Having suffered six defeats in seven league games, it is becoming apparent that a lack of spending in the summer and the added pressure provided by the Europa League has taken its toll on the squad.
One role which is being scrutinised heavily is the winger position. Many fans, including us, have begun to raise concerns over the impact of Jonas Gutierrez. Gutierrez lacks both the crucial final ball and a goalscoring touch which I believe is essential in a team which is naturally becoming more attacking. With that in mind, here are a few potential replacements which could be realistic in January.
Thomas Ince (Blackpool). Having bagged 13 goals in 19 league games from the wing this season, it’s a mystery as to why Liverpool ever let this fella go. The 20 year old is a tricky left winger who has already been compared with Ryan Giggs. What’s significant is that he also has nine assists, proving his selfless nature and ability to provide others with opportunities.
Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace). Another magnificent product of the Crystal Palace academy. Voted best young player of The Football League for the 2011-12 season, Zaha possesses an uncanny ability to dribble with the ball and get past players. A significant concern is that Palace are demanding £20m, though that’s probably an attempt to put off interested clubs.
Junior Hoilett (QPR). This is a player we missed out on in the summer, but there could still be a chance of acquiring this player in the foreseeable future. For if QPR don’t start improving their performances, they could find find themselves bottom at Christmas and likely to fall through the trapdoor. Hoilett possesses superb technical ability and awareness of those around him. Despite that, he does tend to hog the ball at times.
Ivan Bella (Velez Sarsfield). Strangely enough, the 23 year old plays for the same club where Jonas Gutierrez started his professional career. The youngster is attracting interest from European giants Real Madrid and Benfica, which is unsurprising having been compared to Angel di Maria. He possesses similar agility and passing ability, which could prove beneficial to Ba & Cisse.
Nani (Manchester United). Perhaps a long shot considering our current league position, but what must be pointed out is that the Portuguese winger looks set to be put on the market come January. Wage demands are likely to be too high given our economical policy, so I wouldn’t get too excited about this one. Nevertheless, there are a few teams who have signed class wingers, with Pablo Hernandez and Gaston Ramirez at Swansea and Southampton being just two examples.