Star duo within Roy's reach

22 July 2010 04:50
TEAMtalk's Simon Wilkes feels Wayne Bridge and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar are very much 'realistic' transfer targets for Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson.

Roy Hodgson has admitted he has to be 'realistic' over his transfer targets this summer - but I think the players Liverpool need are well within his grasp.

The appointment of the former Fulham boss as Rafael Benitez's successor was greeted with mixed feelings on Merseyside, with some fans believing he wasn't a big enough name for the Reds.

But the 62-year-old quickly silenced any doubters by first securing the free-transfer capture of England star Joe Cole, then convincing talismanic skipper Steven Gerrard that his future lies at Anfield - two quite stunning coups.

Hodgson has yet to work with the majority of his senior players as they are still in holiday mode after their World Cup exploits.

But in the meantime he has been busy trying to strengthen the weaknesses that led to last season's woeful seventh-placed finish in the Premier League - and he has quickly identified them.

Tabloid talk suggests he will try to prise Wayne Bridge from Manchester City and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar from AC Milan.

If these deals come off, then I may be tempted to agree with Ryan Giggs' assertion that it would be 'dangerous' to rule them out of the title race.

With Bridge solving Liverpool's left-back woes and Huntelaar providing a cutting edge that would ease the goals burden on Fernando Torres, those two additions would make a huge difference to an already-strong starting XI.

It is widely known that Hodgson has a warchest of around £20million to play with this summer - so with only £2million (the rest of the fee is in future add-ons) of it spent on Rangers defender Danny Wilson, he still has plenty of room for manoeuvre, especially as Javier Mascherano has his heart set on a reunion with Rafa which could cost Inter Milan up to £25million.

Armed with that cash, the possibility of Bridge and Huntelaar arriving at Anfield this summer would be a very 'realistic' target - and it would kill two birds with one stone as it would also prove the club's ambition to Torres.

Giggs admits it's "difficult to say what they are going to do" this season but I can guarantee it's going to be a less stressful campaign for Reds fans - and a far more enjoyable match-day experience.

Benitez would more often than not get the fans' backs up with his 'tinkered' team selections, whereas the beauty of Hodgson is he doesn't put square pegs in round holes.

Gerrard will be handed a central midfield role from where he can orchestrate wave after wave of attacks, and Joe Cole will be asked to patrol the left flank from where he found his best form in an England shirt.

If not Huntelaar, then Torres will definitely have a strike partner in crime, and if the Reds do kick the season off with Bridge and Glen Johnson at full-back, plus Maxi Rodriguez and Cole on the flanks, then the front two will get plenty of top-class service, something sadly missing last season.

"Two years ago they were close to winning the Premiership and you can never write them off," concludes Giggs.

With Hodgson at the helm, they might just be worth a punt.

Source: Team_Talk

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