COS Contributor Aquaman brings you the his thoughts on Rafa and his transfer policy.
With the January transfer window looming, fans around the world are already rubbing their hands in expectation. No doubt Arsenal fans are hoping for that they’ll finally get their new Patrick Viera. Manchester United fans are imagining Ronaldo’s fee being spent. Chelsea fans are dreaming of Villas, Agueros and Riberys.
In the land of the Liverbird things are no less feverish. Van Nistelrooy, Carlton Cole, Eduardo and Pavlyuchenko have all been mentioned in recent weeks. These are much more sober targets than usual which is largely thanks to our woeful season to date. However, in the end, we all secretly (or not so secretly) hope for that outrageous signing that sends ripples through the football world. No doubt by the end of the window many of us will be sitting with these hopes dashed. In fact we will probably be stunned by Rafa’s choices. “Why have we bought a 2 mil centreback” we all shouted not all that long ago. “What the hell is Rafa thinking?”
Now before the transfer rumors get completely out of hand, I would like to spend a few moments examining Rafa’s transfer policy to try and find some answers.
In this article I will deal with one aspect of Rafa’s transfer policy: Quality vs Quantity.
The media have been very kind in drawing our attention to the number of players Rafa has bought over his tenure at the Liverpool helm. 47 players in 5 years to be precise. These can be laid out as follows:
15+m 10-15m 5-10m Other Total Total Cost
2004/5 2 2 4 8 39.75 m
2005/6 4 8 12 26.29 m
2006/7 1 3 6 10 44.30 m
2007/8 1 1 2 3 7 43.00 m
2008/9 1 2 4 7 39.00 m
2009 2 1 3 40.00 m
Total 5 3 13 26 47
There are a couple of things which this table shows. Firstly there seem to be an enormous amount of under 5 mil players. But all 26 of these players only cost us 14.24 mil and included players like Aurelio, Insua, Nemeth, Arbeloa, Cavalieri and N’Gog. These six would easily recoup that 14 mil if they were sold now. With a tidy profit too I would imagine.
Interestingly, the year that we bought the most players was also the year that we spent the least.
The next thing this table shows is that the bulk of our team is made up of 5-10 mil players. While the manager could be lambasted for this fact, in truth the fact that he had to do this shows how tight money has been.
Next if we look at the total purchases per year we will notice how dramatically it has come down in recent times. This is because Rafa is now tweaking his team. The wholesale changes are done! This makes this media comment old news and no longer relevant. This is further reinforced by the steady increase in the value of the players that we buy on average.
So what can we expect in January? Well the bad news is that we’ve already spent 40 million this year so don’t expect us to have much cash to spend. The other problem comes from player sales. This will be covered in my next article.
But no matter who we sell, I just don’t think that Villa will be coming this year.