Phil Thompson has today been giving his assessment of Liverpool’s 2014 crop of summer signings. The 61-year-old Sky Sports pundit, who won 22 major honours during his time as a Red, pulled no punches in his scathing analysis.
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In the list below we count down his marks – out of ten – and his comments on each player. We also give our view on the nine Liverpool stars in question and consider whether we either agree or disagree…
Mario Balotelli – 5/10
THOMMO SAYS: “It’s a poor five out of 10 for Balotelli. There isn’t a lot you can say about his season – it’s obvious – he’s underachieved greatly. I would be surprised if he’s at Anfield next season. I know his agent has been saying he will be, but I just can’t see it working out.”
WE SAY: He’s dead right when he calls him ‘poor’ and frankly it’s quite miraculous that the Italian has earned so much as a five. We all know he’s had fitness problems and we all cling to the hope that he might one day rediscover his best form, but the honest truth of the matter is that he simply hasn’t been good enough. His meagre tally of four goals, only one of which came in the Premier League, is incredibly poor from a £16m player.
Emre Can – 8/10
THOMMO SAYS: “If it wasn’t for the last six games or so I might have given him a nine – he’s certainly been the best of the lot in my opinion. But I’d probably give him an eight – he’s done well, he’s had to play numerous positions and he just got on with it and adapted. I think people forget how young he is too, and that maybe contributed to his bad end to the season, but he’s done really well overall.”
WE SAY: This is probably a fair assessment. There was a point in the season – around the conclusion of our 13 game unbeaten Premier League run – where Can would have had every right to expect a mark of nine. However, his form, like that of so many of his teammates, has fallen away towards the end of the season. Nonetheless, he’s had a good year all in all and will feel optimistic about his prospects of improving again during our next campaign.