Where are the center back rumors?

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First off, a happy 4th of July for any fellow American Reds out there.

I’m writing from my couch where I’m currently laid up with a pretty bad case of poison ivy. I’m watching MLS right now and it’s so bad, but it will have to do for now. (Since I started writing, a replay of the Liverpool at Chelsea game started. What are the chances? I could watch Agger putting Torres on the ground on repeat for hours.)

I’m also currently following any transfer rumors, no matter the source.

It’s the usual suspects mostly: Lennon, Enrique, Mata, Downing, Adam. Leighton Baines is even popping up now. That’d be an interesting transfer.

But there’s one position of need that has not been popping up very much and that’s center back.

If LFC want to challenge this season, they have to improve on the current center back situation because we are very thin at that spot.

Who we’ve got

Jamie Carragher, age 33:

At the age of 33, 34 by season’s end, Jamie Carragher is in the twilight of his LFC career. He has been our most outstanding leader for our defense and organizes things well. My hope for Carra is one or two more strong seasons and then an immediate return as a youth coach. He could do wonders for our younger defenders. The worst case scenario for Carra is finding the game passing him by during this season but I think his knowledge and natural feel for the game will keep him a top choice in our back four for this season.

Sotirios Kyrgiakos, age 31 (32 by the start of the season):

The Big Greek was one of Rafa’s last signings and for a cheap price, he has done a good job. He recently got  a 12-month contract extension that will cover him through the rest of the season. Like Carragher, Kyrgiakos is nearing the end of his playing run. You have to appreciate his attitude and his physical presence, but at this point, he should not be treated as anything other than an injury cover or a starter against lesser competition to give our starters a break.

Martin Skrtel, age 26:

Skrtel was one of two outfield players in the Premier League to play every minute of the 2010/2011 season (The other? Baines. Wouldn’t that be something if LFC had Skrtel and Baines next season? Barring injury or drop in form, Kenny Dalglish could have two of his outfield 10 penciled in from season’s start.), he played in 10 Europa games and one FA Cup game for 49 appearances last season. Skrtel does the job as far as I’m concerned. There might be better defenders out there but I’m not overly concerned with Skrtel in our starting 11.

Daniel Agger, age 26:

It’s hard to believe that our big Dane is 26 years old, but he is. It might be difficult to believe just because it seems like we haven’t seen much of him on the field thanks to recurring injuries. He’s our best defender going forward but he’s also the most likely to miss games due to injury. He’s a first choice center back for us without question but in the four seasons he has played at Liverpool, he played in more than 20 games only twice. Counting on a full season from Agger at this point would not be smart given his history.

There are more center backs in our squad who can play center back-Martin Kelly, Danny Wilson, Daniel Ayala-but that’s it.

So, to recap: we have two center backs at the brink of retirement, one who is injury prone and Martin Skrtel.

So far, the strongest links Liverpool have had with center backs are Phil Jones, now a Manchester United player, and Cristian Zapata, which seems to have fizzled out recently.

Perhaps John Henry and Damien Comolli are waiting for the market to die down a little bit to let prices slip. United paid £16.5 mil for Jones right at the start of the market, a steep price undoubtedly driven up by competition.

Arsenal will probably be in the market for a center back or two and prices could rise for us if we have competing bids with another top team.

But we need to bid on a center back sometime this month to help out back line depth.


  1. don’t think it really matters because i don’t believe FSG are serious! shocking statement i know but if you look at the players we weren’t prepared to fight for then what other reasons can there be? young, marveaux, jones, payet, clichy, wickham, to name only some, all because they wouldn’t stump up the necessary readies! and it’s looking increasingly likely that adam, downing, dann, chamberlain, nzogbia and a whole list of other potential targets will slip away too! yet they pay the guts of £20m for henderson? i’m simply puzzled at the current strategy!

    1. Or maybe we never wanted any of those players in the first place? Calm down, I’m sick of seeing crap like this, there is plenty of time left in the window. If FSG didn’t have the money to get what we want, they wouldn’t have spent so much on a future player like Henderson, there’s more where that came from.

