Flamini isn’t everybody’s cup of tea and he certainly isn’t your typical Frenchman. What he is, however, is a ‘spoiler’. I couldn’t understand it when Arsenal let him leave after what was his best season at the club, after striking up a great understanding with Fabregas and giving the side some much needed steel and I would’ve been surprised had Arsenal managed to see out the 1-0 win on Sunday without that sort of bite in midfield.
It hadn’t even dawned on me that the former AC Milan player might be available, let alone on a free transfer and, to be honest, I was quite disappointed that we hadn’t considered bringing him in as cover for Lucas.
Over the years when other fans and journalists have championed ‘going back’ to former managers or players (as in the cases of Fowler, Dalglish and more recently Torres) I’ve been on the opposite side.
There have been occasions when it’s seemed like a good thing, when the players (and one former manager I can think of) still had a lot to offer but generally, once they’ve left it’s never a good idea to get them back.
I believe that Sissoko could be a very, very useful player. Once we had Mascherano, and later Lucas, the Mali midfielder was believed to be surplus to requirements but the only other viable option in Lucas’s position is Jordan Henderson.
It would be criminal to not only leave ourselves short when a player of Sissoko’s quality is going for nothing, but also to risk leaving Henderson to cover in a position where he is qualities are wasted and he is not properly utilised.
It is true that Lucas Leiva is our most important midfielder. As has been pointed out many times, we won only 6 of 20 games when he wasn’t available last season, between August and December and while many look at the arrivals of Coutinho and Sturridge in January as being key to our upturn in form, Lucas’s return, and subsequent return to form, was just as important.
The strength in depth we now have with the summer transfers and the quality of most of those signings has given me a great deal of confidence. Not only in the manager’s judgement, but also in the prospects for the side in the league this season.
But there is no getting around the fact that if Lucas is struck down with another injury our seasons prospects will all of a sudden look much, much more grave.
Bringing in Momo would not only give us cover for the Brazilian general but would mean we have an option from the bench to help make those games that we want to close out even tighter and more assured.
There are no doubts that Sissoko is far from a great footballer and even though Rafa Benitez signed up for two clubs, he knew when he had better options at his disposal he wasn’t going to be his first choice.
But you don’t get signed by four of the top clubs in Europe, winning leagues, cups and European medals because you’re a bit rubbish and Momo showed during his 80-odd games for Liverpool that he has the commitment and attitude to be a real asset at the heart of midfield.
Many will disagree, I’m sure, but given that he is currently – supposedly – only in talks with Reading, I doubt very much that he would turn his nose up at even a 12 month deal, with the option to extend. And frankly, I think we’d be the fools to pass up the chance to bring him on board.
Live4Liverpool is recruiting columnists. For further info contact the site editor at email@example.com