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Rafa’s £40m Budget and The Seven Players Liverpool Must Cash In On

by Reds Lewis

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COS contributor Reds Lewis has some helpful advice to give Rafa ahead of summer transfer window.

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With summer fast approaching, talk of transfers is ripe at Caught Offside, however with the lack of “free” (by free I mean not generated from player sales) money available in the Anfield coffers, there are some players at LFC who should maybe start to worry about their future.
In this short article I hope to address the issue of surplus players at LFC who are using up sparse resources and repaying them with nothing.
(All statistics are taken from the official LFC.tv )

According to the official LFC website, there are 46 players in the first team.
In comparison, Chelsea has 50, and Manchester United has 47, Arsenal has just 30.
Considering that Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal have more money to spend on wages (period-we’re getting new owners soon hopefully) then our squad in unnecessarily large.

Out of the 46 players, many haven’t even made a substitute appearance let alone a start. This list includes Martin Hansen, Peter Gulacsi, Steven Irwin, and Damien Plessis.
Furthermore, out of the 46 players, there are some who have only made substitute appearances, this list includes Martin Kelly, Nabil El zhar, and Danni Pacheco.

Then we have the of players whom have rarely started, including Philipp Degen, Riera, Babel, and Ngog. (Aquilani and Aurelio not included as it is likely they would have played more if they had been constantly fit)
Now obviously, out of the 46 players there are quite a few who are actually just reserve team players who have been listed in the first team section.
However, are the players above really needed? What realistically is their worth?

Most people will agree with me, when I say that strength in depth to a world class football team means a team of top quality players, where if a player is injured, or a the formation needs to be changed, there are always players ready to take the bit, who are of a similar quality to their predecessor. Unfortunately this is currently not the case at Liverpool, with the midfield the only place, in reality, which can be replaced of sorts. The absence of a certain Fernando Torres always has a negative effect on the way we play, and despite this being the case for most teams, e.g. Manchester united, Chelsea, they have somebody ready to take up the reigns. For example if Chelsea lose Drogba, Anelka steps up, and if Man United lose Rooney, Berbatov steps up. Spurs and Manchester city also have people ready to take over if something goes wrong.
Who do we have at Liverpool if Torres is absent – Ngog? Who do we have if Insua gets injuired – Agger as a LB? What if Johnson gets injured – Carragher or Mascherano as stand ins?

Part of this problem is down to a poor squad make-up, and part of it is down to Benitez selecting the wrong players for both transfers and team. Another reason also, being the lack of transfer funds. This is highlighted by the fact that we often play with Dirk Kuyt on the right, and our team hardly ever playing with a 4-4-2 formation or similar.
There are a few players who are almost sureties to leave in the summer, including Riera and Degen. Below is a list which I believe contains the players I believe should be going in summer, their approximate MINIMUM realistic worth, and their probable wage packet. (I don’t work at LFC so its impossible for me to get the wages completely accurate, but these are estimates and figures based on other information resources which are or may be unofficial).

1. Riera (if only the outburst never occurred) – value – 5M, wages – 40k p.w

2. Degen – value 2M, wages – 15k p.w

3. Ngog – value 2.5M, wages – 5k p.w

4. Nabil El zhar – value 2M, wages – 15k p.w

5. Damien Plessis – value 2M, wages – 10k p.w

6. Martin Hansen – value 1M, wages – 3k p.w

7. Charles Itandje – value FREE, wages, 3k p.w

Total = 14.5M, and 91k per week in wages.

Added to this list could also be Aurelio, who’s contract expires soon, and possibly Benayoun (I don’t want him to leave but it’s just in the press a lot- 7m, and approx 65k a week for both combined).
This would give us a total of 21.5M and 166k per week in wages.
Reportedly we are getting 20M from standard chartered, too.
So this takes us to 41.5M for a budget.

This then leaves the subject of where to spend the money, and who to go for. My preferred spend would be 32M on Aguero, offering him 85k a week in wages, and then Arda Turan 9.5M, offered around 60k a week in wages, saving us another 25k a week and adding some quality, whilst removing some dead wood. This could potentially give us a deadly line up.

Thanks for reading, and please share your thoughts – Lewis.

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