TRANSFER WEEK 4

A month has passed already. It seems to have gone quite quickly and yet, we do have something to show for it. Some clubs will be wondering why they still have no new signings in by the end of June and we already have brought 6 players to the Liverpool squad for the coming season. I’m quite excited to see how they will all play together. I certainly can’t complain about any of them. The confirmed transfer list is now: James Milner, Danny Ings, Adam Bogdan, Joe Gomez, Roberto Firmino and Nathaniel Clyne.  More about potential signings now…

Gonzalo Higuain

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Not exactly Messi, but this Argentine is still a highly valued player that has attracted the attention of Liverpool even if he may just be too expensive to sign. Kind of the same situation as we were in with Karim Benzema – the player is very good but our club most likely won’t be making bids on him because the price tag is simply too high for us to seriously consider.

Most recently, Higuain will have been playing under Rafa Benitez’s management as part of the Napoli team that has done so well in recent years, winning the Copa Italia. Rafa has moved on now and is currently manager of Real Madrid, in Spain. If Higuain particularly enjoyed playing for Benitez, he may want to move on himself and find himself a Premier League club to make his fresh start at perhaps.

HOW MUCH is this superstar actually worth? Well, his current club have stated in an official club press release:
“there is a clause in Gonzalo Higuain’s contract. The clause is £66m. There have been no bids. Anyone who wants the player will have to pay the club that amount.”

 

Boston Red Sox

John Henry (and his FSG partnership) is familiar with bringing success to the club without spending “too much” money on a single player.

With the specific amount of money now known that Liverpool would have to pay if we want this player, I’d say it’s more likely that this transfer will NOT happen despite the genuine links from reliable sources to the possibility of it. The owners of our club are prepared to pay out large amounts of money for high quality players but they are not willing to spend or “waste” exceedingly high amounts of money on one person that is not 100% guaranteed to bring high amounts of success to the club itself.
Fenway Sports Group are wealthy and committed to spending their money on our clubs needs (including transfers), but they are not stupid or reckless with their hard earned dollars (they’re American). I honestly think they are likely to back away from spending £66M on Higuain, not seeing it as good business. I could still be wrong about that, but if I am we’ll all get to see a wonderfully talented player at our club so it’s not so bad.

Asier Illarramendi

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Liverpool are usually cautious when dealing with Real Madrid, due to the fact that their squad often have rather large valuations when it comes to the transfer market prices on their heads. If you want bargains, you don’t usually go to Real Madrid for them. However, they still offer high quality players at the high prices. You have no doubt in your mind that you’ll be getting world class standard footballers if you actually go through with bringing a Real Madrid player to your club, at any cost. That’s what Asier Illarmendi (who I will be referring to as “Asi”) is. Though this youngster hasn’t represented his country (Spain) at the highest level, he’s worked his way successfully through the Spanish Under-17s, Under-19s, Under-21s and Under-23s sides. He’s now collected several winners medals during his time at Madrid – a Champions League medal, a Copa Del Ray medal, a UEFA Super Cup medal and a FIFA World Club Cup medal.

This defensive midfielder was a product of Real Sociedad’s youth system, B-Team and eventually a senior squad member for them.
This player is known well in La Liga, with Asi doing enough from 2008 to 2013 to attract the attention of Real Madrid eventually, who bought him for 32M Euros. He signed a 6 year contract in 2013 so there’s no chance his contract will be expiring any time soon which means we definitely won’t get him on a free transfer for the coming season. The price tag for Asi would likely be as high as £15M and if we consider that to be acceptable (for a Champions League winner no less), then he could well make the trip from Spain to England just as Alberto Moreno did when he left Sevilla for Liverpool. If that happens, I’d rather be cheering him on than Joe Allen – it’s time we changed the midfield up a little to contain stronger players than some who just don’t seem to deserve the honour of wearing the Liverpool shirt.

Nabil Bentaleb

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English (or at least Premier League) fans will probably recognise this player as having been a part of the Tottenham Hotspurs senior squad since 2013 and also possibly have noticed him playing in the 2014 World Cup for Algeria.

At the young age of 20 years old, he’s actually rather experienced for his age, having travelled to France, Belgium and most recently England to play his football for several youth teams before eventually earning himself a place in Spurs senior squad. He’s played about 55 games for them and scored a single goal, in the League Cup. He has yet to score a Premier League goal for his club.

He was born in Lille, France  – a Frenchman. However his parents were Algerian and despite the fact that he would have been eligible to play for France’s team (and did actually play for France under-19s squad) he declared his allegiance and heritage to Algeria and would eventually earn himself a place in the (senior) Algeria World Cup squad which had qualified to play in the competition in Brazil last summer. He’s scored more times for his new country than he has for his club, with 3 goals in 17 appearances for the Algerians.

