potential sales as Gerrard will be going nowhere and Aquilani won’t be sold as we’ve only just bought him.

First to go has to be Plessis because, like El Zhar, he will never be a regular here so we might as well as lose him. As he’s just signed a new contract we can demand a higher price for him. Out of the other three, the most likely seems to be Mascherano to Barcelona. Whether that goes through or not in January is yet to be seen. But it would bring in a huge amount of money, which we clearly need even if it’s only to clear some of the debt our owners have given the club.

Left wing is our weakest area and any money we raise and allowed to spend, should go on a left winger. I’d be rather happy to see the back of Riera and Babel, who between them could bring in around ten million or more. Although it’s not ideal to lose two left wingers we still have Benayoun out there along with Aurelio as back up and hopefully a new signing.

Up top there’s one name who most of would be happy to see gone. He’s blonde, has over sixty international caps to his name and arrived in the summer of 2007. No, not Fernando Torres but his fellow forward Andriy Voronin. With Torres as the number one forward, Ngog showing signs of becoming a top class forward himself and the exciting potential of Eccleston and Pacheco as well as Nemeth to return from loan and Kuyt who can play up front, there’s no reason for Voronin to be here. Another chance for us to trim the squad, get another off the wage bill and bring in some more cash for a new player or to repay some of the debt depending on what the club sees as a more important task.

So should we trim the squad down a bit during January? In all honesty I say yes. Degen, Dossena, El Zhar, Plessis, Riera, Babel, Voronin can all be moved on and I doubt we’d miss their input along with a couple of the youngsters who’ll never make the grade here such as Martin, Threlfall, Brouwer and Bruna to name a few. Then there’s always the odd big money sale, unfortunately it looks as if it’s going to be Mascherano to Barcelona.

It is a disgrace for a club of our size to have to sell before we can buy but that’s the situation we’re in. So if we want that top quality player, we’re going to have to sell a number of players. This time though rather than just replace them like for like, we should be putting trust into our talented youth and buying the one player we need most.

We would still have a squad brimming with full internationals and top quality players, coupled with exciting, young prospects. The only difference would be we’d be a few players lighter, mostly players who are only squad players at best because they are not exciting prospects or because they are not the standard of quality we need.

32 comments on
Should we trim the squad in January?

  1. We’re skint so need to sell!.The squad has much quantity but lacks quality so i for one won’t be sad to see many shown the door!.

  2. i totally agree with u.i think voronin should be the first to leave he’s a disgrace to the kop.i also think riera should be spared and nemeth should be brought in including some of the youngsters.

  3. After much has been said on here my thoughts are…

    Sell the usual suspects who 1) arent good enough and 2) the players who honestly do not want to be here.

    Those who are screaming about fielding our usual 11 – who are our usual 11? Benetiz changes the team so much – I can only really count a usual 5 or 6 – Reina, Johnson, Carra, Masch, Gerrard, Torres. Thats provided that they’re fit. Yes we are being undone by injuries and we are in a serious financial concern – tho things are slowly being put into place – the econmy is returning, new sponsorships etc (the current carlsberg shirt deal is peanuts compared to some of the others team).

    Obviously its gutting to be out of the Champs League but it wouldnt be a great loss to play some of our younger players in the Europa League – speculate to accumalate (as the phrase goes). Simply buying a top player is not an easy deal – we havent got the cash like Chelski, Man City and Manure.

    All honesty aside – we have an air of expectancy to win every game – well I’d be happy to have a 4th place finish and a stuttering run up to Christmas than it all go pear shape and we end up like Leeds and Southampton (and others) in financial dire straits and in the lower leagues.

    Heads up lads and be proud to be a red.

  4. Just watched the Debrecen game…. Aqualani, fit and on the bench, only put on for 30 seconds, so he cant be very good, we should get rid of him maybe…. what are you thinking rafa

  5. we need too stop the rotational system Ryan babel is a wicked player and this is the first time he was giving a starting game when glen’s back he will keep the team balanced we have mascherano back in attacking -mid so althought we soo many players out were still looking like a force too be reckoned with Aqualani need too be paying regular he will cause defenders problems…prediction liverpool 3-1 debrecen

  6. Agree 100 per cent. I can see only one slight problem: Rafa. Unfortunately we will never see him using our youngsters on a more regular basis. As soon as someone gets injured he will panic on buy players like Kyriakos.

