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Papadopolous and Mkhitaryan would take Liverpool to the next level

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Are these the two signings Liverpool need to move back towards the Premier League's top four?

Liverpool buying Kyriakos Papadopoulous and Henrikh Mkhitaryan won't just mean booming business with regards to the player lettering on the back of replica shirts, they are likely to have a big impact on the pitch as well.

Both players are reported targets for the club, Papadopoulous playing his football with Schalke in Germany and Mkhitaryan in Ukraine with Shakhtar.

Of Greek and Armenian descent, both players have already taken the perhaps unsurprising leap to move on from their homelands to test themselves at a higher level.

Both players performed in the Champions League last season, proof of their credentials, and would have to accept in moving to Anfield that in the short-term that would not be a possibility.

However if Liverpool were able to sign up the pair of them, the club's ambition to reach the top four in English football once again would be greatly enhanced.

Of course fans want to see the club challenging for titles, but first they must re-establish themselves among the elite in the English game, which means securing Champions League football and attracting even better players to the club.

It is the loss of Champions League football which is holding the Reds back at present when it comes to Luis Suarez. For all the Uruguayan's attempts to deflect attention from his behaviour and blame the media; if Liverpool were in Europe's elite competition his football reasoning for wanting a way out would be voided.

Papadopoulos is a physically imposing centre-back for his young years, one who stood out for Greece at Euro 2012 and a player who has been on the radar of Europe's top sides ever since making his debut for Olympiakos as a teenager aged just 15.

Now 21, he is in many ways an ideal replacement for Jamie Carragher. Concerns exist over his temperament, fitness and willingness to give away fouls, but these are areas which can all be worked on.

He has the potential to be a mainstay of Liverpool's side for over a decade, and establish himself as a cult-figure at the club. His passion would quickly see him become a hero to Liverpool's supporters.

Mkhitaryan is an even more intriguing player, and attacking midfielder whose prolific goalscoring more befits an out and out centre-forward. Indeed the Armenian is capable of playing up front, but his versatility and preference to drop deep makes him a far more appealing attacker to Brendan Rodgers.

He was very much an unsung hero in Shakhtar's Champions League campaign last season, scoring twice in eight games, but in the Ukrainian Premier League he netted 25 times in 29 appearances.

His arrival would negate any loss of Luis Suarez - with a more convential striker also likely to arrive if the Reds' top scorer left, but if the Uruguayan was to stay, then the possibilities are endless.

The pair would likely cost Liverpool around £40 million, or little more than an Andy Carroll, and would mark the next chapter in the latest era at the club.

What impact would the pair have on Liverpool? Could they take them into the top four?

image: © kevinzim

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