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6 May 2015

Done Deal: After passing a medical, Liverpool reach 'agreement' to sign Alves this summer from Portugese club Sanjoanense

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With the summer transfer window still over a month away, Brendan Rodgers has already sealed the the first signing of the summer, and it's as underwhelming as the rest of Liverpool's transfers over the last couple of years.

On Tuesday evening, A.D. Sanjoanense - a club in Portugal's illustrious third division - announced that Liverpool have agreed to sign Paulo Alves, one of the club's rising stars.

A statement on Sanjoanense's website confirmed the deal:

"The agreement [with Liverpool] comes after a trial period at the legendary English club, and should be formalized in the coming days".

Some further info re the deal:

* Paulinho has reportedly spent the last few weeks on trial at Liverpool.

* Alves will remain with Sanjoanense until the end of the Portuguese season, and head to Anfield next season.

* He has already passed a medical, and signed a deal with the Reds.

* Alves is nicknamed Paulinho ('little Paul') on account of his small size.

Sorry, but I find it hard to muster up enthusiasm for yet another young attacker who may or may not come good at some undetermined point in the future.

Given Sanjoanense lowly status in Portuguese football, it's understandable that Alves would jump at the chance to come to Liverpool, but in my view, it's the worst possible move he - or indeed any 16/17 year old - can make.

Alves is still a child, and the best thing for him to do is continue his development in his home country, alongside friends and family. If he's that good, he opportunities will be there, but is it really worth sacrificing an entire way of life to toil away in Liverpool's youth system on the way to almost certain failure.

Two dispiriting facts to consider:

* In the entire history of Liverpool FC, no young, foreign, attacking player has ever made it through the youth system to become a regular in the first team.

* None of these aforementioned players have ever left Liverpool's youth system to become stars elsewhere. If someone can name a young, foreign attacking player who came through LFC's academy, left the club, and then went on to become an established star in another top team, then I'm listening (!)

This is the reality. Why is it suddenly going to change now?

It's ridiculous, really, as the club has acquired so many exciting young attackers over the years, but like Suso, Nemeth, Leto, and countless others, they never seem to make it, and I'm sure Canos, Teixeira et al will go the same way.

Paulo Alves: you've been warned.

Author: Jaimie K


  1. Look at the quality in the Liverpool academy, you need top young players to come through, this is exactly what we need to be doing.

  2. It comes as no suprise that Liverpool want young talent as ,
    Tonight we will see Luis Suarez, Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso.play in CL semi final , a clear message to Liverpool fans that Liverpool Is a selling club

  3. Relax it's Danny Alves not Paulo.

  4. The problem is, as soon as the average fan hears that their club has signed a player, they think "this guy had better improve our first 11!" The reality of investing in youth is quite another thing thing altogether. Is he a risk? Yes, all players represent risks for the value they are acquired. Will he make it? Maybe. If he doesn't make it, will he be a failure? No. If he makes it, will he be a success? Possibly, and if he does, than the foresight of acquiring him at a young age when he cost relatively nothing will be hailed as a stroke of genius. Such is the risk inherrent in any youth acquisition. We'll have to wait and see.

  5. Maybe a replacement for another Portuguese Teixeira?

  6. Chelsea stockpile players, it's good business for the future; we do it and it's viewed with an unhealthy dose of cynicism, why?

  7. That is correct ,something like 32 young players out on loan this season and most will be sold for huge profits !

  8. Unsurprising view of the situation to be honest JK. I, for one, am very happy for the club to be buying in some young talent. If the club took your advice, we would just keep missing out on the opportunity to raise quality players through our ranks, even if they are just sale fodder, like Chelsea has done with so much success. You constantly criticise the club for not having any youth products actually break through, yet when we sign a young prospect, who might just have a 1% chance of making it through, it's all neg. It's one thing being realistic, but another to be utterly cynical. When the club praise a player it is gross, unwarranted and damaging overpraise, if a player is criticised, it is bad man-management, when the club signs a player over 15m, it is pressure to succeed or else, if they sign under 15m, there must be a reason that the old club sold them so cheap, when a youth player signs, it isnt good enough, shows no ambition and shows the club arent thinking about results, but if no players break through, they aren't focusing on the youth teams enough.
    Why can't you once try and see the positive? No he isnt going to break into the firsts just yet, maybe never at all, but the club has given him an opportunity and I hope he takes it well, learns our game, flourishes in the youths and gets a spot maybe in the next 2-3 years in the first team to show what he's capable of.