  7. to be honest i know my football and it is clear who we need to sell. For example veronin he is a pathetic footballer, he would struggle in league two. Now going on to Ryan Babel he is a quality player he just needs regular first team football and he will show his class, lucas on the other hand has been ok this season but sell him for 8 million and slot aqualini in for him and then keep the money. We also need a very good back up striker for Torres cause he is injury prone and i don’t think N’gog has the ability to fill his boots for example ; Van nistelrooy, Cole, Bent and bring crouchy back.

  8. Honestly, I don’t think the club can afford to trim the squad. (Except for maybe letting go of Voronin). Although the abovesaid looks good on paper, we need to have a big squad keeping in mind the injury issues we have been having lately. I think rafa will wait for the injury tables to be empty before he even thinks of letting any first team players go.

  9. look take all the elements combined and look at things in a realistic way. chelsea #1 17 players going to the world cup. how can we compete. its all about money resources which we lack. big clubs with squads like that can safely go through the scenario we have at the moment.but look at last year we were practically unbeatable. some good points brought up.chemistry has been lost and with all the injuries we cant put the same team up week in week out. but spiritual power can turn it around. so lets turn to the good lord for answers.

  10. Players are not going to go on strike – there is a world cup in the summer and most want to impress their national coaches and go. Also, they know that is Liverpool goes into crisis, other big clubs will raid for them.

  11. The fact is that we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. As the injuries has shown, the squad is not big enough – however for that you have to read, not big enough in quality players. So what do you do? The “youth” is not strong enough yet – they may be the future, but Liverpool have to finish this season in a Champions League place. So far the team continues to not win – it cannot go on – another few losses before January and we could be 10 points behind Spurs and Aston Villa and Man City! Only getting in a few Top players who can turn games around will work. It is not sudden – the team were not winning in the pre season games! And for anyone who thinks it will be OK when Torres and Gerrard are back, can you guarantee they will not be injured again, or that their groin problems wont reoccur? We are now in a position where it is not about the long term, there won’t be a long term unless something is done to improve the team for the next six months!

  12. Some good points made. I agree with the give youth a chance policy, my only concern is if the young players are up to the job. Take Ngog as an example. He is beggining to show flashes of talent that would suggest he may be good enough to become a regular player. However, we signed the lad over a year ago and still he can put in some particularly infuriating performances at times. The home game against Lyon springs to mind.

    If we throw a bunch of rookies into the side, are we prepared to wait 12 – 18 months for them to blossom into potential top class players, bearing in mind some of them won’t be good enough at all? It can sometimes take this length of time for players to come into their own. The likes of Beckham and Neville, made their debuts for Utd at the start of 1992 – 93 but didn’t begin to figure regularly until 1995 – 96, a full 3 seasons later!

    I beleive the premier league is more competitive now than it was then and for young players to break into a top premier league side and hold down a place they have to be pretty much world class. This is fine if you can wait for these players to come through, but we’re talking about relying on them before they’re ready, a mistake souness made with the likes of David James, Dominic Matteo, Jamie Redknapp, Don Hutchison, Mike Marsh, Nicky Tanner, Steve McManaman, Rob Jones, Steve Harkness and Robbie Fowler. Some of the players in this list were undoubtedly up to the task. Gerrard for example was up to it from day one. Others however, take a long time to find their feet. A club like Liverpool cannot afford them that time. They have to be quality from day one.

  13. Let these players treaten the American Duo go on an indefinite industrial strike and suspend all matches, premier league, FA , champions league if they refuse to sell majority of their stakes. for an investor capable of executing liverpool plans. Benitez has no blame in this setup.He has to do with players at his diposal. I bet you, if Gudd Hundicks is given this present Liverpool squad to execute the premier league campaign, he cannot do more than Benny is doing.

