Five potential replacements for Luis Suarez at Liverpool
As Luis Suarez packs his bags, preparing to swap Liverpool for Barcelona, and the River Mersey for Las Ramblas, we discuss who could step into the sensational striker’s shoes at Anfield.
With a reported fee of £75m agreed for the Uruguay forward, who has a habit of hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers should have plenty of cash to splash.
Despite his appetite for controversy, Suarez will be a difficult man to replace, and Rodgers, who is 10/1 to win the Premier League with Liverpool this season, will require a special signing with an abundance of star quality to boost morale.
Having so far eclipsed the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi with his super scoring exploits at the World Cup, Colombian hero Rodriguez has attracted the attentions of Europe’s elite. Despite being linked heavily with a summer switch from new-money side AS Monaco to Real Madrid, the swashbuckling South American could still make a move to the Premier League.
Whilst not a like for like replacement in the striker position, Rodriguez, who can operate anywhere in attacking midfield, on either flank or behind the striker, ran riot in Brazil, netting six goals and providing two assists.
He would fit the versatile, young, pacy profile of many of Rodgers’ previous targets for Liverpool, including a reported failed move for new Arsenal attacker Alexis Sanchez, and provide a fantastic foil for Daniel Sturridge.
With a potentially hefty transfer war chest available to him following Suarez’s sale, it would be worth at least attempting to challenge the move made by Madrird for the man of the moment.
Whilst Real, 7/2 to win the Champions League, are rumoured to be leading the race for Rodriguez and his compatriot Radamel Falcao, France forward Karim Benzema could be forgiven for scratching his head and wondering what he has done wrong.
Rodgers’ is rumoured to have an interest in luring the underrated striker to Liverpool, with Madrid famous for discarding top class players at discount prices whenever a newer, shinier player catches their eye.
Benzema would be a bargain, as he showed for Les Bleus in Brazil, where he bagged three goals. Able to create chances for himself and his teammates, as well take them, the Frenchman, who is excellent at linking up play, would also fit smoothly into Rodgers’ side.
Used to playing second-fiddle to Madrid’s Galacticos, Benzema could thrive as the main man at Anfield.
Rodgers could steal a move on rivals Arsenal by securing the services of Arsene Wenger’s reported target Remy.
The QPR and France forward impressed on loan last season for Newcastle, scoring 14 goals in 26 league appearances for the Tyneside club. Whilst Hoops boss Harry Redknapp will be keen to keep hold of the frontman, a big bid from Arsenal or Liverpool may be too tempting to turn down.
Wenger has abandoned his frugal transfer policy by snapping up Mesut Ozil and Sanchez in the past two summer transfer windows, but with rumoured additions in defence and midfield, Rodgers could sneak in and sign up Remy himself.
Liverpool are apparently ready to swoop in for Swansea star, and reported Spurs target, Bony. The hitman was the Swans top scorer last campaign, with 25 goals for the club in 48 outings.
After arriving on a four-year deal for £12m, the Ivorian, who displaced Chelsea legend Didier Drogba as lone frontman for his nation at the World Cup, would not arrive at Anfield cheaply.
Having signed former Lyon forward Bafetimbi Gomis, the Welsh club already have a ready-made replacement, and, like QPR, may find an attractive offer from the Reds difficult to refuse.
Higuain suffered the same fate at Real that Benzema looks likely to, and was ruthlessly sold to pave the way for Gareth Bale to park up at the Bernabeu last term.
After a successful World Cup campaign with Argentina so far, where the poacher popped up to net the only goal in the quarter-final clash with Belgium, Higuain’s stock is high once more.
With a Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose-esque ability to score from half a chance, even when playing poorly, the Argentine would certainly provide Liverpool with plenty of goals.
Napoli, and ex-Reds boss Rafa Benitez, will be loath to let the striker move, after shelling out £34.5m to land their man last season, so it may well end up being too costly to prise Higuain from Serie A at the moment.