It’s that time of year again where Liverpool start getting linked with every player under the sun. This season more than ever, it is imperative we bring in the correct players to help us push on. As I type we sit second in the table, five points behind first place and four points ahead of seventh. Heading into a busy December where we play Spurs, Chelsea and City in mustn’t lose games we have an ever growing injury list. We currently have five starting XI players on the injury list, Henderson, Gerrard, Agger, Enrique and Sturridge and whilst the absence of such key players could be crippling to our champion’s league hopes; they could not have come at a better time. The injuries have exposed our (whilst much improved) lack of depth just before the January window giving us ample opportunity to strengthen before it is too late.

Our previous two January windows have been exceptional, the first saw the magnificent Luis Suarez join our ranks whilst last January saw the youthful exuberance of Sturridge and Coutinho come in. Whilst there is still some time left before the window opens there’s no doubt that Rodger’s has been doing his homework and has his targets in place.

Whilst there will names bandied around by bored journalists who do the rounds every year, Huntelaar and Honda(who has just signed for AC Milan) come to mind.  There are some tasty and not so tasty rumours doing the rounds already.

Xherdan Shaqiri

A player who was heavily linked in the summer seems to be cropping up again. A player who fits the FSG Model down to a tee, Shaqiri has not been seeing the amount of action one would hope to in a world cup year. Whilst not out of favour at Bayern, Shaquiri has only played in six games this season in a midfield that is packed so tight with World Class Talent, even the best would struggle to see any playing time.

At only 22 Shaqiri still has his best years ahead of him and ideally is a player Guardiola would like keep around. Despite this, every manager understand in a World Cup year a player needs games and it would take a heartless beast to deny a man the right of representing his country at the highest level.

Rodgers has had Shaqiri watched several times in the past and sees him as a perfect fit for his philosophy. Whilst in the summer it would have been almost impossible to acquire a player of his standard from a team like Bayern, whilst we are sitting in second place and have a great chance of finishing in the top four we are much more of a draw to top quality players.

For a fee of around 25M Euros, Shaqiri is an attainable target for us and after missing out on Mkhitaryan, Rodgers may well try and make the statement he failed to make in the summer.

Daniel Agger

After successfully warding off all comers in the summer when Agger was hot property, it seems were set for another window of will he? won’t he? Agger displayed his commitment to the cause by getting YNWA tattooed across his knuckles.

With so many defenders to choose from Agger has fallen slightly out of favour, mainly due to Skrtel’s magnificent patch of form. However it is believed that Rodgers sees Agger as second choice defender due to an inability to deal with set pieces. A label unfairly placed on Agger’s head when the whole back line has struggle from corners and high balls.

Whilst not actively seeking to offload Agger, it is believed enquiries have been made to Manchester City (who are still very interested in adding him to their ranks) about a swap deal for Micah Richards and John Guidetti. Whilst there are appealing aspects to this potential deal, the overall reaction from any Liverpool fan would be, “Hell no!”.

An injury prone Micah Richards is not something that would improve or benefit the side in any way, especially when we have a player of Glen Johnson’s ability still pulling it off week after week. Guidetti on the other hand is just the kind of player we are crying out for. Sturidge’s injury has shown just how little depth we have up front, however paying £15m for a quality striker to sit on the bench is not an option. Having Guidetti, a tall and rangy forward who netted 20 goals and 8 assists in 23 appearances for Feyenoord last season could be the perfect player to come in when either of our SAS partnership is injured.

Blaise Matuidi

Matuidi has been absolutely outstanding in 2013 and only narrowly missed out on French Player of the year to Ribery. The powerful defensive midfielder has been a mainstay in the star studded PSG XI. So why would he leave? I hear you ask. Well, despite being every impressive at the heart of midfield, Matuidi’s contract runs out in June 2014 and despite his best efforts, his performances have yet to earn him a new one. With former teammate Sakho already in our squad, it would seem we’re still a draw to players despite not paying the massive wages paid by the playthings of the Sugar Daddies.

A solid terrier, Matuidi could be just what our Midfield is crying out for, to add a little mettle to our heart. Whilst Lucas is a solid player, he lacks the strength and presence to ever truly be effective as a solo anchor man. With a player like Matuidi by his side, they could be a formidable pairing allowing Enrique, Johnson and Gerrard to attack with freedom.

These are just some of the rumours that are doing the rounds at the moment and I’ve collated just a couple of the most interesting ones. I will be back with another Liverpool Rumour Mill next week and every week until the window closes.

Disclaimer –I do not present these rumours as fact, I am merely passing on what I have read elsewhere.

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About The Author

Ben Wadsworth

was born and bred in North Wales. A graduate of Aberystwyth University where more time was spent in the pub on a Saturday afternoon watching Liverpool than actually studying. Formerly a match reporter for Cymru Alliance side Llandudno Town FC, he is now looking dedicate his writing to his one true love.

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