  9. Oh please, give it a rest with the 'cynical' cobblers.

    It's not cynicism in the slightest; it's reality, and I prefer to see things as they really are, rather than stick my head in the sand.

    It is a *fact* that no young foreign player has ever come through the ranks at LFC to become a consistent first team regular. *That* is the negative here, not my restatement of that fact.

    I have no faith in Liverpool's youth system when it comes to young attacking players, especially overseas players. If it was down to me, the club would not sign any teenage attackers from overseas. What's the point? For whatever reason, they never make it, so it's a giant waste of time and resources.

    The club should focus on signing foreign players aged 20+, as the current system is an abject failure.

    Bringing in players like Origi, Coutinho etc is a much more effective policy, as these guys actually have a chance of making an impact. There will be failures along the way (i.e. Alberto, Markovic etc), but the failure rate with this approach is far smaller than the 100% failure rate in the Academy.

    Also, please refrain from falsely paraphrasing my views. You've made totally inaccurate generalisations here, and I haven't argued half the things you've stated in your post.

    As for seeing the positive - I constantly see the positive in various things related to LFC, but when it comes to youth development, there are very few positives. That is the reality, and just because you seemingly can't handle the truth being stated doesn't make it cynicism.

  10. Good business? Do me a favour. Please list the young players Liverpool have 'stockpiled' and sold for huge sums of money over the last 10 years. Just three names will do.

  11. I don't mind this to be honest, it's just standard procedure for clubs to buy young talent with potential for their academies.

    Whether he will come through to the 1st team or not is not relevant at the moment. If he becomes as good as he wants to be then I'm sure he will stand out like Sterling did for the u18 or u21s.

  12. Why would I do you a favour? BR been at the helm for 3 years, it's too early to see whether any of our stockpile will mature and either be sold for a profit or become a regular. One prospect comes to mind, Raheem Sterling!

  13. I didn't ask you to do me a favour; it's a British expression which means 'you're having a laugh'.

    As for Sterling: I said young overseas attackers, not British players.

  14. How do you know that most will be sold for huge profit? How many loanees from the youth set-up have Chelsea sold over the last 5 years for a 'huge profit'?

  15. Yes I agree BR's track record with overseas attackers over the last 3 years has not been prolific but that does not mean we should just stop buying these youngsters. Didn't have a sarcastic font for 'favour', meant to be ironic.

  16. Jamie your not supposed together excited by sixteen year olds. I didn't mean that how it sounded. But that's true too.

  17. It's not just the last three years; it;'s the last 30+ years. No overseas attacking player has ever come through the youth set-up to be a regular first-teamer.

    Suso came close, but after playing a few games in Rodgers' debut season, he was dumped and never heard from again.

    Rodgers isn't the problem here, it's the culture of the youth set-up that needs to change. It's weighed far too heavily in favour of homegrown players, and the likes of Sterling, Ibe, Rossiter et al are more likely to be given chances, time, and patience to develop.

  18. If Liverpool sell Sterling we are talking £50m, he cost £500,000, Ibe is another star worth a fortune, Sheyi Ojo, Ryan Kent, Jerome Sinclair, Jordan Rossiter, Harry Wilson etc will be worth tens of £millions to Liverpool going forward....................the FSG model is working on the business side of things, now we need to see the same on the pitch.

  19. Maybe the reason young player don't make it at top level is simply because they are not good enough, if you don't try you'll never find the next big player that's for sure.

  20. Having put Liverpool back into the black and redeveloping the stadium, FSG have done a good job at Liverpool, In the last 3 transfer windows spending only £21m net has still allowed us to challenge the top 4. BR is to blame for Liverpool spluttering for most of the season, look at the commercial deals signed by FSG recently and the massive TV deal. Liverpool are in very good shape off the pitch now, the dark days are gone, now we just need a manager to win trophies and use our fantastic academy players too!!!.

