Liverpool’s collapse in this season’s Premier League title race will haunt fans for a long time in the future. After Steven Gerrard’s unfortunate slip that allowed Demba Ba to race through on goal, giving Chelsea the advantage at Anfield, the title was back in Manchester City’s hands. Last Monday’s 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace all but ended Liverpool’s hopes of the title; requiring three points against Newcastle United and praying that City would lose at home against West Ham United.
Looking ahead, the summer transfer window represents a vital time for the future of Liverpool Football Club. This season could have been a lot different if key players had gotten injured with Brendan Rodgers’ squad lacking in depth. The summer window is the time to prove that this season was not a one-off and that they are serious about next season’s title challenge.
Here are 4 potential signings that could make the switch to Anfield this summer:
1. Ashley Cole, Chelsea. Free transfer.
Ashley Cole could be an astute piece of business should Liverpool decide to pick the experienced full back up for free this summer. Young Jon Flanagan has done remarkably at full back for the Reds this season in the absence of Jose Enrique. However, many Reds fans are losing patience with long serving Glen Johnson, and Flanagan would easily slot back into his favored right back position.
Cole is out of contract in the summer and Liverpool have picked up players on free transfers in the past; signing Joe Cole after the West Ham playmaker left the Blues, as well as Kolo Toure from Manchester City. Although there is no transfer fee, Ashley Cole will come with a high wage packet that the Reds would have to meet. Southampton’s Luke Shaw looks a more viable long term option but with the Saints defender looking set to move to Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge, Cole could be a fantastic signing.
2. Adam Lallana, Southampton. £20million.
Adam Lallana has been one of the standout players of the season and will play a role in England World Cup campaign. Lallana has wowed fans with trickery, precision and quality technical ability. Under Mauricio Pochettino, he has propelled the Saints into the top ten this season and will be hard to keep at the St. Mary’s Stadium.
A move to the Reds could be on the cards with Liverpool favoring young English talent such as Jordan Henderson. A £20m fee could be matched with more funds being made available by Fenway Sports Group as well as money earned from gaining UEFA Champions League qualification. Lallana has the quality to turn a game on its head, which could be exactly what Liverpool need.
3. Micah Richards, Manchester City. £5million.
Micah Richards has been on Liverpool’s radar for a long time with the Reds reportedly showing an interest in the summer but Manchester City shunned any interest. Richards has hardly had a look-in this season and rejected a five year deal at the Etihad.
Richards could be a fantastic addition to Liverpool’s leaky defense, and adds versatility as the Englishman can play at right back or operate as a central defender. Martin Skrtel has been fantastic this season but question marks remain over Mamadou Sakho. Daniel Agger has struggled for fitness, and Richards could be a cheap, quality and experienced option with so much potential at the age of 25.
4. Xherdan Shaqiri, Bayern Munich. £20million.
Xherdan Shaqiri could well be one of the signings of the summer should Liverpool secure a deal for the Bayern Munich winger. Shaqiri has stated he would listen to any offers from Liverpool or Manchester United after failing to nail down a starting spot under Pep Guardiola.
Shaqiri has claimed he needs more playing time at the Allianz Arena and could seek move in search of playing time. German newspaper Bild says that the Swiss international will stay in Germany for at least another season meaning Liverpool could turn to Barcelona’s Cristian Tello as an £8m alternative.
Editor’s note: Follow Marcus on Twitter @MarcusBanks7