This week has seen Liverpool secure the services of local lad Rickie Lambert and German rising star Emre Can for sums of £4m and £9.75m respectively. Business well done thus far and we can all be happy that Brendan Rodgers has succeeded in improving the squad ahead of the next campaign. So let’s take a look at this week’s Fantastic Four possible recruits according to what we’ve seen in the press this week and their associated 1 through 5 BS rating – 1 for quite likely and 5 for a complete and utter stinker.
Adam Lallana – The saga continues. Seemingly, in vain. It’s clear Southampton are being unreasonable about the whole episode and Lallana himself doesn’t escape criticism. Southampton fans accuse Liverpool of “lacking respect” due to them being a bigger club. From the perspective of a Liverpool fan, a club that’s potentially about to receive the best part of £50m for Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren, Lallana and Lambert, their inability to find £6-7m to pay Bournemouth’s share of selling Lallana really raises eyebrows. To cite this as a reason for continually hiking the price for Lallana smacks of “tiny-mindedness”. I have never in over 40 years of supporting football have I heard such a lame excuse from a club that pleads “we’re not a selling club”. If that’s the case, don’t act like one. We move on. Swiftly on to the next target. BS rating: 5 If not for the chances of the transfer, then the behavior of the club.
Xherdan Shaqiri – The 22 year-old Swiss international continues to be linked with a move and the noises are getting louder as the days go by. No smoke with out fire? There definitely seems to be some flames somewhere with this. Touted as an alternative to the over-priced and relatively inexperienced Lallana, I believe this would be the “thinking” fan’s choice. At a reported £12-15m, the deal definitely makes financial sense. If there is such a thing in football nowadays. BS rating: 1 Very likely to become reality.
Alberto Moreno – This highly-rated left back has, according to the Mirror, agreed a £17.9m, five year deal with the Merseysiders. At 21 year-old Spanish international also has European experience and fits in with Rodgers’ strategy of getting young, proven players with potential for the longer term. The left back berth has been a perennial problem for Liverpool over the years and hopefully this will see the gap permanently plugged. From what I’ve seen the lad is your typical technically adapt Spanish player who doesn’t tackle much but has a knack of getting the ball in any case. A good touch and an eye for pass indicates good things. As for many young foreign purchases time will tell for him, or course. BS rating: 3 It’s difficult to tell with this one. The player himself has been quoted as saying he’s happy to stay at Sevilla.
Thomas Ince The son of former Liverpool midfielder Paul Ince has according to ESPN rejected a move to Inter Milan in favour of remaining in the Premiership. Rodgers has made attempts to sign the 23 year-old previously so he’s clearly a player the manager rates. This is a long shot but Ince is clearly a player with very strong potential and, with the signing of Lambert, Reds fans have been shown to expect the unexpected. BS rating: 2 A vote more from my heart than my head but having said that, much much stranger things have happened.
That’s this week’s Fantastic Four transfer pick. Rodgers and his cloak and dagger Transfer Committee have been very busy this last couple of weeks and clearly intend to get their business done as soon as possible. However, my main concern is the lack of a good central defender or two amid all the speculation. As I said before, there’s no smoke without fire and, as there not a sniff of smoke in terms of centre back defensive signings other than Lovren and Steven Caulker and both of those seem to have gone cold for the moment. Hopefully, unlike the LFC Transfer Committee, the players and their agents are on holiday for the moment. Whatever the reasons this is a must for Liverpool. It’s arguable, in fact I’m sure that this is the reason why we’re not all walking around with 19 on our backs.
I admire Rodgers for his boldness, his want for attacking football and his productivity in the transfer market thus far. However, if his apparent ignorance of the rearguard means that part of the team isn’t strengthened, then the only No. 19 we Reds fans will be seeing is the Stagecoach one from Mann Island to Roughwood Drive – via the Liverpool penalty area.
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