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Comings and goings at Anfield

March 5, 2007

The summer of 2007 could turn out to be a crucial time in Liverpool’s long illustrious history. Rafa Benitez has some important decisions to make, with regards to who should leave Anfield and who should be brought in to take us up to the next level of Premiership contenders. Rafa should be given a hefty amount of money to spend by LFC’s new joint owners, Gillett and Hicks, so it will be very interesting to see who Rafa will target to bring in.

With the inevitable influx of players, some current squad members will be deemed surplus to requirements. Below is a number of players I think will leave and who I would like to see added to the squad this summer.

Thanks and Goodbye

Fowler: One of our greatest ever strikers and my personal own favourite Liverpool player. A true Liverpool legend who scored some of the greatest goals I have ever witnessed and produced some incredible performances. Who will ever forget his 4mins 33secs hat-trick v Arsenal at Anfield or his 5 goal blast against Fulham in the League Cup on his debut. God, as he is know to the Liverpool faithful. was given a second chance to say goodbye to his adoring fans by Rafa in the January transfer window of 2006, and he played his part in firing Liverpool to finish with 82pts. A points tally that would’ve won us the title in a number of previous seasons. With his contract set to expire in the summer, Robbie is hotly tipped for a final farewell v Charlton on the last day of the season. If he does go I will never forget the great goals and the fantastic memories of one or the great goal scorers of all time.

Hyypia: When Houllier signed the unknown lanky blonde centreback back in 1999, nobody could imagine he would turn out to be one of the shrewdest signings in the club’s history and be ranked alongside defensive legends such as Yeats, Smith and Hansen. Armed with incredible composure and a sweet left foot, Sami has an eye for 60 yard passes worthy of great passers such as Gerrard and Alonso, and has been known to score some vital goals, such as his strike v Juventus during our Champions League winning campaign. Hyypia was never blessed with pace, I’ve seen faster one legged turtles, however Big Sami is a great reader of the game but his time is coming to an end and his place in the side has been taken by promising young Dane, Daniel Agger. If Sami does go in the summer he will rightly be remembered as one of our greatest Centre Backs.

Kewell: There’s no doubting Harry Kewell has great talent but his time at Anfield has been recked with injuries, with him limping out of no less than 3 major Cup Finals. It’s a case of what could’ve been if Harry had one full season without any injuries and I will be surprised if Rafa keeps faith with a player that is clearly injury prone and one that hasn’t played 1sec for Liverpool this season.

The goalkeeper that was our hero in Istanbul with an incredible double save from Shevchenko in the closing stages of the 2nd half of extra time. He also produced the now famous Spaghetti Legs routine that surely affected the Milan player’s nerves, and went on to save two spot kicks. His heroics are almost overshadowed by his blunders and has now been usurped by Spanish ‘keeper Pepe Reina. Out of contract in the summer, Dudek will be a free agent and is guaranteed to leave with Scot Carson taking his slot as no.2.

Other fringe players I expect to leave permanently are Sinama Pongolle and Le Tallec. There may even be a couple of surprise exits with rumoured departures of Riise, Bellamy and Crouch. Although I believe those 3 still have a part to play in Rafa’s new look squad.

Welcome to Anfield

There are a number of players I would like Rafa to sign this summer. Top of the list is Barca’s Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o. We badly need a genuine world class striker that can score 20 league goals a season and Eto’o fits the bill. His price tag would be massive but there are signs of unrest in the Barcelona camp and his exit would not be surprising.

Daniel Alves
is a long term target of Rafa’s and he would be a major improvement to our right flank, playing as either a RW or RB. He is also great from dead balls, as his recent strike v Barca shows. His price tag would also be in the region of £20m but there’s no doubt he would be a great addition to the team.

If we fail to sign Alves than Benfica’s Portugese winger Simao would surely complete a move that should’ve happened last season before Benfica upped his price tag. Rafa now has the financial clout to sign the player if he needs him and don’t be surprised if we sign both Alves and Simao.

Young Man City defender Micah Richards would prove to be a good signing, both for the present and future. A physically imposing player with pace to burn and capable of playing in a number of positions, Richards would have a job on his hands replacing the consistent, if unspectacular, Finnan. Big things are expected of the young recent England international and his days at City could be numbered.

Rafa hasn’t made many signings from his old team Valencia, but one player I would like to see at Anfield is left winger Vicente. A pacey and athletic winger, Vicente could be the player to add genuine quality to our left flank, where many big names have failed to make an impact since Barnes ate too many pies and moved to a holding role in midfield, back in the mid 90’s.

If Hyypia does leave in the summer, Rafa will need to sign a quality centre back as cover for Carrager and Agger, and we could do a lot worse than Man City’s free agent Sylvain Distin. Palletta doesn’t seem to be the answer after recent performances so it will be interesting to see who Rafa has in mind as Hyypia’s replacement.

A busy summer lies ahead and Rafa, armed with some major money to spend for the first time in his managerial career, will need to produce the goods next season and turn Liverpool into genuine title contenders. Regardless, interesting times are ahead with the new season proposed to be finished in time for the start of 2009/10. Can Liverpool lift the title for the 19th time before we depart Anfield for good?

I believe we will. 8)

One Comment leave one →
  1. ColinN permalink
    March 5, 2007 11:03 pm

    It’s certainly going to be a very interesting summer. Rafa has been wanting proper funds for some time, and although he’s had a sizable kitty to spend it’s never been quite enough to get us the top players (see Alves last year), alot of it has just been spent to keep up with Manchester United and Chelsea. Looking at how poor the squad was when he took over it’s no surprise we’ve spent cash just updating the squad.

    To put it simply, if Rafa gets the players he wants there will be no more excuses for being this far behind the league leaders once again.

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