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Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Will Robbie Keane offer a touch of Kenny Dalglish?

In recent seasons Liverpool has spent significant sums on strikers. Crouch, Babel and Kuyt were bought in for just under or over £10m; but only the sublime Fernando Torres has really hit the mark albeit at twice the price. And now Robbie Keane has been acquired for around £20m - but how much does that strengthen Liverpool?

If Liverpool remain intent on playing one up front then it will clearly be Torres; which poses questions about the midfield. Keane is a clever player and usually played in the hole behind Berbatov for Spurs and so as a conventional number 10 he can create and still weigh in with goals. I guess that at £20m he isn't earmarked as a substitute.

Given Rafa Benitez's liking for two defensively minded midfielders then Mascherano and Alonso (provided he stays) look likely to be given the job; leaving two attack minded spots. Obviously Gerrard gets one spot and the other is between the talented Babel (who will surely be better this season), the harder working but limited Kuyt. Others less likely to initially feature include Lucas, Benayoun, Pennant, Plessis and Voronin.

Babel has the x factor that has often been missing from wide positions since Luis Garcia was at his best; and should get the nod over Kuyt's work rate. For me this is a side that is starting to resemble the 1980s - with Torres as Rush, Keane as Dalglish and Gerrard as Souness - perhaps all those evenings matching videos is paying off. And although the defence remains unfinished this is a Liverpool side with great attacking flair.

Essentially Keane comes in directly behind Torres, pushing Gerrard to the right at the expense of Kuyt with Babel preferred to Benayoun on the alternate flank.

Benitez has juggled in the transfer market and on paper the new front six seems to be a significant improvement on last season and one of the most potent strikeforces available at Anfield since Dalglish retired. Interesting times.

2008/9 Front six?

Mascherano, Alonso; Gerrard, Keane, Babel; Torres.

2007/8 Typical Front Six (league starts in brackets)

Mascherano (25), Alonso (16); Kuyt (24), Gerrard (32), Benayoun (15) Torres (29)

COMMENTS

Anon

Liverpool had one bad season in defence and I think you can safely put that down to a lack of centre backs during the first part of the season due to agger's injury and rafa not getting heinze. This can be coupled with the poor defending from set pieces which I am sure rafa will rectify before the new season. this season there will be a wealth of defensive players, a brilliant goalkeeper and mascherano who many believe to be the best defensive midfielder in the world. mix this with rafa's tactical discipline and I think you will find that Liverpool's defence will be up there as it has been for many years as one of the best in Europe

Anon

Keane is good to pair Torres.
Liverpool Know left only two best wingers:if possible Barry and Silva, both are versitile.

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