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Friday, July 13, 2007

Liverpool finally sign quality players

It's taken a while for Liverpool's American owners to show their hand. After a long period of inactivity in the transfer market, Liverpool have finally splashed the cash on quality signings.

A top class striker was needed and so arrived one of Europe's best, Fernando Torres. Whilst he may not be the most prolific goalscorer, they is no doubting his ability and talent. To become captain of Spain's third biggest club at only 19 yrs of age is proof of how highly regarded he is. He will score goals for Liverpool - that's a fact.

Liverpool also needed two wingers so came Yossi Benayoun from West Ham, a decent player who can play on either wing and who is seen as an ideal replacement for Luis Garcia, although Benayoun can actually keep hold of the ball!

The Ukrainian Andrei Voronin has joined. He will be a back-up striker to Torres, Kuyt and Crouch. Nonetheless he comes with bags of experience and may prove a useful replacement for someone Liverpool never should have signed, Craig Bellamy.

Along with the return of Scott Carson as a back up to Jose Reina, and the likes of Gerrard, Alonso, and Carragher all signings contract extensions, this summer has been very productive and positive.

However, the best signing has been to bring in one of the hottest talents in Europe, Ryan Babel. Babel is essentially a left winger with loads of pace and skill and who can play as a striker. At only 20 yrs of age, he has already shown for his former club, Ajax and for the Dutch under 21s that he can really be the real deal. In fact some are liking him to a young Thierry Henry. Perhaps that's why the Gunners were interested in signing him.

What with plans for a super 80,000 seater stadium to eventually be built, the future is at last looking good for Liverpool.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you. However, I think they are still lacking another top class winger. To ensure Liverpool will be truely competetive in EPL Rafa needs sign someone like Quaresma, Mancini or Simao.

7/13/2007 10:34 pm

Anonymous Flexo said...

Agree with you to an extent. Atletico arn't the third biggest Spanish club. Torres isn't the goal-scorer Liverpool need. I there looking for one they should have looked more closer to home. Owen is what they need. Torres like Kuyt will get 15 goals a season but thats his limit imo.

Ryan Babel is a good player but the comparison to Henry is not what i'd say he is. I've seen him play and well he doesn't dominate the game like Henry or have similar styles of play. Then again he can learn. Rafa Benitez is known for nuturing young talent coug cough...........

I agree with the first comment. You need a winger. Not a Pennant but a world class player. Quaresma would be the best option. He's world class.

7/13/2007 10:51 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

still two players short, another winger and back up for the centre of defence, but I am looking forward to next season more than I have for a while.
no title this year but maybe next.
A short statement for flexo
Owen is a no loyalty traitor who left when we needed him most and I for one am fed up to the back teeth with him.
He isn't coming back, Rafa doesn't want him and make no mistake the most important member of liverpool fc at the moment is Benitez.

7/13/2007 11:30 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Good signings, the fans have yelled for quality players to come in and Benitez has operated within the club's budget before the new owners supplied more financial muscle. I know there are some who see the new ownership as LFC having 'sold out', but few will argue against it if we can bring in a few players to bolster a title challenge.

I sense there is one more signing, potentially for the centre back role, I would say to replace Hyypia but I think it would be for having four in Carragher, Agger, Hyypia and one other, with Arbeloa and Finnan at right back, Riise and Aurelio at left back.

The midfield is contained with Gerrard, Mascherano, Alonso, Sissoko and new Brazilian U20s' skipper Lucas Leiva. The wings will now have Kewell, Pennant, Benayoun and Babel. Up front it's Torres, Voronin, Kuyt and Crouch. In goal Pepe Reina, Scott Carson (who I understand is not going elsewhere on loan) and a young Bulgarian U21, former Levski Sofia member Nikolay Mihaylov to show what he can give us.

"Rafa Benitez is known for nuturing young talent coug cough..........."

Yes, he has been busy signing a number of youngsters to nurture, and has had a offer for Cardiff's Wales U17 captain Aaron Ramsey rejected yet brings in winger Ryan Crowther from Stockport, to add to Krisztian Nemeth and Andras Simon from MTK Budapest, and Mikel San Jose from Atletico Bilbao.

Liverpool are building a strong youth squad, who have won the Youth Cup twice in successive seasons, nurturing the likes of Robbie Threlfall, Craig Lindfield, Austrian Besian Idrizaj, Ghanaian Godwin Antwi (on loan at Hartlepool) and Moroccan Nabil El Zhar, to name a few.

I hope for an immediate impact on the title from us this season, it has been way too long, and I hope the new signings can settle in and bring more flair and creativity with goals. Liverpool are building well in all fronts, a lot better than before. I concur with the above comment that Benitez is the most important member of the squad at Anfield.


7/14/2007 10:30 am

Blogger T said...

Thanks SKG for your perspective on Liverpool's transfer market activity.

I'm looking forward to seeing how Torres fits in. Can he be a Shearer/RVN type and score 25 goals plus a season? Or will he be a solid 15 goals plus man a season like he seemed to be for Atletico? I don't know- I haven't quite been able to pigeonhole the guy despite watching him on a few occasions for Spain and A Madrid. Certainly the potential is there for Torres and we'll wait and see how he settles in.

