Like many other authors on this website I believe that Liverpool really need to buy a winger before the end of the transfer window but that seems pretty unlikely. Although Dirk Kuyt and Milan Jovanovic are good players in their own right, nobody would describe them as wingers per se; rather they are forwards playing out wide. Although Jovanovic does have pace, both he and Kuyt rarely make forays to the byline and cross with quality, and for me it is an area that has been needed to be fixed for a long time. Pace, width and quality delivery from the wings is essential for a quality team. The speculation of Ryan Babel’s departure as part of the deal for Carlton Cole is also worrying as it would lower the numbers further of those who are capable of playing on the wing. In the first team, Kuyt, Jovanovic and Maxi would be the only players to play wide after the departures of Albert Riera, Yossi Benayoun and possibly Babel. Joe Cole could play wide but he will most likely play off the striker.
The possible loan move of Emiliano Insua to Galatasaray though made me sit up and take notice, not because of the Argentine’s potential departure, but because of a deal that could be in the offing for one of the Turkish club’s players. Arda Turan has stated on a number of occasions that he would like to join Liverpool, once saying:
“As I always mention, Liverpool attracts me because of their tradition. In Europe, I am a Liverpool supporter, so if I go to play in Europe, I would like to play for them.”
Any move away for Insua could provide us with a great opportunity to land Arda. Rather than loaning the Argentine to Galatasaray we could offer Insua on a permanent deal (worth £5m) plus £6-7m in exchange for Arda’s services. Where would we get the £6-7m to finance the deal? This would come from the possible sale of Ryan Babel. The Dutch forward is said to be in talks in London with a view to a move to either Tottenham or West Ham. If he moves to Spurs it would be a straight cash deal worth £8-9m while he would be used in exchange for Carlton Cole in a move to West Ham. Worth about £8-9m, the Reds may only have to find £2-3m more to get a move for Cole, freeing up some leftover Mascherano cash for Arda. I know I am playing a bit of Football Manager here, but I really believe if we lose Babel and only get Carlton Cole in return, we will be desperately short in the wide areas. Insua’s Galatasaray deal could rectify the situation.
Arda Turan is a player who can run, cross and shoot. The Galatasaray captain played 47 matches for the Turkish club last season, scoring 11 goals and assisting 25. This campaign he has already scored 3 times in 5 appearances, and he would no doubt give us tremendous service from the flanks as well as contributing a fair amount of goals from midfield, which we have been lacking in recent seasons. He is both a goal threat and a player with speed and skill. If Babel does leave today, then I believe we will have a shortage of pace and trickery on the wings. The departures of Benayoun and Riera have only been compensated effectively by the arrival of Jovanovic, who is used to playing in more central positions. If we don’t pursue anyone more than a striker this afternoon we may find ourselves short of players going into the busy schedule of the next few months.
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