A week into the signing season of the 2012 Summer, Liverpool have yet to make a move. Looking for a midfielder with scoring ability, it seems that the club are now targeting Clint Dempsey of Fulham, looking to launch a bid for the American player in the next 24 hours.
Anyone that Liverpool have been after, most notably Gylfi Sigurdsson, has turned up somewhere else. For a team that had a lot of problems with its squad last season, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of motion and movement regarding picking up new pieces. A new manager, Brendan Rodgers, usually means quite a few funds and resources to give the team a face lift.
But no big names so far. Maybe it’s on purpose, content with the current roster, that under Kenny Dalglish, finished in a very disappointing eighth position. Maybe the board believes it was mostly Dalglish’s fault and not the players, but the man in charge of the signings was sacked as well, so who knows. The easiest answer might be that Liverpool just aren’t a big enough name anymore to draw equally big players.
Clint Dempsey is one of those conundrums. Underrated because he’s on a small, low profile club like Fulham? Or is it the perfect place for him to shine, scoring 17 goals in 37 league matches last season for the club, helping them to a ninth-place finish in the English Premier League. Dempsey has Europa League experience, including reaching the final in 2010, but he’s neither a Champions League veteran or a promising youngster. At 29, he’s not bound to get a whole of a lot better than he was over the last couple of seasons.
But Liverpool do need that extra firepower, no matter the caliber of the name. Steven Gerrard is playing a more retreated role than during his best days, while Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing couldn’t really provide too much in terms of goals and numbers. Jordan Henderson is hardly a goal glut, while Dirk Kuyt has been sold and Maxi Rodriguez might be out of the picture, just like he was for most of last season. Adding a proven Premier League scorer into the mix is crucial. Relying solely on the prowess of Luis Suarez (11 goals last season) and Andy Carroll, hopefully (only 4 league goals) probably won’t work out so well.
Another promising feature in Dempsey’s game, if you disregard the wealth of experience he brings, is his versatility. He’s probably labeled as an attacking midfielder, but loves playing on both wings while venturing into the middle, or even as the front-man on occasions, turning out to be a better and better close-range finisher as the years go by.
He’s not the best player out there, or the one with the most potential, but he’s proven over the last few seasons that he should be a valuable asset to any team, at any level of football, if given the chance to show his scoring ability. With Liverpool in some sort of rebuilding process, at least mentally, Dempsey, a proven winner, just might be an excellent and price-savvy choice.