22 Jan 2015

TMW Exclusive: LFC in talks to sign '£6m' goal-machine who's 'like Aguero'

Liverpool and Manchester United are reportedly considering a move for highly-rated Paraguayan starlet Sergio Diaz, who is allegedly locked in transfer talks with both clubs.

According to an exclusive today in Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato:

* Liverpool have made contact with Diaz's club, Cerro Porteño (CP), to discuss a transfer.

* 16-year old Diaz - allegedly considered one of world's 'best talents' is rated in the £6m range.

Some info about Diaz:

* Scored 30 goals in one season for CP's U15 team.
* Debut at 15 for CP in the Paraguayan Primeira division.
* 8 goals in his debut season for CP.
* Scored 5 senior goals for CP before turning 16.
* Part of the same youth team as Juan Iturbe, another LFC target.

* Currently in Uruguay for the South American Under-20 Championship.
* started Paraguay’s first game vs. Bolivia and scored in a 4-2 win.

Diaz is often compared to Sergio Aguero, and it's a comparison he seems to like. In a recent radio interview, he explained:

"I am like Kun Agüero - I have the same characteristics, including speed and goals, and I scored 30 goals for for the U15 team"

Cerro Porteño U15 coach Diego Gavilan appears to agree with that assessment. After Diaz's promotion to the first team, he enthused:

"He [Diaz] is definitely like Agüero. He's strong, technical and his main objective is to find the goal. He scored 33 goals in less than six months, something that no young player has ever done here"

This all sounds very promising, but unless Diaz has European lineage, it's surely going to be incredibly difficult for Liverpool to secure a work-permit.

£6m is not the most outlandish fee for an extremely 16-year old, but it's still grossly inflated, and there are absolutely no guarantees that Diaz - if signed - will ever make it as a first-team regular. If the likes of Suso, Pacheco, Alberto, Teixeira et al can't make it, what chance does a 16-year old with next to no experience have?

I've made this point a million times, but it's worth repeating again: in the last 25 years, only five attacking players have made it through the academy to become first-team regulars: Steven Gerrard, Steve McManaman, Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, and Raheem Sterling.

That's it.

5 players in 25 years? That's a sickeningly sad indictment of Liverpool's ability to find and develop young attacking players, and in my view, it's a mistake for any teenage striker/attacking midfielder to join LFC's academy.

If Diaz signs for Liverpool at the age of 16, then history suggests the following three-step process:

* Toil away in the Academy for 2-3 years.
* 4-5 loan spells at lower-league clubs.
* Leave LFC for a pittance and disappear into obscurity.

The better option is to go elsewhere and develop for a few years, and then join Liverpool between the ages of 20 and 24, an age range that seems to be particularly fruitful for young attacker players hoping to make the breakthrough.

Sergio Diaz: You've been warned...



Author:



76 comments:

  1. For now. These things come and go. Fulham have looked to produce a lot of promising lads recently (headed by Southampton's old head youth coach). It'll be a while before we can say they are a steady academy that will consistently produce like Ajax, Sporting, Barca et al..

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  2. Who the hell are Liverpool Manchester United? Is this some kind of sick joke?

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  3. Both American owners - it's only a matter of time ;-)

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  4. Haven't you've heard? We've been taken over by the Glazers, mate.

    I, for one, welcome our new Manc overlords.

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  5. You mention Sterling as an academy success but didn't he join LFC at 16 years of age? why would this guy be any different?

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  6. Does that mean we can swap keepers?

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  7. A load of Bollox! Fsg Won't spend that amount on anybody! Look at the shite advertised as pies at anfield! They promise the earth, and deliver an allotment. Na they are selling the club. And won't invest it is that simple.

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  8. Yeah. United get Brad Jones and we get Lindegaard.

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  9. Stilll an improvement

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  10. Sterling came through the academy and is now a first team regular. He is the only attacking player since Gerrard, Owen and Fowler to achieve that. My point is that history proves that it's very rare for attacking players from the academy to make it.

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  11. Diego Costa is in the room?

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  12. No, it's called making excuses. Man Utd etc have absolutely nothing to do with LFC when it comes to developing young players. I don't care what other clubs do, and the way LFC runs its academy/recruiting is totally different to other top clubs.

