2 Apr 2009

Bordeaux's Yoann Gourcuff to Liverpool? Would he survive the 'Benitez effect'?

Rumours are circulating that 22 year old France international Yoann Gourcuff could be on his way to Liverpool in exchange for Daniel Agger.

Gourcuff - an attacking midfielder - spent 2 years at AC Milan and is now on loan at Bordeaux, where he has quickly become a first team regular. He has also managed to force his way into the France team and is beginning to establish himself.

The rumour of a swap with Agger first arose near the end last year, but now The Guardian is reporting that a possible deal is moving closer to fruition.

This season, Gourcuff has really excelled for Bordeaux, scoring 9 goals and providing 10 assists so far, which is a great creative return for a midfielder.

Take a look at Gourcuff's talents:

Guillem Balague recently stated the following:

“What I can confirm is that, in contrast with players like Arjen Robben, Rafa is looking at players who are still in the process of developing and who can improve, while being able to adapt to different systems and tactics”.

Gourcuff definitely seems to fit the 'players who still in the process of developing' tag, though if Liverpool *did* buy him, I'd hate to see him fall foul of the 'Benitez effect' and go the way of Ryan Babel (and countless other young players) in not being given a proper chance to establish himself in the team.

I know this is only a rumour, but 50% of being a fan is about the speculation!

What do you think? Do an exchange deal for Daniel Agger, or is the Dane too important for Liverpool to let go.

I would personally love to see Gourcuff at Anfield - even at the expense of Agger - but *only* if he was going to be played regularly and allowed to find his place in the team.

And since the deal could be a swap deal, the alleged £30m Benitez is going to get in the sunmmer could be used on buying a top-class winger around the £15-£20m mark and another striker around £10m mark.

So where would he fit in? Using our current squad:

--------------------- Reina

Arbeloa -------- Skrtel -- Carragher ------- Aurelio

------------ Alonso -------- Mascherano

----- Gourcuff ---- Gerrard -------- Riera

-------------------- Torres

He's got to be a more creative option than Dirk Kuyt. And thinking about if we buy new players in the summer:

--------------------- Reina

Arbeloa -------- Skrtel -- Carragher ------- Aurelio

------------ Alonso -------- Mascherano

----- Gourcuff ---- Gerrard -------- £20m winger

-------------------- Torres

Gerrard, Gourcuff and (hopefully) our new top class winger could all interchange across the front.

Having said all that, we don't need anymore young players wasting their potential on Liverpool's substitutes bench, so I remain wary of any potential transfer.


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  1. Seriously - any chance you can kill yourself?

  2. For you Cally, anything :-)

  3. Can you link to Guardian story? Also, when will all writers about Liverpool get over the width myth. What liverpool need is players who can attack the centre of modern defenses, like the way Gerrard and Torres do, like the way Beardsley did, like the way Dalglish did...as for wingers, name any besides Heighway and Barnes who were high impact out and out wingers. Just one will do.

  4. You may have got onto something there but i can't see it happening, personally i think Agger will sign a contract in the summer. Wouldn't be a bad addition at the expense of Agger though, would certainly add more 'possibilities' to the team.

    Aswell with regards to the 20/30 million to spend, if what we hear in the press is true that Benitez is interested in Eto'o for around 18mill or whatever then knowing what Benitez is like the rest would be used to sign a new centre back to replace Agger, with Hyypia nearing his sell by date, we don't have much cover if Agger leaves.

    I also think Dossena will leave for around 5/6 mill i know that seems alot but he is an italy international and there were rumours milan wanted him in january so obviously someone sees something we don't and that will help fund an 8mill move for Barry.

    we'd have many different options then like,
    Away from Home 4231
    Arbeloa Carra Skrtel/New cb Aurelio/Insua
    Alonso/Lucas Masch/Barry
    Kuyt/gourcof Gerrard Riera/Babel

    We all know how benitez likes to rotate, so rotating between Eto'o and Torres, it would pretty much be like for like.

    Home matches maybe more 442
    Arbeloa Carra Skrtel/New cb Aurelio/Insua
    Kuyt/Gourcof Gerrard/Masch Alonso/Barry Riera/Babel
    Eto'o Torres

    Obviously Kuyt and Babel can play as strikers as well, just not as well as torres n eto'o

  5. The comment above, if that was to happen we'd definitly win the league next year, hopefully that will be 2 on the trot!!! YNWA

  6. Why whats so wrong about it??

  7. barry cost 24 million on football manager hehe

  8. brendan - high impact wingers? Steve Mcmanaman. That's one. Just look at the damage he did for Liverpool on the right. Liverpool have never replaced him and have suffered creatively as a result.

    I agree we need better players who can attack the centre of defences. However, Both Beardsley and Dalglish played in teams with outstanding wingers, a point that should not disregarded.

    In any event, even if we *were* to get a top class Beardsley/Dalglish type link man, what would be the point? Gerrard plays in that position, wo whoever we got would not be given the opportunity consistently play there anyway. Consequently, this player would be forced out to the right or the left, so instead of buying a specialist and playing him out of position on the wing, just buy someone who's natural position *is* on the wing!