      1. Did you read the article? That last bit about letting the market die down a little bit?

    2. Have some pride in your club. Show some faith! Stop bitching about things you don’t know!

    3. I also was a bit confused with the X-far movements. However, this might be a deliberate strategy to distract competition. So far what we have seen is, LFC is not afraid of spending, rather they are spending higher than expected to acquire their targets, which was evident in acquiring AC, JH or attempt for PJ. We certainly do have a good x-far kitty, which ‘ll be enhanced with potential sales by at least another 20mn, & I do believe, the owners are ready to spend smart money. We, so far have spent over 75mn & I do believe, we have still enough to spend for 3/4 big signings (another 75mn, may be, including sales proceeds). However, what we don’t have now, for any marque signing is a CL spot.

      It might happen that, we scout a good player, bargain his club with an X-far price, only to see someone (With CL spot) making a personal negotiations with the player & snatching him. It’ll be damaging for us in both ways, either by losing the player or to be forced to pay higher. Therefore, this might happen that, in May & June, though, there was lot of hue & cry for English players (as, only they were available) & once the continental window is open, we might see some real actions. I do believe that, with the vast know how & contacts in main land Europe, Damiel must have some targets & plans for these coming 2 months. I am hopeful that we ‘ll have 2/3 really good collection soon.

      Actually, I am not that upset about the players we are perceiving to miss out; neither any of them are in the same class of Luis, Nando, Alonso or SG, nor they are desperate enough to play for LFC & we can always find similar competent player, either side of Atlantic. CAdams, Dann, Cahil, PJ, Downing, Young, Lennon, Clichy, Wickham or Enrique, all are good players, but that’s it. In many cases, we have capable younger alternatives at our academy & KK is willing to give them the chance. Just for example, instead of spending 15mn for Enrique, we might take a risk with Jack (Backed up by Auralio/Johnson) & if he succeeds, we ‘ll have a potential England International for 15 years. Same can be said with Starling, Adams, Wisdom, Coady, Suso, Wilson, Pacheco & few others. & provided that, we qualify for CL next season, we can strengthen the squad with 3/4 top signings next years to go for the EPL title. With a CL spot, & vision to bring back the glory days back, next year, the brand & heritage of LFC ‘ll be a top destination for ambitious marque players, at a reasonable price.

  2. Good write, but can’t agree on Skrtl. I think he is truly awful. Slow, can’t play the ball out, poor in the air and esaily ‘bullied’. He makes too many mistakes. I agree this area is a real need. Martin Kelly will make a World Class CB. It’s his position. We need someone to go alongside him. Skrtl is not him.

    1. Thanks! Agree to disagree I guess. I do completely agree that Martin Kelly would be an outstanding center back but I’m worried about him getting pigeon holed as a right back. Wasn’t he being heralded as England’s right back of the future at one point?

      1. not likely to happen as Johnson will be no1 RB for a few more years yet.

        Kelly was a stopgap RB who did very well but will be a CB for the majority of his career. Kelly and an injury free Agger is what we want.

  3. Hi guys,

    IMHO, Liverpool will ceased their search for a backup centre-back for now as Soto has been given an extension.

    We do still have Danny Wilson in the squad.


  4. Moderator!!!, Why are there manc adverts on this site, please remove them!!!!!!………..By the way Andre Wisdom is ready now to play, he is quality!!!!

      1. antoinne hope your ok, but Gano is right there is a Manure VIP matchday tickets being advertised on this page, but not only this page alot of LFC sites ourkop and a few others i have complained about it but still nothings being done on the sites aswell……YNWA

  5. I agree with Carden and think his analysis of the current defensive personnel is accurate and comprehensive. We are weak in this area and those who in reply have suggested that Kelly and other youngsters may provide sufficient cover are, in my opinion, placing too much faith in them. The boys coming through are good and will be top players but they can’t be rushed and too much responsibility placed on them – Insua is a prime example of this. He became a first team regular at a young age and ultimately sufferred for it.

    The management have shown that they are willing to spend big for the players they want (Carrol as well as Henderson) and I think we should be patient and place our faith in Kenny. He does know what he’s doing.

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