As for Babel- I can't wait to watch him play. Liverpool have spent a lot on him and apparently there are comparisons to Thierry Henry. I will like to judge that for myself being a big fan of Henry- and it will be good to see a Thierry-type exciting forward in the Premiership.

Arsenal seemed to have Babel in the bag for the following season according to press reports last month so I'd like to know the real story on that. If Wenger really did want him why wasn't a move made? Perhaps he wasn't totally convinced by the player, or perhaps he balked at the asking price, or perhaps it was all paper-talk and there never was a genuine interest? Anyways for me it will be interesing to hear the Wenger perspective on Babel.

7/14/2007 3:21 pm

Anonymous Striker said...

Hi guys
Fernando Torres will give Liverpool lots of joy. He may need sometime to adapt, but once he does you will see why he is a world class forward.
He needed to get out of Atletico & shine. He will in Europe & in the Premiere.

7/14/2007 10:40 pm

Blogger Pat said...

Atletico came seventh this year and are participating in the Intertoto cup. And how long has it been since they finished top 4 in the league (before Torres was captain).

So they are hardly the third biggest squad in Spain. Top 3 is surely Madrid, Barca, Valencia.

I have my doubts about Torres so I think that the price Liverpool paid for them was a bit much but he has a lot of years left in him and if he is given the opportunities and not rotated out of the squad every third game he'll be worth the $$$

7/14/2007 11:10 pm

Anonymous Nturtle said...

Good one SKG & comments from everyone. I for one have been quite impressed with Liverpool's intent, as well as Man U's $$$ and Chelsea's deep pockets for wages (great free transfers!) apart from Malouda.

First to the reds...and I think what Benitez has done is to get the fans behind him. The signings may or may not deliver...but at least with the help of the US$'s got the fans buzzing, they've got some youth in Torres + Babel...and arguably also a great Garcia replacement in Benayoun who I though Wenger might have gone for since 5M is rather low! Too bad for us Arsenal fans.

Babel sounds like he might back up Penant or complement him on the opposite side...and who knows...maybe Torres will play the Bergkamp role for Liverpool...goals are important...but you can also make them as well as score them...with Henry as a case point - he has also had loads of assists in the past himself. Taking a young club captain is good anyway in terms of mentality - Tottenham have done very well also in Bent for example and Reo-coker from Charlton & West Ham respectively.

This time around all clubs are seemingly spending big...except for Arsenal at this hoo...and that is only why there is nervousness...but I for one don't really mind...spending doesn't equate to winning.

As for why Babel didnt' arrive at the Ashburton Grove (I don't like the commerically named Emirates Stadium!!)...I understand his "wage demands were too high"! Considering he pocketed 2.5M pounds as part of the transfer fee....that's that not bad going...I know I would be set for life after that amount of money!! Darnation as they say!

7/15/2007 7:56 am

Blogger T said...

Lol Nturtle- it's not worth thinking too much about what top footballers look to earn!

Want to add that I'm just like you about not feeling nervous about Arsene's typical reluctance to be tight with the cheque-book. In fact I'm excited about the buys of Sagna (looks a good character) and Eduardo and moreover continuing to watch how our young players develop.

Yesterday was my first glimpse of another exciting young talent who has just signed full professional terms for Arsenal: Nacer Barezite. If you haven't seen the 17 year old Dutchman's goal against Barnet it is a really good strike followed by 'a look to the skies in exhilaration' celebration. Top stuff from young Nacer.. and yet another Arsenal youngster to follow and support!

Striker- you know Torres more than most given your affiliation with A Madrid so its good to get your perspective!

7/15/2007 3:06 pm

Blogger Skippy said...

I think Liverpool need to strengthen the defence, we don't have much cover for Carrgher or Agger. Sami is getting on now.

I am very happy with the forward signings and have no doubt they will all excite the LIverpool fans.

7/17/2007 10:59 pm

Blogger Pat said...

07-08 not far away so i got my fantasy football league going...

sign up and join my league with this code: 266903-58133

7/21/2007 12:23 am

Anonymous Nturtle said...

Interesting to see Liverpool in action vs. Portsmouth in Hong Kong. The heat was a stifling 30+ that didn't help...but certainly Torres got a 25 minute run, and Babel 70 mins. Babel at the moment looks like the better buy to be honest...Torres must have had jet lag!

In any case, certainly both bring some menace to the goal...unfortuantely this time Torres missed his penalty shootout did Benayoun...another new signing! Don't think that points to how liverpool will do though...having Portsmouth beat you in pre-season counts for nothing!

7/29/2007 5:21 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Disappointing to lose anything but Torres' and Benayoun's penalties should have been struck better but there's a first time and more to follow. Liverpool should be looking to score and why they didnt has become folklore recently, including the Asia Trophy final. At least it can dispel the myth Liverpool need to win matches on penalties!

7/29/2007 10:12 pm

Anonymous Nturtle said...

Fair comment Redsman. Maybe it was just the in form David James and Sol Campbell who kept the ball safely out of the Portsmouth goal!

Liverpool didn't use the pitch very well, and Kuyt was left chasing shadows sometimes. Babel seemed more like a hole player...and got around the pitch well. He's a bigger lad than Fernando...which surprised me!

Liverpool on paper really need to match it up to their footy on the pitch...and I think then they will match fan's expectations!

7/31/2007 1:28 am


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