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Liverpool Must Improve Squad Depth

Every manager has got to have a good troll face.
Every manager has got to have a good troll face.
Stu Forster

As Liverpool's foundation of young players is being set with the likes of Coutinho and Sterling, the club must look to build immense squad depth during the summer to further strengthen the team. This year, we've all seen what happens when a team doesn't have depth. Injuries to important pieces such as Lucas and Fabio Borini have greatly weakened the side due to a lack of able replacements. The absence of a capable second defensive midfielder has especially taken its toll. On top of the injuries, players have grown weary over the course of another grueling season. Fatigue has heavily plagued Liverpool's spearheads, including Steven Gerrard, who in the past couple of years has needed far more rest than he's gotten.

All of the high quality clubs around Europe are at least two deep with decent players at every position. This allows increased formation flexibility and more importantly makes the aforementioned injuries and fatigue that inevitably will occur less able to completely bust up a season. The annual "we would have been highly competitive if not for all the injuries" has become a stupid excuse. How can fans allow management to put off failure on something they could of and should of prepared for? They shouldn't.

While it is difficult to attain a star player at a reasonable price, accumulating useful role players is relatively simple. This is truly what Liverpool needs. Up and down the roster, there are holes galore at the backup positions. From the attack through the defense, all areas except perhaps the Attacking Midfield need to see improved depth.

Bargain players that can be used to improve depth fall into two categories.

The Cast Off: The cast off is a player who has been widely known to play at a high level at various points in his career, but for whatever reason has fallen out of favor with his current club. Many of these players play for teams overstuffed with fringe players such as Real Madrid or Manchester City. The cast offs aren't usually the youngest chickens in the nest but their potential value is well known as they've come through on the big stage in the past. These players tend to be very cheap but have some a question marks attached to them as well. Are they able to return to their previous form or will they become Anfield deadwood a la Christian Poulsen? Will they accept their role as a "first guy off the bench" type or will they sour at still not being a starter? On the positive side, because of the low transfer fee required to bring on these players, guessing wrong on a cast off isn't usually harmful in the grand scheme of things. Unless Liverpool is asked to take on the entirety of a cast off's too high wages. In that case, just walk away slowly and quietly. We can call that the Joe Cole rule.

The Big Fish In A Small Pond: This is a player who has played well for a team that can't hold onto him for much longer. These players usually play for either lesser known teams or teams that consistently finish at the bottom of their league table. Players like this are often a bit more expensive than the cast off, but also carry with them more potential. These players have a higher ceiling because they are unknown commodities to most of Europe. Liverpool's scouting department should really be analyzing these players because they are so often overlooked. And it isn't like the prospective signing would be burdened with an immediate starting role either, as they would surely be given the proper time to acclimate to their larger body of water.

No matter where management decides to look for talent this summer, it is vital that they realize the need to bulk up the roster. Because you can't build a house with only the foundation.