In 2005 Mauricio Pellegrino became Liverpool’s first signing from the land of Maradona & Kempes. Mauricio had been instrumental in Valencia, under Rafa they had won the UEFA Cup and La Liga, however he just did not cut it for the Premiership. In the Summer of 2008 Pellegrino returned to Liverpool as a first team coach and without a doubt this has been a positive move. (What he did not accomplish as a player he seems to be doing as a coach, Mauricio has been a great addition to the Liverpool boot-room).
A few months Rafa signed a young central defender Gabriel Paletta, Rafa was very excited about this young prospect and claimed, “Paletta is very tough and he’s exactly the sort of player we need who will suit the Premiership. When you talk about the Argentine defenders I worked with in Valencia, Paletta is more like Roberto Ayala than Mauricio Pellegrino. If you’re talking about Liverpool, he’s more like Jamie Carragher than Sami Hyypia. This is good because we will have a balance in the style of defenders.” Paletta scored on his first team debut however after having only played 3 games he was sold to Boca Juniors.
Rafa’s third Argie attempt was a Golden one, Liverpool picked up Javier Macherano on loan after he was having a miserable time sitting on the West Ham bench. Javier has been ever so grateful to Rafa for saving his career. Without a doubt Javier’s career at Liverpool has more than taken off, he has become a Kop icon and now also captain’s Argentina. Still only 25, Javier has a bright future ahead of him at Liverpool.
Rafa’s 4th Argentinian signing was one of controversy. Sebastián Leto did not exactly impress especially after his awful game against Marseille when Liverpool lost 1-0 at Anfield. Further problems with work permits caused Rafa to have to loan Leto out to Olympiacos. From what I understand, he is on his way back to Anfield after a few bust ups in the dressing room in Greece.
Emiliano Insúa became Rafa’s 5th Argentinian signing. Insua featured for the Argentinian U20 when they won the Youth World Cup in 2007. He has had a great 2008/09 season and is becoming a Kop favourite. The future for Insúa looks very good.
Now it is the Summer of 2009 and Rafa seems to be hot on the tail of two other Argentinians, these have both worn the Manc shirt. Gabriel Heinze wanted to come to Liverpool in 2007 but after Manure refused to sell him to Liverpool he joined Real Madrid. From what I hear, Liverpool might be signing Heinze as early as next week for a price tag of £4 million. Then there is Carlos Tevez who from what we hear is leaving Manc*****r U****d and the rumours are very strong that Liverpool are one of the condenters of signing him. It will be though for many Liverpool supporters to accept these two players however all they need is a couple of good performances and the Kop will be singing new songs.