    Comparing to United, Arsenal, Real Madrid etc doesn't change the reality of LFC's situation, which is that academy attacking players rarely make it at Anfield.

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  13. Livchester United? Or Manpool FC?

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  14. It will be a crime not to see Canos, Wilson, Kent etc. not come through but is inevitable I suppose.

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  15. You are asking for guarantees. This is of course naive and impossible.

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  16. Manpool sounds iffy - so that's the one Manpool Inc

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  17. The sentence was 'something like...'? Perhaps you should get your facts straight, eh? Rodgers actually said the following:

    “I was confident we could win at Stamford Bridge and that has reinforced it even more. There is no doubt we can go to the second leg and get the performance and the result we need.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/jan/21/liverpool-brendand-rodgers-confident-chelsea-final

    That is a totally unnecessary boast to make, and if Liverpool lose next week, Rodgers will looks stupid. Plus, it creates endless 'Rodgers says LFC will beat Chelsea' headlines, which will probably motivate Mourinho even more.

    All top managers have arrogance, but Rodgers has excessive hubris, which is (IMO) one of his downfalls.

    Liverpool have just come out of an atrocious run of form, and the club is no position to start boasting about beating the league leaders.

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  18. I agree, i just wouldn't put Sterling into the category of being our academy success, more QPR's.
    I think the way Rodgers and FSG work though this could be starting to change.

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  19. Just one more correction Jamie. 'an outlandish fee for an extremely 16 year old'.C- for today's grammar I'm afraid...

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  20. Sounds like a gay nite club. .

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  21. Came to that depressing conclusion while typing to be honest.

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  22. Good job we're not merging with Semen Padang FC of Indonesia.

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  23. So the solution is to stop trying to produce players? Like you said, it's fairly obvious that our Academy hasn't been particularly productive, but the way to fix that isn't to stop chasing young players...


    Edit: I realize now that's probably not your point, so sorry, but I still wanted to say this, so I'll leave it up.

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  24. Your interpretation of my comment is totally wrong.

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  25. It's not called making excuses. To try and argue without a sense of context is futile. Without context, what you're saying is useless. Like a scream in an empty cave. To understand data, you need to understand it's correlation in the wider context.

    I don't why you'd shoot down his point about context, since it broadly proves your point about our academy anyway. There was a study by the CIES Football Observatory which noted the number of academy graduates (ones that had been at the club for 3 years between 15 and 21) teams had produced which were playing in one of Europe's top five leagues. Liverpool fared worse than Villa, Spurs, City, Chelsea, Southampton, Man Utd and Arsenal, not to mention various continental teams.

    One could make the argument that this is due to the fact that we;re not recruiting the right players, more than a coaching issue, but it is impossible to tell one way or the other with certainty.

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  26. Norwegian kid loves LiVERPOOL - life long supporter BUT SIGNS for Madrid - MONEY MONEY MONERY - Once a Blue - always a blue eh WAYNE ?????????????????????????

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  27. Note this - inside the next 18 months 8 of our academy players will make it BIG TIME - JUST WAIT AND SEE

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  28. human desires money. shocker.

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  29. struggling....to.....erase....image....

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  30. is it too late to ask what this is all about ?

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  31. Past results are no guarantee of future performance. He could be the next Luis...

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  32. Yes sorry voting has now closed

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  33. Jamie had us merging with man u there for a few minutes. Your too late I'm afraid. ..

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  34. Sterling,Ibe,Flanagan,Wisdom
    cant see anymore in 18 months
    Rossiter,Ojo?

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  35. He's not leaving, that's that. OL is a very good development team and the chance he'll leave for us is very unlikely. I think that PSG are the most likely to sign him.

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  36. Why else would he sign for them?

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  37. "Character" means you have take a double.

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  38. I can't tell if he just likes the sound of his own voice or if he actually believes what he's saying (or both).


    Either he's a narcissist or he's naive. Either way, it's a bit scary.


    To think we played so well, and still couldn't beat them is a scary thought.

