It is highly likely that Rafa will again have to raise his own funds in the summer transfer window if he is going to have the advantage of bringing fresh faces into the club. With Liverpool in a vast amount of debt and with warring owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett still not in a position to sell the club, Rafa may again have to pick the bones of what is already a paper-thin squad in terms of suitable back-up in all area’s of the pitch. Here I take a look at which three Liverpool players should be shown the door in order for Rafa to generate the cash he so desperately needs.
1) Albert Riera – Needs little or no explanation as to why the Spanish winger should be shown the Anfield exit door. His comments describing Liverpool as ‘’a sinking ship’’ should have been kept to himself, in order to save his own football career if nothing else. The Spaniard was signed from Espanyol in the summer of 2008 for £8m. Riera may want to look at his own performances as one of the factors in why Liverpool’s ship may have sailed in what has been a turbulent season. Riera enjoyed a good end to the last campaign playing an integral part in Liverpool’s title push scoring a wonderful goal against Aston Villa but certainly that alone does not do any justice to the £8m that was spent on him. Look’s destined for a summer move to Russia. Let’s pray Riera’s ship does not sink on his journey to Russia.
2) Lucas Leiva – This choice may prove a little more controversial than what it might have been six months ago. The Brazilian has been the victim of frequent abuse by some Liverpool fans who have savaged the midfielder for not being good enough. ‘’Ultra defensive’’ might be the most commonly used phrase when it comes to describing the Brazilian. He has not helped himself with his frequent sideways passing and plays a very similar role to Javier Mascherano. Lucas however has shown that when allowed the opportunity to get forward, he can do a job which he has proved in the Europa League games against Lille and Benfica where his bursting runs resulted in both a penalty and a goal for himself. It raises the question as to whether the manager has hindered the midfielder’s progress by playing him in the wrong position. Never the less the Brazilian has had long enough to shine and his time may well be up.
3) Alberto Aquilani – There is no two ways about the validity behind this choice. Aquilani has been a total waste of the £20m that was spent on him and he has simply not done enough during his time at the club to make any Liverpool fan believe he is as good as he were made to believe. The Italian has been plagued by recurrent injuries, and when its not injuries its viruses. On the few occasions that the midfielder has played during this campaign, he has looked way out of his depth and looks like he is struggling with the pace of the English game. Was seen as the player to fill the void left by Xabi Alonso who left to join Real Madrid but judging by his first season in England – and I for one hope it may be his last, Rafa may not find ample excuses to let the £20m flop walk out of the Anfield exit door.