  14. Why are we talking about trimming the squad when we can hardly select first 11 in our squad. Torres out and Gerrad in today, Johnson in and Agger out today, Torres in and johnson out tommorrow, Since we started the season, hardly can you see liverpool’s first eleven play week in week out. I kept on wondering who on this earth plagued The Almighty Liverpool with injuries. Assuming we had the Arab investors on board, they would cerainly invest in January to fill in the gap. With this Present duo, i pray my darling club will not go down the drain. I would have suggest Liverpool players should go on industrial strike as long as the duo woun’t give up selling their stakes to an investor who have the club at heart. They should n

  15. I Agree with most on here, good article, though I think Riera could still do the job, I dont agree with those saying Kuyt should go, you can always rely on 100% effort week in week out there……. but what do I know…. I was sure Alonso wouldnt leave, manure would be nothing without ladyboy and this really would be our year 🙁

  16. Trim the squad!!! HA!!! you’re kidding me. In our current injury sitaution we are struggling to pick 18 fit players. You want to sell more players so are strength in depth is even weaker. Great idea. And don’t say that we will use the money to buy new players because the players that we would sell would only fork in about 15 million and that would probably go towards paying off the debts. So it’s not Football Manager on the PC It’s The real world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Why buy david villa for £35 million? becasue he’s about 28 years old and hasnt got alot of years left. Why not buy a younger player for about the same price such as pato or bojan or even Sergio Agüero whoses played with Torres at madrid

  17. I agree for most of what have been said, but:

    What if we have a similar injury crisis? Selling 7 players is not wise unless we buy 3 at least, a striker, a left midfielder and a right back as a replacement for Glen if he’s not fit.

  18. good article, think kuyts time has come to move on voronin,obviously el nazir,plessis. would suggest van nisterloy. might be able to pick him up cheap proven goal scorer. might be able to use him for a year. but we seem to be unravelling dont know where the bottom is. the injury bug seems to reaching disaster proportions

  19. I dont think we can put off a clearout and bringing in other top class players until next summer. Continue as we are and it has to be faced that we are not likely to end up in the top four with a Champions League place. If that happens it is a financial crisis for the club! What odds of having the money to getting better players then. (It is a Leeds scenario when it happened to them 5 years ago). Also, will a club that is not playing in the Champions League attract top players? And would Torres want to stay if say Real or Barca or even Chelsea or MU came in for him. Success on the field is all The club is on the brink – it is go for it now or face being wrecked!

  20. Good article.
    Get rid of the “never will be’s”. You mentioned’em all. Riera is not good enough, Babel will never be given a fair chance to play as a second striker (not under ultracausious Benitez), El Zhar is definitly not of any true potentiel. Voronin was a gamble for free, turned out wrong. When we hopefully off load the above mentioned players, please please only buy established topplayers, the rest have to filled in with academy players, otherwise we might as well shut down the academy.

  21. I agree’ except for the valuations – far too low. Babel would fetch £10M, ElZhar probably about £5M, and so on. The market took a hike last summer, and it will not get less in January. The players named would almost certainly pay for 2 wingers, say Krasic and Elia. Mascherano is “wantaway”, and will go in the summer anyway. He would fetch enough to buy David Villa, or to swop with Barca for YAYA Toure + Bojan! And, if a either came, they are better than Kuyt, so why not sell him too now (for about £12M) and get it over with. Liverpool could then buy Kjaer (11m) at Centre back.Time for a rebuild and let the “new” team gel before next year.If anyone thinks the present squad is strong enough, why is Liverpool so poor in the league and about to exit the Champions League? It was obvious last summer that the team needed another top striker – Kuyt, NGog,and Voronin are just not up the standard required (another Torres!) And Babel, ElZhar and Riera have not stepped up to the mark either. Liverpool need a couple of “proper” wingers to supply the strikers.

  22. I thought Riera was the signing of the season last season no way should he be leaving I also think it would only be worth selling Babel for a lot of money 10mil or more and that wont happen he looked good b4 getting injured yesterday Im actually a fan of his.

    El Zhar I have no feelings over if he went I wouldn’t care but his valuation cant be more than about 2million.

    A squad re-shuffle in the summer I can see because you have the time to get replacements, in January there’s a lot of games and little preperation time good players don’t just switch clubs like that. However we do need someone to change things around because it’s not fair on Nando, Aquilani seems to have been wrappedd in cotton ever since arriving I dunno whether he’s capable?

    We really need a good player who looks at Liverpool and thinks ‘I want to go there, turn them around and have the amazing Liverpool fans loving me’.

  23. Great article, and very true as far as i can see. It would be sad to see Mascherano go if he does but we’d move on.
    I agree with all the players suggested in the article to go, apart from Riera, he has shown glimpses of his class more regularly than Babel and i think he could still have a role to play at Liverpool. Although if he does go we definately need to invest in a new left winger obviously, not sure who though, does Middlesbrough’s Adam Johnson deserve a chance at a big club? He wouldnt cost too much. Or maybe we should try for a more established international.

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