Tuesday, 1 February 2011

January Transfers

I was fairly busy yesterday, so didn't really get the opportunity to follow the deadline day dealings as much as I'd have liked, but our outing was cancelled this morning so I've had an hour or so to digest it since.

The biggest two transfers both involve Liverpool: £50m for Torres to go to Chelsea, and £35m for Andy Carroll to come from Newcastle. There was also the signing of Luis Suarez from Ajax for £23m.

Suarez I feel we've gotten a decent deal for. We've paid a fair bit of money, but from what I've seen he's a good striker, and he's about the sort of age where a £20m price tag doesn't seem too horrific. If he can stay reasonably clear of injuries and maybe stop trying to eat opposition players then he could be a reasonably good signing. Even by Saturday there was a chant (sent to me by my Dad) for his probable replacement of Torres...

We bought him from the Netherlands, Suarez, Suarez,
He likes to bite you on the neck, Suarez, Suarez,
He plays in goal, he plays up front,
He's better than the other cunt,
Luis Suarez, Liverpool number nine

Somewhat spoiled now by the fact that he's going to be playing in the number seven shirt.

With the announcement that Torres might be leaving at the start of the weekend, I was somewhat disappointed. With the announcement that we could be receiving as much as £50m for him, less so. Torres has been a fantastic player in his time here, and he is one of the greatest strikers in the world right now, but I really don't think he's worth as much as £50m. He seems to have a petulant streak, and can be prone to pretty lacklustre performances when he doesn't seem in the mood for it. Not to mention the fact that he's spent the majority of the last 12-18 months being injured.

I don't begrudge him for wanting to leave either. He's pretty much at the peak of his career right now, and the odds of Liverpool being in the Champions League next season are pretty damn slim. If it wasn't for the lifelong Liverpool fan aspect, I'd probably do the exact same thing if I were in his shoes. I'd prefer he leave for a ton of money now, than for him to remain disgruntled for another year or so and leave for a far smaller fee further down the line, with less contract remaining.

This whopping £50m fee from Chelsea has been massively offset by the Carroll deal, however. We've ripped off Chelsea and made a reasonable profit on Torres, and then just poured all that money into letting Newcastle rip us off. Carroll is a good player, but he's not a £35m player. You can buy a Tevez, or a David Villa for that sort of money.

I guess the main argument is that while Carroll isn't worth £35m to Liverpool, he's almost certainly worth that to Newcastle, given they've sold their main supply of goals on the last day of the transfer window, and that could seriously drop them into the relegation battle.

The positives for the Carroll deal would be that he's fairly young, and despite his impressive goal tally this season, has almost certainly yet to hit his peak. He's also the sort of physical, tough striker that we've been lacking for as long as I can remember, and it'll be nice to have someone who is dangerous attacking corners and who isn't also a centre-back leaving our defence exposed to a counter-attack. Again, the real hope is that he stays clear of injuries and keeps himself clean off the pitch, and the potential is that the £35m gamble will pay off. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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