  9. Re Football manager - I've never played the game and I've never owned a games console of any kind. Not my thing at all.

  10. You see, if I'd played it, I'd know it was a PC game, which I didn't. I don't play computer games because I know I'd probably become addicted and waste all my time doing it.

    And before anyone chimes in with the predictable 'you just waste your time doing this', well, since I'm lucky enough to work from home 90% of the time, it's very easy for me spend time on this site.

    Much to the chagrin of Cally, of course.

  11. Ah don't be so harsh on FM Jaimie - it's a virtual religion of it's own right :)
    Those of us who grew up playing the old 'Championship Manager' series in the late 90s/early 00s (peering at a screen waiting impatiently for the little bar to flash GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL !!! after the opposition keeper saved twice and the ball hit the woodwork three more times! Those old goalmouth scrambles must've been great to watch IRL) will always have a special place for it in our hearts, even if it has created a completely ridiculous basis for a real life club's transfer speculation and activities! :p

  12. Naoise - I don't know if we're talking about the same game here, but when I was a kid I had a Commodore 64, and I used play Football Manager on it. I remember the little bar and waiting for to goal announcement to flash up. It was a fantastically addictive game and I used to spend hours playing it, which is why I know that if I played FM now, I'd probably spend hours every day playing that too! :-)

  13. Humm...you've got me stumped there. I'm too young to remember the Commodore 64 - you'll have to ask my older brother!
    What I do know is the company which developped the old Championship Manager games for PC split a few years ago, with Sega taking the rights to the name (hence 'Championship Manager' is still being produced) and Sports Interactive took the code for the game, which is why though it's called 'Football Manager' now, it's still got the soul of the old Championship Manager games in it, even if in comparison the body of the new games next to the body of the old ones is that of a Transformer next to a kettle!

  14. Devastating insight, Cally. You've got me down to a tee. Can I hire you as my therapist?

  15. i see no one mentioned us getting a right back to cover arby, so skertel doesnt have to play there again,
    the way i c it, the priorities are :-
    1) top class striker as cover for el nino
    2) attacking right back cover for arby
    3)cb IF aggar leaves, winger if he stays

  16. Never heard of Yoann Gourcuff! But I don't know how though, he looks the dogs. Fleet-of-foot, strong, pacy, tricky, powerfully accurate. I'd trade Agger for him in a flash. He looks to be of that kind of build that only starts to fill out at 23 or so - a-la Ronaldo.

  17. Some people on here not looking at the bigger picture, carragher has 2 season's left at most and hypia is on his last season after this one, who will be our center back pairing in 2 years???

    This is why i believe we need to keep DAN the MAN Agger, i believe Agger and SOLID as a ROCK Skrtel could be THE next CB pairing in the Prem.

    And as far as eto'o goes we dont need him he is not someone who will do the whole rotation thing unless he is gonna play him where kuyt plays, which i dont think he would be any good at.

    And this french kid gocough is doing well in a poor league all i am saying is you put gerrard in france and he would treble this french kids stats no doubt, he cant be all that special anyway otherwise he would be playing in the milan shirt and not the bordo one.

  18. Whether or not you believe such a move could be on the cards, there is no way that Agger would agree to move to Bourdeaux! :-O

  19. Trading a proven player like Agger for someone with potential like Gourcuff isn't a fair swap. Sure he's done well in the French league, but we've seen enough to know that you can be proven in every league in the world and yet not be effective in the EPL. Gourcuff would be a nice addition, just to test him out and see how he does. If he adapts, he stays. If he flounders, he leaves in a year or two, no hard feelings, just like the many other great skillful prospects who just can't perform in the world's most competitive league. But it's not worth sacrificing Agger for him.

  20. I think for a so called Liverpool supporter site the views you, (the editor) express are quite puzzling to us "real" supporters, Supporters are just that...we offer support.
    "When you walk through the storm hold your head up high"...etc etc. But every article I have read here seems to resemble a mish mash of disrespecting Our great club with sensational headlines that would be far more at home on a Man Utd blog than a so called Liverpool Fan site.

    Let me illustrate my point with 3 headlines recently viewed on here :

    Headline 1.
    "Mascherano, Messi, and Maradonna Massacred"

    Ok, so credit to you, that you have grasped the concept of alliteration, (which I believe is taught in most middle schools), But why would you put a headline like that on a Liverpool supporter site? Why in this editorial, do you slyly say ...
    "Poor Mascherano – his first real test as captain of Argentina and it turns into a horror show." I could hear you sniggering as you typed!...My point is, your headline and content is not exactly a confidence boost to the lad is it? And who would benefit from a demotivated Mascherano???

    Headline 2
    "Gerrard a flop for England? Sad but True

    As a self proclaimed supporter and editor of this website why would you make a statement like that when Gerrard is now begining to reproduce consistent performances for England (under a more consistent manager)and played crucial roles in both recent victories over Slovakia and Ukraine? England as a team have always flattered to deceive... but I suppose SuperG should do it all by himself?
    My point is, What true Liverpool supporter would want to undermine the confidence of a player with a statement like that? ...and...Who would benefit from "trying to knock a player of his perch" as probably the best player in the world right now on current form???

