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Two linked players Liverpool can't afford not to sign this January

We take a look at why Liverpool should move quick to sign Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa stars.

Liverpool are expected to busy in January, largely thanks to their poor start to the season, so we take a look at why they should move quickly for Premier League duo Jan Vertonghen and Christian Benteke

After being knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday night, the Reds are in desperate need of some quality players coming through the door in order to salvage something that reflects a reasonable Premier League campaign. 

With 40% of the season gone, the Reds sit in 9th position on 21 points - only six points off current fourth placed West Ham. Although the gap between the sides seems large, with 60% of the season left, it can be done. However, Brendan Rodgers' men will need to improve. 

In terms of personnel, Liverpool need to add to both ends of the field - defence and attack - as their midfield, in comparison to most, is well stacked and full of quality. 

In terms of a replacement for Luis Suarez, Mario Balotelli wasn't at all a good choice by Rodgers. Although the Italian is a technically gifted footballer, he lacks the energy, aggression and desire to better his marker - all the traits that were overlooked when looking for a replacement in the summer. 

In this regard, there can be few strikers in the game that can hold a candle to Aston Villa's Christian Benteke, even Suarez himself would struggle. 

He may not be the most technically gifted striker in world football, but his power and combative nature would add some of the key attributes the Reds have lacked this season. Additionally, the Belgium international also has very respectable goalscoring record in the Premier League, with 30 goals in 65 appearances. In fact, it's a much better record than Balotelli's, who has only scored 20 goals in 63 appearances despite playing at better placed clubs.

If Liverpool are to add a defender this January then Benteke's international teammate Jan Vertonghen could be a very astute signing.

The Tottenham defender is a proven entity in the Premier League and despite the recent criticism from former manager Tim Sherwood, he has generally won the plaudits for his performances for both club and country. 

With a pass accuracy greater than 90%, it shows the 27-year-old can be entrusted to embrace Rodgers' passing philosophy and his versatility to play in both full-back positions could prove very important. 

The only problem for Liverpool is that neither player would come cheap, however, with the Reds facing the possibility of another year without Champions League football, can they afford not to sign the Belgian duo?

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