I know little about the player and I think that the reported £7.8-£11 million that we’ve paid for him is ever-so-slightly on the steep side. But what’s done is done and I’ll be behind him all the way next season, provided he looks like he’s been a value for money player.
I’ve mentioned recently that I was concerned with some of the names we’ve been getting linked with since the 2012 Euros ended, so I’m glad that the Scott Sinclair, Joe Allen, Mark Davies and so on, rumours have died down in recent days.
But with Dirk Kuyt and Maxi having already left, and now it appears that Craig Bellamy won’t be too far behind, I’m becoming a little concerned that the club is bleeding quality players.
Rodgers stated earlier in the week that we’d have two new signings – he hoped – by the end of the week, one of which would particularly excite Reds fans. Now, Borini may well go on to excite us once we actually see him play but I certainly wouldn’t call him an exciting signing. For all intents and purposes, the young striker is seen as a replacement for Dirk; he can assist out wide, play as a support striker or as a striker on his own, if need be, so that’s that hole filled.
However, there is now a Maxi-sized hole in the side of Anfield and a Bellamy-shaped one may be joining it in a few days. While I know these two (and Kuyt) are all ageing, they are still top quality players and you have to replace them with players of a similar quality and really, it needs to be in time for them to get a proper pre-season in before the Premier League starts. And if you consider that all three were pretty much a guarantee of 5-10 goals a season – each – then we’ve really got some replacing to do, considering the shambles that was our ability to score last season.
Then, of course, there is the rumour surrounding Andy Carroll’s (reported) imminent departure. I wrote earlier in the week that I supported his possible loaning to a club like Milan but that I didn’t really see the benefit of sending him to play for a smaller club like West Ham; a permanent move would be better suited, if that turned out to be the case. However, given that it now looks like we’ll start the week with three less attacking players than before, letting a fourth go without having at least a couple more replacements lined up would be a huge mistake.
My big concern is that we haven’t moved quickly enough to remedy these departures. Other top clubs such as Arsenal, United and Tottenham all had their summer targets lined up months ago and the deals are pretty much done. Whereas Liverpool seem to have been kicking their heels for a couple of months now and I’m sure a lot of players at the club don’t know whether they’re coming or going. Surely with the very important US Tour due to start this week, it would’ve been of paramount importance to have the main bulk of our transfers boxed off by now? Particularly given that we’re going to lose some of our key men once the Olympic Games starts.
Now, I’m aware that Rodgers hasn’t been in the job too long, so I would have to say that my criticisms aren’t really of him, not entirely. No, my real concern is that we haven’t come very far since Rick Parry and that our ability to shorten the process between identifying a target and wrapping it up hasn’t changed. So far this summer we’ve been linked with all kinds of players from Daniel Sturridge to Xabi Alonso (however highly unlikely that one was), and the one player we’ve signed up to now was busy telling us a couple of weeks ago that he had no intention of moving to Liverpool.
If we had not signed a single player this summer, I wouldn’t have been too fussed. I felt that, if the targets we had weren’t going to significantly improve us, and were only going to further drain to the coffers to warm up the bench, then we’d be better off waiting until the right players became available. Better yet (and I will never stop championing this cause, ever), would it not be a good time to give the team an injection of youth? If FSG are all about potential and sell-on value, then look no further than our superb academy and reserve teams guys!
I’m still optimistic that this season can be a success and that we’ll bring in a few more good players but I will still hold out concerns that, behind the scenes, the club still hasn’t matured since the days of Rafa Benitez and that really needs to change. Soon.
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