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  39. I dont think it would be that much of a surprise if we got him.....its a question of timing. The player himself ruled out a move to PSG in an interview and any move for him would surely depend on them moving on Cavani if they are to keep any credibility in their attempts to at least pay lip service to FFP. City have just paid top whack for Bony so won't be looking in the striking department.....Chelsea main striker position has been recently filled, and there is only room for one in any Mourinho team. Besides they are being a lot more frugal in the market these days so would probably need to sell big before buying. Utd might be in the market for another striker if they don't take Falcao option....but that's by no means certain. Arsenal just paid £50m to revamp their forward line with Welbeck and Sanchez. Who does that leave that could outbid us or tempt the player. Bayern, Barca and Real? None of them are going to be in the market for forwards (Real are getting Reus as their major forward signing it seem) Could fit nicely.. Gus Poyet still keen on Borini apparently so one in one out. Sounds simple doesn't it....it never is but Lacazette hasn't got that long on his contract and if we move quick we could well get him.

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  40. what was carra? a bad dream?

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  41. I think i have seen a few tutto marcato rumours in the last two windows and none regarding Liverpool have been true.

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  42. what other reason does he need to sign for them ? its just an added bonus that they are the biggest and most successful football club in the world. i know that if he had half a brain he would have chosen another club which offered him some first team minutes or has a better record of developing youth. but my man wanted cheddar. i am stunned by the deal he got but i just dont get the outrage over the whole thing. show me any 16 year old -anywhere in this world- who would turn down 80 thousand pounds a week. im from india and i'd be very lucky if i made that kinda money over a period of 5 years working a job i dont like..

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  43. Teixeira looked good last night scoring to great goals, so he might be stepping up next season. Rodgers made some comments today about the academy now producing players to fit in with the first team style of play, so maybe we'll see some more come through now.

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  44. Yes this makes rings true for me. Without knowing the wider context how can we know if it is good or bad? No situation can possibly be perfect so we cannot say it is good or bad. Not without being able to compare.

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  45. I agree it can take me weeks to earn that sort of money but then then would have probably got similar money wherever he went. So he went for the biggest club....seems fair enough to me if he thinks he's got what it takes

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  46. What on earth are you on about? FSG have been as good as their word since coming in....they have run it much more intelligently and maximised revenues (see Deloitte football report released today) they are funding they stadium expansion via an interest free loan rather than the bank. Imagine where we'd be if Hicks and Gillette had leveraged the new stadium through the banks as well as the money they borrowed to buy the club? I'll tell you where....probably in a similar situation to Rangers now. As for the money on players? Well we spent £118m in the window and were quit publicly poised to spend an additional £32m before Sanchez Mrs pulled rank and told him she was only going to London. Now obviously that was more than would have gone out had Suarez not been sold but had all the players we targeted been available that would still have been £75m spent on top of the Suarez money. The year before they paid out top money for Sakho (most expensive defender in our history) and sanctioned the cash for Studge and Coutinho in the prior transfer window. Hardly lowballing us like Randy Lerner are they?

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  47. This is a very good post. Asking for context doesn't mean disagreeing with JK's point it's just asking for clarification.

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  48. It doesn't mean Sturridge will be less important. The Team would be stronger. I fuckin hate the way journo's twist words to put players under uneccessary pressure! Can't believe JK makes a living talking bullshit. It doesn't even trigger debate. Do better JK. Be optimistic, instead of taking a seat on the b/s bandwagon.. Boo yah! YNWA.

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  49. I think i have heard something like this with every crop of youngsters.

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  50. Carra could not really be regarded as an attacker though his goals/assists stats are only marginally better than Balotelli's

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  51. He's not dead - is he?

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  52. johnson and allen are fit for bolton game. the first two names on the team sheet then...

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  53. What about Mellor ? he won us the cl

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  54. Who pays for the stay at the Academy, the parents or the team?

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  55. Mellor made only 16 appearances in 3 years. And he did not win LFC the CL. He played a major role against Olympiakos, which is a long way from winning the competition.

