Two Belgian backline additions a 'must' to freshen up Liverpool

Mignolet

Liverpool must battle competition from Arsenal to secure two exciting targets who can transform their fortunes.

So Brendan Rodgers has surveyed the scene, over the course of his first season, and there are parts where he clearly likes what he sees.

There are though others which have not convinced, namely the defence. Martin Skrtel has been a big disappointment while even Daniel Agger has been inconsistent.

Pepe Reina has been unpredictable while their best defender of late has been the retiring Jamie Carragher, and the less said about Sebastian Coates the better.

So the manager is likely already eyeing up targets, and there are two that stand out as 'must buys' for the club, and they are both from the current football hotbed of talent that is Belgium.

Belgian football is enjoying a renaissance at present, through stars like Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard and Marouane Fellaini, all plying their trade in the Premier League, with the country joint top of their World Cup qualifying group, unbeaten after six games.

Liverpool are yet to tap into this revolution, but the time is right and the opportunity is there this summer. These are the two players they need to transform their fortunes...

Simon Mignolet

Liverpool fans should be watching the goings on at Sunderland very closely, and crossing their fingers Paolo di Canio walks the team straight through the relegation trapdoor. The reason being, that by dropping to the Championship, it will be easier and likely cheaper to sign their star goalkeeper. 

Mignolet has been an underrated but consistently good performer for Sunderland for a couple of seasons now, and in the eyes of many is a better choice than Chelsea and Manchester United target Asmir Begovic.

The 25-year-old is his country's number one, but needs to step up a level to battle competition from emerging Chelsea loan star Thibaut Courtois. Such ambition and challenge makes Mignolet a desirable choice, and one hungry to succeed.

It would mean Liverpool cutting ties with Pepe Reina, but with the Spaniard repeatedly linked out of the club, usually with a move back to his homeland, coupled with up and down performances this season, the time is right for Brendan Rodgers to bring in his own man, a younger talented goalkeeper to help re-invent the defence.

Toby Alderweireld

Mignolet would undoubtedly benefit from one of the most highly rated countrymen playing outside of England joining him at Anfield. Toby Alderweireld is the latest in a top production line of Belgian centre-backs to emerge in recent years.

He follows Kompany, Vermaelen and Vertonghen, and is looking at following the latter by moving from Ajax to the Premier League at the end of the current season.

He is presently part of Ajax's Eredivisie leading team, and battling against the aforementioned trio for a spot in the Belgian national team. Spurs have been linked with him along with Arsenal, but each have more defensive options than Liverpool, and at Anfield, Alderweireld could expect to walk in and become a first team regular unlike in North London.

He this week batted of interest from Everton and Newcastle, describing them as 'mid-table' clubs who do not match him ambition, but admitted Liverpool do 'meet his criteria'.

Such criticism of Liverpool's local rivals will only endear him to fans at the club, and he has the talent to match. Liverpool could attempt to sign the pair for around £15 million,which could rise slightly if Sunderland stay up, but it would be an investment worth making, especially considering the club would claw back much of the fee by selling on Reina, and end up making a profit by selling on Skrtel too.

Would you like to see Liverpool sign this pair?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch