Should Roy Hodgson look to bring any of these three to Anfield?
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Johan Elmander (Bolton)
Liverpool are crying out for striker that actually scores goals and, this season, Johan Elmander is that man. Fernando Torres has netted five times in the Premier League this season but has been well below par and missed some gilt-edged chances in key games while David Ngog has been prolific in the Europa League but less so domestically. Elmander, meanwhile, has scored eight times for Bolton, revelling in the playing style of manager Owen Coyle. His work rate and classy finishing have stood out this season and with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, the Reds would not have to part with more than around £4m to get their man.
Ashley Young (Aston Villa)
Sure, Young might be a little on the expensive side but, with the Villa man having failed to sign a new contract in Birmingham, January might be the right time to pounce. Hodgson does not possess an orthodox winger despite favouring a 4-4-2 formation and it is well known that he is in the market for a wide player. Young has been in good form despite Villa’s recent wobbles and his delivery could provide plenty of ammunition for the hitherto misfiring Torres. Liverpool would have to bid upwards of £15m to secure his signature next month but if they wait until next summer they could lose out to the likes of Tottenham who have a long held interest in the player.
Gary Cahill (Bolton)
Liverpool need a centre back. Cahill is the current flavour of the month. Ergo Cahill to Liverpool. Agreed, it’s hardly the most original thought in the world but it makes a lot of sense. The Merseysiders need a successor to Jamie Carragher and Cahill fits the bill. As stoic in the challenge as the Kop legend but better in possession, the 23-year-old could be a regular at Anfield for years to come. His current employment at Bolton means that he is locally based and would not need to uproot his life in order to join what is still one of the biggest clubs in world football. Again, Liverpool would have to fork out a decent transfer fee but with potentially a decade of service ahead of him it could make for a canny piece of investment. (Sportingo)
There is no doubt that Liverpool need some new additions to help kickstart their season and help push the club away from mid table and back up towards the top four spots where Roy Hodgson would expect his Merseyside club to be positioned, and these three could well help boost strength in their respective positions.
Liverpool have had a mixed time of it at the back and their record having 22 goals conceded is some way higher than the Anfield club would expect from their back line and therefore a move for Bolton defender Gary Cahill may make sense but it is worth noting that Owen Coyle has reportedly placed a hefty £20m price tag on the England international’s head.
Fellow Bolton man Johan Elmander could well offer Hodgson a target man who could play well alongside Fernando Torres and help share the goalscoring burden. However the Swede has not exactly been prolific during his time at the Reebok and has managed just 16 Premier League goals from 72 appearances, however the fact that his contract is up at the end of the season may make him a worthwhile purchase.
Clearly the jewel of this trio is Aston Villa winger Ashley Young who is apparently looking to leave Villa Park but again would cost a large sum and a lot would depend on how much new owners NESV are willing to hand Roy Hodgson in January. The England wide man may also not be too keen on a move to a club who are just two points ahead of his own struggling outfit.
Hodgson has stated his desire to bring in five or six players in January but that may be a tad optimistic but one thing is for sure, Liverpool do need to improve their decidedly average squad if they want to have a hope in hell of securing European football for next season.
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