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Liverpool’s stuttering start to the campaign has been put down to them not replacing their talisman from last season Luis Suarez, sure they are missing the goals that the Uruguayan scored last season but even more than that they are missing the guile and creativity the striker had. Suarez was often moving behind his strike partner into midfield to retrieve the ball and start attacks. Liverpool did have Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling doing their best to provide the killing pass but a lot of the time it was Suarez who did the hard work for others to finish.
That is something that Liverpool have missed this season, there is no one to provide that killer pass except an ageing Gerrard. The much debated signing of Mario Balotelli does not provide the movement they need to stretch defences and Raheem Sterling has not hit the high notes from last season, probably from having played way too many games for a 19 year old; yes even they do burn up.
Liverpool haven’t been helped with the fact that their second highest goal scorer from last season Daniel Sturridge has been out for a long time due to various injuries, he is being called as the key to unlock the goal scoring prowess that Liverpool are missing but in reality, even with Sturridge, Liverpool need more bite, not in attack but in midfield.
A midfielder who tackles and passes
Lucas Leiva hasn’t been the same since his ACL injury a couple of seasons ago, he has slowed down, Jordan Henderson hasn’t been allowed to make those dynamic runs from last season as he is expected to provide more cover to an even slower Steven Gerrard this season. The signing of Emre Can is one for the future, although he did impress against Chelsea and at Real Madrid, he still needs time to settle in and learn.
Liverpool need to sign a midfielder, as well a couple of defenders but signing someone with Premier League experience will not be easy, especially in the January transfer window, often the window is inflated with players going for far higher prices than what their value is, one option is available and might be the answer to Liverpool’s midfield conundrum.
Yohan Cabaye who was possibly Newcastle’s best player for the 2 ½ years he spent there, the French league winner with Lille is now playing at Paris St. Germain after a big money move in January 2014 but his time might be coming to an end at the Paris club.
Cabaye has not completed a single game while playing for PSG and has had his time limited even when he does don the jersey, while playing against Lorient in the French League, he was substituted after just 60 minutes and this would not be doing his chances for the French National team any good. PSG already have Motta, Verratti, Pastore and Matuidi in the squad and Cabaye can be seen to cut a peripheral figure in the team.
According to Frank Leboeuf, the former Chelsea defender believes the move to PSG was a mistake, as he stated to the Daily Mail.
“For me, it (move to PSG) is a mistake on his part, He must think of the France team, he lost the confidence he had stored in Newcastle. I think he has never been part of the first choices of Laurent Blanc (PSG coach). When he arrived, there were already Motta, Verratti and Matuidi.
He will have to ask the right questions about his future. He loses confidence. He should think about this in winter or summer. He should be ready for 2016; he is one of the major elements of the France team.”
The French midfielder could make a move back to the Premier league and there are a few clubs who need a battler in midfield, Liverpool would really love to have a Premier League ready option rather than having to deal with the young midfield they have with Allen, Can, Henderson and Coutinho.
Cabaye would be available for a cut price as well, since he is already cup tied in the UEFA Champions League after appearing in the group stage for PSG. The French midfielder is known for his tough tackling and through balls; he is also known to have a terrific shot on him and is a bit of a free kick specialist, something that every club can use.
With his future in the French team hanging by a thread and limited time at PSG, his move to Liverpool would work well for both sides as he would still be playing in a top club in a league which he is familiar with, he could resurrect his career and Liverpool’s season by providing that spark they need in midfield so badly.
Liverpool are in 8th position at the moment with 14 points from 11 games and are already 15 points behind the league leaders Chelsea, if they do not work fast on finding a solution to their problems, they could miss out on the UEFA Champions League spot which would be a disaster for a club which has only just come back to the Champions League after almost 5 years out.
Picture Courtesy : BBC Sport