  21. Liverpool FC, the City Council and Your Housing have started building the new sports-centre promised to replace the old Vernon Sangster centre................................it is stunning.

  22. Is there an argument to scrap the whole academy, save a fortune and buy some top class 1st teamer's?

  23. Mataio Viliamu9:29 am, May 06, 2015

    in the entire history of the premier league liverpool have never won.....so ye lets just give up

  24. The generalisations are made from observations Jaimie, ask any of your commentators on here, and they will agree. I just don't get how you could want to throw away the possibility of unearthing a great foreign player from our youths, just because it hasn't happened before. Yes, the failure rate of the academy is huge, but if it goes altogether, then we have 0 chance of ever getting a player that we can call our own, someone we moulded and shaped for our club, which I'm sure alot of fans would love to see.
    I apologise if my posts came off as aggressive, but I'm a fairly positive fan, and the club is just surrounded by negative cynicism, whether its about the youth team, the manager, the players, the staff, the owners, or the boot-polisher. Everyone points the finger at whoever they like the least or whatever has got their goat that morning. Just seems a bit shallow from my point of view, but it's just my rose-coloured glasses.

  25. I hope they never scrap the academy for many of these boys that never make it can always look back and say they represented Liverpool.
    Our likely only chance at the moment of getting another Gerrard is only likely if we keep the academy.

  26. I have a theory on why "foreign" young players dont make it as to opposed to why some "British" young players do.

    The obvious one is talent.. but scratching below the surface, it would appear the home grown players tend to get that 1-2 extra opportunities to impress. Also there is a perception problem that the "foreign" flair players don't have what it takes (in hardness terms) to play the English way.

    But when looking at the opportunities offered to the likes of Shelvey and Suso can we actually say with certainty they were either treated differently or were good enough for LFC that they didn't need to buy a Courtinho..?

  27. On another note, do we read into this:

    1. BR has been given a vote of confidence to start his transfer dealings for the summer and that his services will be retained?


    2. BR cannot be trusted with the big money deals, and this is simply the start of the end of BR?

  28. rotchie the red12:26 pm, May 06, 2015

    maybe he'll be the next cristiano ronaldo, Gerard Houllier let him go after trials with us when he was 19 and he wanted to sign for us.

  29. Sterling 50M? Will be lucky to get 20

  30. - Apart from the increasingly minority of Bodgerites (who I expect list DIY as their favourite hobby - each with a trail of botched up jobs left behind them), every man and his dog in Liverpool know that Rodgers is a fancy Dan - gleaming teeth, a smart click of the heels, a touch of the blarney - but a fantasist, delusional, egotist, a pseudo-intellectual, a fool who is easily parted from money that is not his own - a B movie, 'small part' bum of an actor who somehow found himself in charge of a once beast of a football club that he is systematically shredding to bits.

  31. You know there is also an LFC academy for players that don't make it as a pro. It's a pathway into coaching or a general sports career.

  32. There's no such argument. I've done some minor academic research into academies or any type of youth institution/set up - of major European clubs. The cost of running it is around half of what the club paid for Lazar Markovic. Hopefully that grants you some perspective.

  33. wasting his time because player who is world class for academy was steven gerrard

  34. Thanks for the insight, if this is the case then it is worth it. JK does make a good point though, hopefully this situation will change and at that price one first team player makes it worthwhile.

  35. Fans have problem when we buy young talents and they also have problem when we don't. You just can't appease them all.

  36. Pete theres ya chance to learn the Liverpool way and come home and lead Sydney fc to glory.

  37. Haha to be honest without giving too much away I did think about it (in Aus) but that opportunity has passed. Still in the sports field though.

    I think Arnie has got it covered, we will kick Gombau and his imports back to Barcelona :)

  38. Your joking we have already celebrated this weeks win down in SA.
    You boys got nothing we will blow ya off the park.

  39. More like it will be lights out for both your reds this season! Just accept your fate!!!

  40. We will see but ya just know that who ever wins has to beat Melbourne.

  41. For sure! Muscat...


  42. Still never forget the 6 0 final almost went glad i didnt

  43. Yeah that was pretty crazy. Anything can happen. Last time Sydney won it all was at Melbourne on pens. We shall see indeed!

