COS contributor Arjun Kulkarni discusses transfer options that might suit Rafa down to the ground.
The numerous different types of injuries the Reds are suffering from has added a few words to my vocabulary. So as the much needed transfer window opens in January, who is most likely to come to Anfield.
The series of hamstring and adductor injuries have rendered Liverpool as the most neediest team in the Premiership. While the shortcomings are most obvious on the strikers front, as a Liverpool fan, I feel hard done by Riera’s and Johnson’s injuries which also makes the left wing and right back positions rather precarious. Add to that Fabio Aurelio injured as well whose replacement, Insua, just doesn’t look THAT good on the left back. Luckily Lucas has started looking more and more Brazilian over the last couple of games, which means that the heart of the midfield (even without Steven Gerrard) looks just about O.K. And with Benayoun out and Aquilani ‘recovering’ who knows what turn this season might take at the end of the international break for Liverpool.
Well it will only take a turn for the worse unless something is done about the abject poverty of options up front. Sure Gerrard is recovering, but the coyness Benitez is showing w.r.t. Torres’ injury might mean that he is going to be out for some time and reinforcements need to be made. And fast, before top players start considering Aston Villa/Manchester City a top four club! So understandably as the January transfer window opens, Liverpool FC couldn’t hope for it to come sooner so that they can go on the hunt for some good players!
And what a hunt it looks like it’s going to be! Some of the names that have been linked with Liverpool are so bloody wonderful that you can’t help but rub your eyes in disbelief. Villa? Silva? Huntelaar? Van Der Vaart? With a bit more realism, you cannot even brush the hopes of Pavlyuchenko and Carlton Cole aside! All of them seem to have a sterling chance of making it at Anfield.
But then again, we were looking for Ryan Shawcross and Michael Turner over the summer and ended up with some aging, nervous, Greek guy, due to a ‘lack of funds’. So no point getting our hopes up.
So let’s just be intelligent and not hope for that miracle that will accidentally enough bring David Villa to Liverpool. Sure – he may be Torres’ best buddy and he may have played under Rafael Benitez, but the bids going around for Villa are simply preposterous and most certainly out of Liverpool’s reach. Besides, he himself has professed a desire to play for the Mancs (smarting with the CR sale money) so it looks quite likely that he will wear their red shirt instead.
And while Villa publicly snubbed Chelsea, the Russian scorned will not mind paying through his nose to get Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. God knows why. Perhaps as a back-up for the impending African Cup of Nations depletion. And with Drogba out, he in particular wouldn’t mind buying a 20 mil back up himself.
Carlton Cole? I dunno… he seems to have improved a lot, but 12mil for him is absolutely out of question. I don’t think the Americans are going to pay overinflated amounts for anyone. But with some suggestions for some ridiculous quota rule doing the rounds, and if David Villa does go to the Mancs, Carlton Cole might end up at Anfield.
Which leaves Roman Pavlyuchenko Talented, yet inexplicably turned a blind eye upon by Harry Redknapp, this Russian continues to rot at Tottenham Hotspur, while his compatriot Andrei Arshavin continues his upward ascent on the other side of North London. I’m sure that seeing this disparity makes Pav feel rather hard done and resentful and Harry wouldn’t mind seeing the back of him. And since the other big 4 do not seem to want him, and a loan deal is hopefully a financially viable option for Liverpool, Pav looks quite likely to get a loan move to Anfield for some time.
Now, I’m not sure how good he is, but a loan deal doesn’t really sound like the tactically best option. Rafael Benitez takes about a year on an average to extract the best out of a player and 6 months is quite a short period to make a man out of Pav. But unfortunately, given the financial difficulties and lack of competition for Pav, he is currently the most likely option for Liverpool FC.
But I still maintain that Klaas-Jan Huntelaar would be the dream move for Liverpool. Benitez is talking about selling Babel, Voronin, Dossena and Degen and raising some money. I say, sell that sulking skunk Mascherano too. Liverpool stand to get more from his departure than his staying here. So if these deals are handled well, and some serious money comes into the scouse coffers, then we can make a serious move for Huntelaar, even Villa.