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  56. Still it begs the question "is it better to produce several players playing at the top level or just one who single-handedly wins the CL?",,,,,,,,quality over quantity

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  57. Enough already with the 'shoot his point down' guff. You've just dismissed by view on the issue - is that 'shooting me down'? No, it's just disagreeing, which is exactly what I did with the previous poster.

    And it *is* making excuses. The context is totally irrelevant because it ultimately makes no difference to the information.

    So, let's just say you have the success rates of every top club's academy. Great! Bully for you!

    What next?

    How does knowing that info change the dispiriting fact that only 5 attacking players have come through LFC's academy and become first team regulars?

    It doesn't make a blind bit of difference. The problem still exists, and whilst comparisons might be interesting, they serve no purpose. It's the same with most things football related:

    * Balotelli has no goals in the Prem this season. Who gives a stuff how many goals Rooney, Austin, Sanchez et have scored in comparison? It doesn't change the fact that Balotelli can't score in the league.

    * Liverpool haven't won the league for 24 years. It's not necessary to consider the league wins of all the top teams in Europe (over the same period) to understand that it sucks.

    For the most part, making 'context' comparisons is a way to dilute the issue at hand, and avoid focusing on the actual problem.

    It's always the same schtick:

    * X makes a point about Y.

    * Instead of focusing on X's point, Z veers away from the issue, and starts saying things like 'but what about this, that, and the next thing', and before you know it, the point is lost, and nothing gets rectified.

    All these contextual comparisons do is allow people to rationalise mediocrity, i.e. 'Well, only 5 youngster have come through at LFC, but it's okay because only 4 have come through at Arsenal. We must be doing a good job! Let's do nothing to improve things and just bask in our own awesomeness!'

    This is poisonous thinking, and only leads to further mediocrity.

    In my view, it's only important to focus on LFC's problems, not everyone else's.

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  58. From The Guardian too: "It will be difficult at Stamford Bridge because they haven’t lost there
    this season but if we play our normal game and play the football that we
    know we can play I definitely think chances will come. Then it is up to
    us to take them and to defend well.”

    Here's the link, I rest my case. http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/jan/21/liverpool-jordan-henderson-chelsea-diego-costa-tunnel-bust-up

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  59. That doesn't change the fact that Rodgers also emphatically stated that he expects LFC to beat Chelsea, which is the entire point.

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  60. It is not moving the focus away from the facts, it is adding important nuances. It gives a better understanding of the topic.

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  61. He says best conditions to develop as a player on the field and as a person off the field

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  62. Its not the academies ability to produce these kind of attacking players its their inability to recruit players good enough to step up.
    This is evidenced by the fact that the juniors that leave never step up to the mark elsewhere its not like they have no chance at 20 of improving their game.
    This Diaz certainly has a better chance of breaking into Liverpools side than Uniteds and as we will see likely with Odegaard players need to settle for a club giving a better chance to get first team football.

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  63. Having context shows what is and isn't working. Without context we would never make progress forward. We wouldn't be able to learn. Take for instance, ManU. They had the same coach for 20+ years. He had a set system and style. He then found coaches with those ethos that would then find him players to mould and shape according to his needs. The is a certain level of consistency there that could possibly contribute to that. Same with Ajax, they pretty much just keep a constant rotation of youth player, to player, to youth coach to manager. Sure they bring small differences, but the overall ethos flow through the entire system.

    I'm not saying this is what were missing or doing wrong, but like you said something is wrong. But we're not the worst either, which means something is also okay, but can be improved. Putting into context helps us highlight both sides good and bad.

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  64. Of course it matters. We need to know to which clubs these youngsters should go "to develope for a few years" before coming to Anfield.

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  65. The idea that you can judge LFC's problems in a vacuum is pointless though. It's like when Vincent Tan came to Cardiff and started asking why his players weren't shooting more and why his goalkeeper wasn't scoring more. If you don't have context, they're reasonable queries.

    "Why does one player on the pitch have no pressure to score? He's not helping his team-mates enough". Imagine trying to argue against that point to Vincent Tan. He'd probably say something similar to what you've said. "I don't care about Manchester United's goalkeeper, I'm focussing on why Cardiff City's goalkeeper isn't scoring".

