Predictions For The January Transfer Window
Written by Chris Royal.
What will happen during the January transfer window? Here is my predictions on the ins and outs at Anfield.
First thing’s first, Ryan Babel will be sold; he was given what was dubbed his last chance in August when Roy decided not to part with him on deadline day. There were a few offers on the table and depending on what you believe, either Ryan didn’t want a move to Birmingham or West Ham, Liverpool couldn’t find a replacement and opted to stick with Ryan Babel rather than leave themselves short or a Carlton Cole Ryan Babel swap couldn’t be agreed.
The question is- where will Ryan Babel move to, suggestions are that West Ham and Birmingham will re-ignite their interest and will start the bidding at around the £9million pound mark, there will no doubt be an interest from abroad with Ajax (Babel’s former club) having already been linked with a move, possibly on loan with a view to a permanent deal in the summer. However, a permanent move would favour Liverpool, simply because Roy Hodgson needs to rebuild the Liverpool squad and money in the bank would be of more benefit to him than a loan.
Prediction– Ryan Babel will agree a move to Birmingham for around £10million.
Second on the agenda is Lucas Leiva, the midfielder, since his arrival at Anfield has in the main failed to live up to the hype surrounding him when he was signed. With the centre of midfield being a position in which Liverpool need to strengthen the same inevitability as Ryan Babel being sold will be followed up with Lucas’s sale. Stoke were on the brink of taking Lucas in August, until Hodgson decided that the Brazilian could have a future, (or he needed bodies) and pulled out of the deal. With Lucas never really being taken to the fans hearts, a move away would not be surprising.
Prediction– Lucas Leiva will agree a move to Stoke for around £4million.
This will raise around about £14million in player sales. There are doubts over a number of other players futures will be called into question and any sort of offers that come in would be considered should a suitable replacement be found.
With the funds raised through selling both Babel and Lucas and the expected funds being available, I believe there will be around about £35million, if you take £20million as what John W Henry will allow Roy to spend, I believe that Roy will look at bringing in a striker, a wide midfielder and a holding centre midfielder.
The first name that springs to mind is Carlton Cole, for obvious reasons that Liverpool were keen to sign Cole in August and Babel is a target for West Ham. Looking at the plight of West Ham at the minute, Avram Grant needs to finance some new signings to try to help get them out of their current situation. Cole is currently out of favour at West Ham and a big bid could tempt Grant to sell his striker. The big question is if Cole isn’t playing at West Ham then how can he break into the Liverpool team, surely Liverpool are a much bigger side than West Ham, no disrespect but Liverpool need a top class striker.
Another name that will be again linked is Mario Gomez of Bayern Munich. The tall German forward was heavily linked during the summer and the player even admitted to being interested in the move, which was scrapped when Bayern demanding a cash only deal, where Liverpool were looking for a loan deal. Gomez himself recently scored a hatrick for the German side so in effect would be a difficult target to acquire due to his importance at the club.
The third striker who makes the list of targets is Peter Crouch, the gangly forward who has a previous spell at Anfield has been linked with a move ever since his high profile appearance in the tabloids. The forward, who has become an integral part of the Tottenham side since Jermaine Defoe’s injury is a target who in my opinion, should have never been allowed to leave in the first place. The best possible hope of any deal would be down to Tottenham looking for a new striker, which would enable Harry Redknapp to allow one of his forward line of Robbie Keane, Jermaine Defoe, Peter Crouch or Roman Pavlyuchenko a move away.
This brings me on to the final transfer target of Robbie Keane. The Irish hit man has fallen down the pecking order at Whitehart Lane and spent the back end of last season out on loan at Celtic. It is widely known Keane is a huge Liverpool fan and his spell at Anfield was marred by the fact he was not bought by the previous manager but the previous chairman. If a move for Keane came about, he would have no hesitation in rejoining the club he left only six months after joining.
Prediction– I expect Carlton Cole to be signed for around the £10million pound mark, which will be funded through the sale of Ryan Babel, I also predict a shocking return to Anfield for Robbie Keane for around the £5million pound mark, with the option of more first team action and lack of confidence shown in him at Tottenham.
The wide midfielder position in my opinion is a simple item and only one name springs to mind, Ashley Young. With his future at Aston Villa in doubt due to his stalling contract negotiations, a bid form Liverpool would leave Villa with a difficult question, cash in now or risk loosing him for a much cheaper fee in the summer should he still not sign a deal. Tottenham will obviously be involved in any bidding war but with the amount of players at Tottenham a move to Anfield could prove to be the more tempting and with the man at the helm at Villa Park if he were to lose his biggest star, the links he still has at Anfield may pull on his heart strings to help out a old pal.
Prediction– Ashley Young will be signed for around the £15million pound bracket in January.
One final signing I believe Liverpool will make is Danny Murphy from Fulham, again a former Liverpool player is linked with the club and the Fulham captain would bring what the Liverpool midfield needs, a strong player who knows the game inside out. Murphy is in a good position at Fulham and has an easy life, maybe the chance of one last challenge would be to tempting to turn down.
Prediction– Murphy to be signed for £3million with a possible reserve team make weight being involved in the deal.
Ins– Carlton Cole (£10million), Robbie Keane (£5million), Ashley Young (£15million) and Danny Murphy (£3million)
Outs- Ryan Babel (£10million), Lucas (£4million)
This will then offer the team more options going forward which is what the team needs more than anything at this moment in time. The only other position where Roy could look to strengthen is at the full back position, but other areas of the team will take priority as there is already significant cover at both left and right back when everyone is fit and raring to go.
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