Instead of buying a big name superstar to replace Suárez, it looks like Rodgers is promoting a more team-based approach to building his squad. Think of Liverpool becoming more like Germany and less like Argentina.
Suárez is a fantastic player, definitely one of the best in the world; however, encouraging the other players on the team to express themselves on the pitch without relying on the Uruguayan to work his magic will only develop them faster. Sure, Suárez’ 31 goals and 12 assists (according to whoscored.com) are almost impossible to replace, but some of those chances could now be redirected to Raheem Sterling and Philippe Countinho, players who are only 19 and 22 years old, respectively. They will only get better with having more responsibility on the pitch, and Rodgers has shown that he is a master at getting the most out of his players and making them better.
Fans have to remember that Suárez was not the player he is now when he came to Anfield in 2011. He only became one of the best forwards in the game after Rodgers came in and changed the team’s approach to play to his strengths.
It looks like Loïc Remy has clinched a deal with The Reds, while Dejan Lovren and Divock Origi are close to coming to Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers continues to expand his squad as he prepares for a new season, one that requires midweek games for the Champions League. I wrote about Origi here, and it looks like he will be returning to Lillie for a season-long loan, so fans will have to watch Ligue 1 if they want to see the Belgian international. However, joining the team this season is Remy and possibly Lovren too, two players who have proven they can hold their own against English Premiere League opposition.
Remy was the leading scorer for Newcastle last season with 14 goals, double the amount of the team’s next leading scorer, Yohan Cabaye. He is capable of playing both alone and with a partner upfront as Newcastle played the 4-2-3-1 17 times, and the 4-4-2 10 times, per whoscored.com. If Rodgers wants to take advantage of a weak right back, Remy could be shifted out to the left wing because he is great at cutting in to his right foot.
That versatility is great for both Remy and his teammates-to-be, and will give Rodgers many different options when selecting the front line: they won’t feel crowded by having a partner beside them in attack. The French international can score a variety of ways, with either foot and also his head. He can take the keeper by surprise with long shots and take advantage of chances closer to goal.
Rodgers has finally addressed one of the weaker areas of his team, the defense. While not exactly the right position needed (the team needs to find another full-back), he is close to adding more depth to the center back position, which has had some injury problems with Mamadou Sakho and Daniel Agger usually unable to stay healthy for the entire season. Lovren will also benefit from having a capable mentor in Kolo Touré, although the Ivorian might move to another club to search for more playing time. If he stays, he would be an ideal role model to Lovren and Sakho. People forget that Toure was a key member of the 2003-04 ‘The Invincibles’ Arsenal team.
Lovren is great at anticipating opponents’ moves, stopping attacks before they get started. His 2.7 interceptions a game puts him in the top 10 of that category. Offensively, Lovren is a defender who can charge upfield with the best of them, helping the team keep possession with accurate passing. There is a reason why Southampton had the most possession – 58.6 – last season and conceded the second least shots per game with 9.6.