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16 Feb 2015

'Proper Midfielder': Hamann hails 'excellent' playmaker who'll 'think about' Liverpool transfer. Sign?

Earlier this season, 'fantastic' Basel star Fabian Frei confirmed that he is interested in signing for Liverpool, and according to Reds legend Dietmar Hamann, the 26-year old is a one of Europe's most promising players.

Assessing Basel's Champions League chances over the weekend, Hamann told the Daily Mail:

"Fabian Schar is outstanding, Fabian Frei is a proper midfielder and Marco Streller is still doing a job at 33".

In December, reports claimed that Liverpool are willing to offer Frei a 5-year contract, and when asked about LFC's alleged interest, the midfielder told Swiss newspaper Blick:

“If an offer [from Liverpool] was to come in, I would think about it [signing for LFC]. Eventually I want to play abroad. Preferably in the Bundesliga or in England.”

Some info about €5m-rated Frei:

* Central midfielder. Can play as a DM or further forward.
* 27 goals/36 assists in 232 apps (Goal/Assist every 3.6 games)
* 1 goal in 5 apps for Switzerland.
* 6 major trophies with Basel (including 4 league titles)
* Current contract expires: 2017

Frei is in good form this season, especially in the Champions League, and his match-winning performances recently prompted praise from Sporting Director Georg Heitz, who raved:

"His [Frei's] form is excellent, but it is not really surprising as he is developing well, and that's why Basel recently extended his contract until 2017"

Frei put in another impressive performance against Liverpool, and scored the goal that sent Basel into the second round of the competition. After the game, he revealed that he'd received a request from one particularly impressed LFC fan:

“After the game a Liverpool fan asked me to stay at Anfield and replace [Steven] Gerrard."

That's wishful thinking in the extreme, but is Frei capable of replacing Liverpool's captain? No chance. He could probably replace Joe Allen, and provide good competition for Henderson, but very few players are in Gerrard's league, and if/when he retires, the Reds will need better player than Frei to fill the void.



  1. At 26 most promising, when at that age most top players are at their peak. I do feel BR might be interested for this man - experience but cheap & low profile; perfect fit for a low confidence Manager.

    For all his talent & potential, he has 5 mighty caps for Switzerland in 4 years & I am not sure how many of those are as starter. I don't know what extra he 'll offer than Allen, Can or Henderson?

  2. need to set our sights a little higher.

  3. I think we already have the replacement for Gerrard in Emre Can, I know it's only his first season and he hasn't even been playing in midfield for us but I've been really impressed with him.

  4. I wouldn't mind scharr. Fast, looks decent in the ball and would be a good foil for Sakho.

  5. I reckon the Pjanic rumour holds a lot of weight but if we were to offload Allen this could happen.

  6. As a replacement for allen he is more than wellcome.

  7. It's not an impossible scenario but it's far from the most obvious one. There are several more likely reasons for his drop in form as have been mentioned by others - Lille's lack of quality, defensive tactics etc. His head is already at Liverpool and now things have turned sour with the Lille fans, not to mention the fact that he's 19 and will experience drops in form and inconsistent performances as all young players do.
    Ultimately there is no evidence whatsoever that over praise and hype has a negative impact on players form, development or anything else for that matter but linking it to this case is a fairly loose connection imo

  8. You and others have such an insular view of this issue. It's not just about football; in all areas of life, studies have shown that excessive praise is often counter-productive. Human frailty is the common denominator here, not *football*.

    There is copious evidence out there supporting my oft-advanced contention (do a Google search). For now, read this:

  9. Lovern needs to improve so that Can ,can move into Gerrard's place
    What liverpool needs is to replace Allen and maybe Lucas if he leaves

  10. Your last paragraph makes absolutely no sense. Yes, inconsistency does come with the territory of being a teenager, it's natural for most players. But then, somehow, you try to shift all of the blame then on to Rodgers and Kompany? Eugh. Give me a break. I love how you're so adamant about this, when you have zero evidence to prove that it's their fault. Sometimes, you're like one of those extremely left field doctors who make unusual but grand theories with dodgy evidence, like that guy who made spurious links between autism and child vaccinations.

    The only way to genuinely criticise Rodgers, Kompany and co. is that they look foolish for what they said. That's it. If it's their 'fault' that Origi can't score goals, then it's not actually their problem. It's Origi's.

  11. But duuuuuude, it's part of the football universe, whether you accept it or not. All of the top current footballers of the world were subjected to gross overpraise. The onus is on footballers to overcome that. Overpraise is inevitable in football, and it's separating the strong minds from the weak ones.

  12. But that's his own darn problem.

  13. Definitely. The less popular 'holiday' theory just doesn't add up at all. The only argument that supports it is his sighting in the Vatican, but it's not like he had no down time whatsoever.

  14. "...he is now crashing and burning as a result of the mental weight of expectation."

    Jaimie, you're affirming the consequent here. It might be that he is "crashing and burning", or perhaps just not scoring goals, because he is being played out on the wing instead of as a striker. Further, there is a perception amongst some Lille fans that he has downed tools because his head is prematurely at Liverpool, so they booed his poor performance one match based on this idea.

    These are just two examples to suggest that we can't truly say whether the "ridiculous, overwrought hype" is the primary driver of his goal drought. It might be a factor, yes. It might equally be that journalists were excited about Liverpool getting a new striker and asked his peers about him, because he wouldn't be seen in Liverpool colours for a year.

    An aside: were Kompany et al incorrect in their assessments of his skill? I'm not so sure. I suspect they're calling it as they see it. It could as easily spur him on to practice more as it could scare him into creeping into his shell. All depends on how afraid he is of greatness. That shouldn't stop players and coaches replying to journalists' questions honestly.

  15. Yeah if anyone called me outstanding I'd be disappointed - not that they do ;-)

  16. I don't care who replaces Gerrard as long as they are quality and can influence games.

  17. Simply brilliant, I'd almost take that over winning the league :)

  18. The thing with this issue in football is that it swings in roundabouts. Footballers are deified 50% of their careers and demonised for the other 50%. Doubt Joe Allen feels particularly deified...
    The big influence that Rodgers and Kompany will have on Origi will be on the training field and in discussions that we won't see, what they say to the media is all but irrelevant, however I don't know what you expect them to say other than try and boost his confidence. I'm pretty sure if he's not pulling his weight in training with Belgium then there won't be too much over praise from Kompany when the cameras aren't there and the same goes for Rodgers next season when he's with us.

  19. This is what I've been saying, look at Can's movement and bursting runs, we've screwed up tbh the first thing BR should have done was partnered him up with Stevie and said learn but instead they kicked Gerrard through the door and are trying to play Can in defense, granted he does it well but he needs to be moving further up from DM to CM and CAM, looks box to box all over for me