Rafa makes January plans.
Here we find ourselves slap bang in the middle of another damn international break, only this one is even more torrid than others as there are barely any meaningful internationals to hold our attention. So with that in mind there was an interesting transfer rumour that would in theory make a great deal of sense and has just about the right amount of common sense to be believable.
The idea is this. Rafa is looking to finance a move for the very exciting Hamburg winger Eljero Elia, essentially almost the same prospect as Ryan Babel was before we purchased him, i.e. he is a hot prospect and could be a fantastic signing. One can only hope that this Dutch international lives up the hype if indeed we do snare him.
However, in order to come up with the cash for said move we need £15m and it has been stated in many quarters that the gaffer sees this cash coming from the sale of Mr. Babel and homesick Italian Andrea Dossena.
You see in theory this makes sense. The problem is this. Given that in two and a half years Ryan Babel has in fact in footballing terms gone backwards, how the hell would we go about offloading him for a fee that is worthy of accepting? I can only see a Dutch side investing in the sometime explosive attacker and therefore I would expect we would get about £7m at most, which is of course not what he would be worth in today’s market but Eredivisie sides do not tend to splash the cash all that often, they are indeed far more accustomed to selling big rather than buying big.
I have said all along that this season is a make or break one and even though he scored a screamer in Lyon he really hasn’t helped his cause as a whole this term and the next couple of months are going to be key. He states he needs first team football then I would imagine Benitez would state in return “Your not good enough to start for the first team” and given our recent poor form that says it all.
Dossena will leave, I think we are all solid on that one, and I would love to see Elia come in. The 22 year old former FC Twente man is a different kind of winger to Babel in some ways, he is more of an expert crosser than a scare the life out of the full back type and perhaps that’s what we need? Albert Riera should’ve been that player, but given that the Spaniard doesn’t like to pass, let alone cross, until he has taken at least ten pot shots at goal from far out, I would like to see Elia at the club.