Even though Peter Crouch reckons he’s got a lovely future ahead of him at Anfield (and we do believe Benitez values his height as an important piece in the chess matches that are Liverpool games), Craig Bellamy seems likely to bugger off to someone like Aston Villa, while Michael Owen hasn’t yet said he wants to leave Newcastle to return to his chums, we thought it a good time to ponder who would best serve the club.
So, if you could have just two of the three, which would it be?
Owen would provide a emotional return, although not nearly with as much affection as Robbie Fowler considering the way he left in the first place. It’s completely uncertain whether he’s capable of playing more than 1 match in a row without shattering some part of his body but, while his pace has been ravaged by injury, he’s still shown plenty of ability to be in the right place at the right time in the box. He’d be cheap, assuming that alleged 9 million out clause exists. Or, incredibly expensive, if he breaks his entire body on his debut.
Crouch’s value is obvious to a tactical fanatic like Benitez. The option to start or bring on some sort of footballing giraffe to unsettle the opposition is too valuable to sell on. He’s also scored goals at a good clip whenever he’s been able to get on the pitch, and only Dirk Kuyt’s Forrest Gump-like approach to running is seen as more useful for the team.
Bellamy is the wild card, for Benitez he is one of the few players in the squad with true pace and who knows how to use it (thus, removing Mark Gonzalez from the equation). He’s always dangerous when he plays and, like Crouch, forces the team he’s facing to reconsider how they defend unless they want to see his troll-like face and shoulders surging past them into the channels at every opportunity. But Bellers has had a couple injuries, and maybe not played the sort of team football Benitez was looking for. Beating John Arne Riise about the face with a golf club and then setting his ginger hair on fire probably didn’t help either (allegedly).
If we were to decide, we’d keep Crouch and Bellers. Michael Owen’s time has come and gone, the mind is willing but the body is soft and fragile, and any club asking him to deliver the Champions League and Premiership glory to their doorstep is taking one hell of a gamble.