    Headline 3
    "Bourdeaux's Yoann Gourcuff to Liverpool? Would he survive the 'Benitez effect ?

    Would that be the same 'Benitez effect' that brought Torres, Alonso, Mascherano, Reina,
    Skirtel, Reira to Anfield ...(and many others) all quality first class players who have risen to the occasion and have performed to and even beyond their assumed abilities? In this editorial you go on to say that you'd "hate to see him (Gourcuff) fall foul of the 'Benitez effect' and go the way of Ryan Babel"...Your assuming that Ryan Babel is a failure when in truth and in fact he has been a great success. He's a young lad still learning his trade. He has been used several times this season. He's scored important goals, he's contributing to both the first team and gives great choice and vooomph coming on from the bench. He's improving as a player all the time, he's securing International caps on his Liverpool form... Is he ready to replace Torres as a lethal finisher? No....but he's getting there...How you can assume that this is a negative is beyond me.

    'Critical realism about LFC' you call it (your views, your attitudes, your opinions, your headlines) yet you try so hard to undermine everything to do with Liverpool Football Club under the pseudo mask of 'Critical realism about LFC'

    My question to you is...Who really benefits from this type of critical realism? that's based on 5% truth and 95% jaundiced negative rant?
    I hate to say it, but in your case, Fergie was right when he said words to the effect of ..."Football has a habit of kicking you in the teeth"

  21. I ,also, would like to know why you actually write these articles? who is your target audience? Serious question, no malice.

  22. Oh what a surprise, another pop at Benitez from this so-called Liverpool fan site. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

  23. Jay - Gourcuff is on loan from AC Milan, so the swap would mean he'd go to the San Siro, not Bordeaux, which ties in with all the recent Milan speculation.

    Red2Death - I kind of agree with you, however, I would sacrifice Agger if it meant Gourcuff would be played in almost ever game and allowed to settle. Defence and finding top defenders has never never been Liverpool's problem; indeed, during the reigns of both Gerard Houllier and Rafa, our defence has been stunningly good, the best in the league statisticall on occasion.

    The problem is and always has been the attacking third of the field. The same problems under Houllier *still* exist under Benitez, which is why I would lean more towards Gourcuff than Agger at this stage.

  24. Anonymous - I don't have the time or the inclination to justify myself to you. I do so about 10 times a day and I can't be bothered anymore. You have avery narrow view of what being a fan is all about, and if you cannot accept the possibility that fans can also be critical, then I submit that it is you who has the problem, not me.

    As for who benefits? Jeez, I'm not performing a public service; I'm not trying to change the world, change opinions or please/impress anyone. I'm just a fan with an opinion, and I enjoying hearing the views of other fans. So sue me!

  25. The fact that Milan consider Agger as a replacement for Maldini tells u something...He is top draw ball playing centre half...I would not swap him for anyone.
    Zoe...South Africa

  26. no.. i wont change dane for anyone

  27. So you believe that a ball playing centre half who creates and scores goals should be sacrificed for an unproven attacking midfielder whose only had one season of top flight "french" football

  28. *back* on The Rattle? I've never posted there before. If anyone from the Rattle wants a debate about any LFC issue then they can come to the site and debate in real time on my chat-box (currenty hidden).

  29. Kanwar. You are pissing me off now. I said I want to know what tr abs you are wearing?

  30. Please can you do some research before righting an article in future. Bordeaux have an option to buy Gourcuff for an already agreed fee in the summer (£13m, I think) so HE WILL be signing for them, and I don't think Agger is interested in playing in France.

    Gourcuff will probabaly stay at Bordeaux until after the 2010 world cup, he's playing so well for Bordeaux he's one of the 1st names on the team sheet for France so I can't see him risking that my moving to league club where he's not sure of 1st team football.

    Great player. Poor article.

  31. Hmmm - where did I say or even suggest Gourcuff *would definitely be signing for Liverpool*?

    This is all speculation, as I stated in the article, so why don't you stop spitting your dummy out and try and appreciate that?

  32. Mesut Ozil for left winger will be perfect

  33. Diego from Werder

  34. Jaimie Kanwar-

    You claim that Liverpool have 'always' had problems in the 'attacking [final] third of the field', yet ignore the fact that they've scored more goals than any other English team for the second year running!

    Hardly symptomatic of a team with 'problems' scoring, is it? What are you going to claim next? That Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are all suffering from problems in the final third, which is why that 'problematic' team Liverpool have suddenly and miraculously 'capitalised' on it?

    This kind of 'criticism' is neither measured nor sensible. Selling/swapping Agger for an unproven player in another position is both desperate and foolish, especially given that we're losing Hyppia and are on track to lose Caraggher to the ravages of age.

    Do we need more attack-minded players? Yes; I'm the first to admit it and argue for it. Can we afford to lose our youngest first-choice centre-back to gamble on someone who's never played in the league or proven to a degree that we can be fairly certain he'd shine? No - hell no!

  35. I notice that Mr Kanwar uses the word fan to describe himself, not the word supporter. This is apposite. Pop idols have fans. football teams have supporters.