If the papers are to be believed, Liverpool will move for at least ten new wingers when the transfer window reopens, such is the speculation surrounding the 7/10 Premier League title favourites’ perceived weakness on the flanks.
The latest name doing the rounds is Fiorentina’s Juan Cuadrado and considering the Colombian international’s versatility, this is a whisper that may appear a fair shout by mid-summer.
Quite why Brendan Rodgers feels he has to spend big money on a winger who’ll struggle to break into a Liverpool side packed with pace and guile is anyone’s guess, especially when the Reds have much bigger holes to plug regarding numbers up front, at centre-half and at full-back.
However, signing Cuadrado would strengthen the Northern Irishman’s hand in a number of positions, as the 25-year-old is comfortable on the flanks, at full-back and even in a two-man attack, where he was deployed to great effect in the Viola’s last match, scoring the opener in a 5-3 win at Verona.
Liverpool’s bench for the thrilling 3-2 victory against Manchester City at Anfield betrayed the lack of depth in Rodgers’ forward ranks, with only Chelsea’s disappointing loanee Victor Moses and Spanish transfer misstep Iago Aspas on hand to freshen up the attack.
Cuadrado – who’s scored seven times in Serie A this term and has laid on a further three for team mates – could be the utility forward Liverpool hoped they’d signed when they paid Celta Vigo almost £8m for Aspas, but the 27-cap Colombian man has even more in his locker than just goals.
At Colombian outfit Independiente Medellin and later for Udinese, Cuadrado often filled one of the full-back spots, which is a department Liverpool are hardly overburdened with talent in.
Unconvincing Spanish left-back Jose Enrique has been out injured for most of the season and in his absence young right-back Jon Flanagan has been shunted over to his unnatural side, with Rodgers clearly as fed up with on-loan flop Aly Cissokho as the Anfield faithful.
They can take another huge leap towards their first Premier League title with a 9/25 win over Norwich at Carrow Road.