    The fact you've argued against including context in arguments (which is all my post favoured) seems like you're more interested in making a point than considering and debating an issue. If you can't place your argument in a relevant context without it being diluted or becoming incoherent, then I'd suggest that the strength of the initial point is the issue.

    You're talking about how including context dilutes your point. I included an example in my post of how it supports your point. I never said "Liverpool are doing badly, but we're doing better than our rivals". If anything I've indirectly said that Liverpool are doing worse than our rivals. I've excused nothing.

    The Liverpool title drought point is irrelevant. I thought it obvious that when I argued in favour of context, I meant relevant context. I'd thought this was a given, but I should point out that, for example, the idea that Liverpool's title drought is only a short time when one considers that homo sapiens have been around for about 200,000 years isn't a view I subscribe to.

    Equally, I'd argue that how many goals other people have scored is relevant to judging Balotelli's performance. If we were playing in a league were goals are scored more frequently, like the Eredvisie, I would expect more goals from him. If we were playing in a more defensive league like Serie A (though it isn't as tight a league as it was), a lower number would be more acceptable.

    I'm not in favour of excusing problems and mistakes by mental gymnastics, but I think it is literally impossible to understand them unless you consider them in a relevant context.

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  66. History proves what? Even we get new owners, new manager, new coaching people with new ideas. We can't do anything because history says that we can't succeed?
    And one thing is work permit because it's almost sure that we can't get it for 16 years old even he would be super star. So he go to Portugal/Spain and after 4-5 years his value will rise 5-10 times (if he really is that good)

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  67. I see an issue here Jaimie, you dont want us to sign young players under 20 because they never really make it but then complain that once they are around 21 we sign them for big money and call it transfer negligence that we didnt get them earlier. Seems a catch 22 situation with regards to getting your approval.

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  68. You criticised his suggestion to use Gerrard as a wing back ..............

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  69. That is simply not true. If that were the case Southampton's youth teams would win league titles and cups every year. Not that they're bad but the difference is that Southampton, until two years ago, didn't have the money or pulling power to attract players who were a lot better than their youth products. Many clubs then make the mistake to buy more experienced foreigners of the same level but clubs like Southampton and West Ham decide to give their own youth players a chance before they do. Southampton, if anything, are the perfect example that clubs should just throw in youngsters. Barca do it. Van Gaal does it and it works for them too. The problem is that 99% of the managers at big clubs, including our own Brendan, are just too afraid to do so because they will get the blame if it doesn't work out. If we lose a game with just internationals on the pitch, people will say the players should do better and they have let the manager down. If we lose it with three academy players people will say you can't win anything with kids and only a fool would play them. The only time you see Brendan play youngsters is when his hands are tied or he has nothing to lose.

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  70. 6 million for another kid? No thanks.He'd only ever play for Bordeaux.

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  71. I think FSG have shown in the past that they will. There are far better reasons why this will not happen besides money. First of all he seems very similar to Sturridge in the way he plays. Signing him would effectively mean we give up on Sturridge which given his injury problems I would understand and agree with but I doubt Rodgers will do that. Then there is the fact that many more clubs are probably after him and clubs who are much more attractive to him than we are. We can compete financially but people have to understand that this kid is currently at Lyon. A club which, looking at its squad and achievements in the last three years are very similar to Liverpool. So how would signing for us be a step up for him if he can sign for the Barcas, Bayerns and Juventuses of this world? I said it a few weeks ago that with Gerrard we lose a lot of our pulling power for these types of players. That's why we always end up signing the level just below that. The best case scenario I can see coming out of this is if Madrid would sign him which would put Benzema up for grabs. Although I doubt we'd be the only suitor for him as well.

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  72. as excting as he seems to be, we actually have a top talent in his kind of age group in jerome sinclair. i've long been an admirer of sinclair and would rather he was given a chance because he has been a consistent performer for a few years now. also, what has happpened to yesil? maybe i'm naive in thinking he would do a better job than balotelli if for no other reason than his running ability; his finishing cant have diminished that badly and as balo never starts anyway a 10-20 minute runout for someone like yesil or sinclair here and there would surely be of benefit.

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  73. only need 1 deadly striker, and we are ready for next season..........

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