What’s his value? I hear you asking. Well, at around £10M he could be considered a bargain (for a young yet experienced Premier League player). Though he’d have to work hard to justify his transfer fee and as a midfielder would certainly be expected to score if he was given the opportunity to play for Liverpool. Midfielders and strikers are always expected to contribute goals for the club and are sometimes even dropped out of the starting 11 side or even the squad entirely (not even a substitute) if they fail to deliver when playing at this level which has high standards and high expectations of players. Just ask Mario Balotelli.

Radja Nainggolan

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Radja Nainngolan playing for Roma

This Belgian midfielder has spent his entire career after leaving his first youth team in Belgium, playing in Italy. He moved country to play for an Italian youth side in 2005 and then from 2006 onwards, Radja went on to represent Piacenza, Cagliari and Roma at senior level,  making 275 appearances in Serie A and scoring 18 goals.

Advantages of signing this player? He’d certainly know Divock Origi from the Belgian national squad and it’s always good when players have experience of playing together before. He’s proven himself in the top Italian league and nobody can say that he doesn’t deserve a chance at proving himself in the top English league also.
Disadvantages? He’s not going to come free or even cheap (estimated value of £26M) and so it will be entirely down to whether our owners have the interest in putting their money into making this transfer happen. No bids have been made for him yet but I personally don’t think we’ll see that happen. The player may have an interest in joining us, but the clubs may not come to agree on a (low enough) price tag and it could and likely will stop the signing from actually signing a contract for us.

Moussa Sissoko

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No, I didn’t say “MOMO Sissoko”. This is not a (potentially) returning player to have previously played for Liverpool, it’s another Sissoko entirely. The only English club this Sissoko has played for is Newcastle United. It was enough to attract the attention of our scouts, however.

This Frenchman spent the years from 1995 to 2007 playing for youth teams in France. From late 2007 onwards, he represented just two clubs at senior level – French club Toulouse and English club Newcastle. He’s made 312 senior appearances and scored 35 goals in his career, primarily as an attacking midfielder. Still only 25 years old, he could give at least 5 years to the club with no worries about fitness concerns due to age. Nobody can say “he’s too old” for professional football just yet.

Value? £17M. Some say, “that’s probably too much” for someone who has only played for two (senior) clubs and only one of them being an English club. I say, he’s an experienced Premier League player that has never failed to score for his clubs. You could call him “loyal” for not having bounced from one club to another and accepting contracts for anyone who would pay a transfer fee and your wages. Loyalty is respected. Liverpool fans could easily respect this player for as long as we would have him. I know I could. I’m not the man with the money, however. The owners will decide on whether to pay the £17M or not. We’ll just have to see if bids are made in this transfer window for this player and wait it out.

Hernanes

Inter Milan's Marcelo Brozovic, center, celebrates with his teammate Anderson Hernanes, right, after scoring during the Serie A soccer match between Inter Milan and Empoli at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, May 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Inter Milan’s Anderson Hernanes, known to most football fans as simply “Hernanes”. 

Another Brazilian! *does a Brazilian dance*.  

Soccer - 1994 FIFA World Cup USA - Quarter-finals - Holland v Brazil - Cotton Bowl, Dallas

Well, Liverpool have Lucas, Coutinho and Firmino. Ronaldinho was quoted in the press recently saying “Liverpool’s football will be most exciting to watch”, as he referred to the Brazilian players we have in our squad now.
Why not think about yet another footballer from Brazil? Anderson Hernanes de Carvalho Viana Lima is known to most football fans simply as “Hernanes”. He’s spent his career playing in just two countries – Brazil and Italy. From 1996 to 2010 he was in Brazil, then in the summer of 2010 he transferred to Lazio, who had bought him for 11M Euros. Since then, he’s also played for Inter Milan alongside players such as our other transfer interest  at Inter Milan, Mateo Kovacic. We most likely spotted Hernanes while scouting Kovacic, actually. They’ve worked well together in Italy and if we could get the pair of them, it’d be quite an impact on our style of play and general formation. We would look stronger than ever in our offensive lineup. One or the other would have less impact. Hernanes’ valuation would be around £14M and I think perhaps the owners will consider either buying both Inter Milan players simultaneously or none of them at all.  If you see no bids for these players, you’ll know that the owners considered it too expensive to buy two players at a time (you’d think Milan would offer some kind of reduced price deal for the two instead of just one though). We’ll see. This is football. You just never know what will happen.

And that’s all for now! I’ll be back with more transfer news around the same time next week. Until then, walk on! walk on with hope in your heart. and YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE, Anfield Family.

[written by] Stuart Drewery.

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I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.

I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.

I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.

 

 

 

 

 

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