  44. I don't get why this is underwhelming. It's not meant to be whelming. Clubs sign young players all the time. He may graduate to the first team. I'm sure he's aware there will be competition for spots on the team. No need to discourage the kid from the outset.

    By the way, Mikel San Jose and Gabriel Paletta are doing pretty well for themselves.

    Why would it change now? You're posing it rhetorically, but it's an unanswerable question without knowing all the factors. There might be a reason he'll make it. Some of them might be within his or the coaching staff's control. Let's hope he does, for his sake and ours.

  45. Exactly. We've still got to try if we think the goal is worth achieving.

  46. rotchie the red2:25 pm, May 06, 2015

    apart from all that you really like him though

  47. Mike Aitcheson2:43 pm, May 06, 2015

    Really balanced view, thanks. No positive traits whatsoever. In fact, you could do better.
    Can you please provide a fact based justification which is not just your own dislike for him (it's completely irrelevant whether the manager is likeable or not)
    All I see is a never ending stream of name calling devoid of any real insight into the reasoning. Compare his spending to that of other managers currently in the same position for instance- others have spent better some have spent more for less return.
    Then maybe you won't sound so one eyed

  48. I think a lot of people including yourself Jamie are missing the point

    We are simply doing what Chelsea have been doing for a couple years now and many other clubs have started to do which is buying as many young players as possible in the hope that in a few years they can sell them on for a profit.

    Welcome to the world of FFP

  49. And thats the key thing balance. Support, have opinions, back the manager if that's what you believe.

    But be gracious when someone with an opposing view presents an argument you may not agree with but may have some merit.

    Without pointing any fingers.. there has been occassions when the point being debated is less material that simply saying BR is right and can do no wrong..

    Equally those critiquing BR should also be balanced and sensitive to others..

  50. I will do you the favour and without any sarcasm included. All the data is based on transfermarkt.co.uk and starting from 2005/2006 season:

    2005 A. Diarra sold for 2.5M
    2006 A. Barragan 2.2M
    2007 F. Sinama-Pongolle 3.5M
    2009 S. Leto 3.5M
    2010 M. San Jose 2.4M & T. Buchtmann 0.1M

    These are guaranteed to be profitable with almost 11M profit raised. Then there are a few questionables as either sales revenue or purchase costs could not be verified:

    2010 L. Dalla Valle & A. Kacaniklic (sold as sweeteners in Konchesky deal proper valuation could not be made)
    2011 E. Insua sold for 1.3M (acquired as player exchange to Paletta, thus no proper acquire valuation)
    2011 D. Ayala 0.8M (No info on purchase cost)
    2011 C. Mavinga 0.9M (No info on purchase cost)

    As you can see JK, there are quite a few youngsters sold with profit, although you are partly right that these are mainly defensive players and the performance for the last 4 years has been abysmal.

  51. Also buying them early enough (as we did with Paulinho), they will account as homegrown players which can actually increase their market value radically as far as EPL teams are concerned.

  52. Would Delph have not just signed in Jan when we wanted him or not signed a new deal and joined for free in summer ? why sign a new deal when it could scupper a move for you.I think if we were signing Delph it would have been on a free ,now villa will want 20 mill +, only hope is if they go down,.

  53. I don't believe in the sell to buy theory. Clubs don't actually pay out transfer fees in one lump sum most of the time so it's not as much about the money we have but the money we expect to be able to spend in the long term. Even if we, say, budget to get 40 million from player sales and we end up getting 30 million, there are more ways to plug that 10 million deficit over a longer period of time. But none the less I don't think we need to get our hopes up too much on those coming in. I just hope Sterling and Balotelli are on their way out first of all and there are a few more I won't shed too many tears over but those two just do not belong at this club.

  54. and that is years if not decades off.BR is not going to deliver that.

  55. Well unless you want to send players out on loan who are a waste you must sell to buy Eric it would be rubbish to loan out Balotelli Borini Aspas Alberto some of their contracts are running out too.
    What you are saying doesnt equate what so ever we want the money to spend ffp rules heard of them and that goes over a 3 year period.