Assessing Liverpool’s summer needs

This summer looks set to be a defining moment in Brendan Rodgers’ career.

A dismal season compared to last season, Liverpool have holes that need to be filled and stop-gap signings won’t be enough.

A right-back needs to be brought in despite the return of Andre Wisdom and the odd case of on loan Javier Manquillo. If Manquillo does end up taking this spot, it would seem the rumours about a clause in his contract being activated at 20 appearances were in fact true.

The performances of Alberto Moreno on the left have also been suspect but whether he needs to be replaced or cover needs to be brought in remains to be seen. A free transfer of Everton’s Luke Garbutt has been rumoured and seems a viable option.

In midfield, there is the glaring absence of Steven Gerrard and no one player is going to be able to replace what he brought to Liverpool all these years.

Liverpool need to bring in at least two solid central midfield players – James Milner has been mentioned as a potential target and his contract runs out in the summer.

There will still remain a need for a solid ball playing central midfielder who can link the defense to the attack.  Too often Liverpool have been without that connection in the centre of the park – Mateo Kovacic is a rumored target and would fit the bill, becoming another poached prodigious young talent from Inter.

The most glaring need in the team right now however is a goalscorer that can play week in, week out.

Reports of Rodgers turning away from Memphis Depay because he wanted to focus on a striker seemed to be damage control but there is a certain amount of logic to the idea.

Liverpool will hopefully retain the services of Raheem Sterling (even with the latest news surrounding him) and have players like Jordan Ibe, Adam Lallana and even Philippe Coutinho to a certain extent able play in the attacking wide areas.

And with Daniel Sturridge’s fitness issues and Mario Balotelli’s problems on and off the pitch, a player like Gonzalo Higuain would provide a steady supply of goals and might be attainable from a team like Napoli, however there remains so much conjecture surrounding this position that the possibilities are endless.

One player that looks a likely possibility is Yevhen Konoplyanka who Liverpool bid for unsuccessfully just a year and a half ago – he now is available on a free transfer.

While Liverpool rumours have surrounded around a fair amount of free transfer players, fans will be hoping that this is a sign of a big splash on a potentially world class player with the money saved in fees and potential outgoings at the club.

Whoever Liverpool bring in this summer, Rodgers will have to find a system that highlights the greatest talents of the collective team.