July 7th, 2011, The speculation surrounding what team Charlie Adam will be playing for next year has ended with Liverpool coughing up a reported £9 million for the Scot's John Hancock. King Kenny is holding true to the recent theme of buying British talent, with the signing of Adam joining Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson.
With a newly ramped up midfield, Manager Kenny Dalglish has some welcomed problems to sort out. These problems start with the Liverpool stalwart, captain fantastic himself Stevie G. Steven Gerrard was hurt for the later half of last season, during such time midfielders Raul Meireles, Lucas, and young-in Jay Spearing laced up their bootstraps' and brought the unimaginable to Liverpudlians lips…"Steven Who?" Gerrard had slim to no time at all to work with new signings Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez last season, bringing up the question of with his penetrating passes could have Liverpool scored even more goals and have tormented more defenses? Or with the Captain back in the line-up, will it tip this new found balance off keel? This remains to be seen. Its no doubt that Steven Gerrard is the lynch pin in Liverpool's attack and midfield, but being out of service for so-long will Kenny have the guts to sit a "fit," (according to Gerrard) on the bench?
Kenny is addressing some of the gaps in the Liverpool ranks, starting with last years signings Carroll and Suarez, but according to comments from Liverpool fans on various publications, director of football Damien Comolli and the Liverpool hierarchy are missing the boat. Long time servant of the club and central defensive rock Jamie Carragher is reaching the tender age of 33 and has undoubtedly lost a step of pace over the last few years, needs a replacement. Liverpool was close to signing Udinese's defender Christian Zapata but that fell through. Liverpool are also in desperate need of a left winger and their pursuit to sign Stewart Downing from Aston Villa but the chances of that deal going through seems as stable as the U.S. economy. Downing's current employers turned down a £15 million bid for the player, and now insist that he is not for-sale. With the new mountain that is Andy Carroll who will be spear-heading the attack will need a supply from the wings to pound balls into the back of the net with that pony-tailed clad head. Wide men and the center defensive positions need rejuvenation which the signing of Adam does not do. He is primarily a central midfielder, who can swing a ball in from a set-piece but touchline hugging runs that end in a sweeping cross…will not be a regular occurrence.
Here's the solution forget Downing, he's overpriced, over-rated and getting him from Villa will be a struggle with their recent personnel losses. Who Liverpool should make priority #1 in this summers transfer window is Juan Mata. Tidy left winger, with pace, intelligence, World-Cup winner and he's 23. He would fit right into a 4-4-3 with him in the front left position, Suarez on the right and Carroll in the middle. Behind that I see a midfield of Lucas, sitting a little deeper, moping up and protecting the back-line. Gerrard on the left behind Mata, and Meireles behind Suarez. Charlie Adam will undoubtedly be a squad player, coming on to bolster the midfield later in games and maybe getting the start against lower league opposition. I have heard rumblings that Adam is not a Liverpool type player, meaning: he is a player who stands out in a team such as Blackpool (former team), but placed in a class above, he will struggle. Big fish small pond vs. small fish, big pond. We will just have to wait and see. One thing is for sure, Liverpool will have strength in the midfield for next season.