28 Apr 2009

Why Liverpool F.C. shouldn’t make any major signings this summer

The season is coming to a close, and although clinching the premiership crown remains a possibility, it seems more likely that we will end the season empty handed once again. Despite this, Eoin Sheridan believes that the club should think twice about splshing the cash and warns against signing a raft of new players.

Whilst another trophyless season will be a disappointment for Kopites around the world, most would agree that this season we have made real progress on the field are in an excellent position to challenge for the title again next year.

Indeed, most Liverpool fans would argue that without injuries to Gerrard and Torres covering a large portion of the season we could well have won the title this year.

So now that we’re reaching the end of the season the usual summer transfer speculation has already begun; Villa, Eto’o, Silva and even Tevez are amongst the many names already being linked with a switch to Anfield, with claims and counter-claims about whether these players would cost too much, or would demand too much in terms of wages for us to afford.

Most fans get excited about stories like these, but I’d like to put forward the case for constancy this summer; by that I mean making only the minimum number of additions to the squad and developing the talent that we have at our disposal.

Some would argue that we need to replace Robbie Keane, but I don’t agree, Keane’s arrival resulted in constant speculation about his starting position, and his goals return was no greater than what we could expect out of Kuyt, Benayoun or Babel if they are shifted into one of the front two positions.

Bringing in an expensive attacker such as Villa or Eto’o would result in added pressure on the entire team, not to mention the possibility of having to change the system if Gerrard, Torres and the new signing are all fit and on great form.

A much better idea is to keep the attackers we have and shift one of the above mentioned trio into an attacking position in the event of injury to either of our formidable front two.

The same argument can be made for most of the other positions around the park - at left back, Emiliano Insua has proved that we have the youngsters in the reserves capable of making the step-up to the first team; and at right back, I firmly believe that Stephen Darby is capable of filling in for Arbeloa for 10-15 games next season if needed.

In midfield, the duo of Alonso and Mascherano could be supported by Spearing, and having watched him impress at Nottingham Forest this season I believe that Paul Anderson could definitely do a job as back-up to our wingers.

We could potentially recoup a few million by selling the likes of Dossena and Lucas and few would argue that the strength of the squad would be weakened by giving promising youngsters a chance at the expense of these players that haven’t quite worked out.

Most significantly if you look at the age of our squad, there are very few players that will become “too old” within the next three seasons.

Much like Manchester United have done in the last few years (and Arsenal before them), our young team now needs to be allowed to mature, and this won’t be achieved by making wholesale changes again this summer.

I believe that players like Babel, Riera and N’Gog will only improve and become more consistent next season if Rafa keeps faith in them and allows them to develop.

Having come within touching distance of the title this season there is certainly no need to make major changes to the side, and I believe that the same squad - with one extra year of experience; no off-field turmoil surrounding the manager’s future, and financial stability - will be in an excellent position to win the title next season.

Eoin Sheridan is a one of Liverpool-Kop's new writers


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  1. I think that's well said. I definately agree about Spearing and Darby, and let's not forget Martin Kelly. Although centre halves take longer to mature he is a really good athlete and well worth supplementing the first team.
    I think Spearing is ready now. He played superbly against Real Madrid then a few days later I watched him come on as sub against Man Ure reserves and turn the game around. He has skill, vision, strength and determination, and he's three quarters a scouser!!!

  2. Put down the crack pipe. If we don't sign a major player each year, we will never catch up with Manure

  3. I some what agree, however I do feel that we still require something better in wide areas, a quick/tricky winger like Aaron or Lennon or Ashley Young would be Fantastic.

    We are strong in Defence, but Rafa will need to replace Agger if he choses to leave. Midfield can be left alone and I also think that if needed Nemeth would be able to make the step-up to the first team and hopefully replicate what he does for his country.

  4. If you look at the past few seasons under Rafa, you see that we tend to find our pattern in the second half of the season and then throw it all up in the air with the introduction of new players in the summer.

    I'd like to see Rafa stick to 4-2-3-1 from the start of next season. I think we should only buy players who fit those positions AND are better than any existing ones.

    Our priority should be to get a top-class right back who is better than Arbeloa. I would also be tempted to swap Babel for a top-class winger who is better than Riera. I think Benyoun is good cover for Gerard and Kuyt, so keep him. I worry that we haven't got a genuine challenger to deputise for Torres up front. Also we need a better challenger to Reina. The rest doesn't need changing unless we lose defenders. The spine is already in place.

  5. Good article! However, most of what you say depends on who goes; surely it's clear that Babel will be moved on. A talent for sure, but I don't think he has quite what it takes to prove Senor Benitez wrong. Add to that the first-team loaners - Voronin, Pennant et al. - who haven't really been replaced.

    The reserves should surely now be primed and ready - but also be *confident* enough to mix, and challenge for their berth on the park. At a minimum, Spearing, Nemeth and Darby will be squeezed onto the bus; not to mention San Jose and Kelly. And there is also a special case in Lauri Dalla Valle - as there can be no major benefit to leaving him in the youth set-up. He looks like he would thrive, if given the chance.

    But I do think that we need that extra bit of quality in support of the strikers - to both unlock team-buses, and to create a sense of belief that the team are worthy of [real] quality coming in. There were plenty of times this season when we glanced to our bench to see who could be our Harry Potter, to the oppositions Lord Voldemort; it wasn't exactly magical or inspiring viewing.

    One loves to be original, but David Silva would be absolutely perfect imho. He's at the right age for a move to a bigger club for it to be mutually beneficial. I see him as the best option as a successor of the No.7 shirt. He's got that impishness like our other legendary number 7s: Harry Kewell, Nigel Clough and Vladimir Smicer. ?;-)

    But seriously, if we are to actually win the title next season - as an improvement on challenging for it - we do need to embellish our challenge-blooded squad...with new blood.

  6. we absolutely need to sign world class players. Man u have a squad dripping in quality and they play together brilliantly. Rafa uses the formations he does to fit the players he has. Kuyt works hard but isnt really any good, benayoun has been effective recently but doesnt regularly feature. The youngsters are no where near good enough to make a decent impact in the epl. Striker and winger would be good, i think the central midfielders are strong. Also some more strength in the wide defenders area. As has been noted before, strong spine, just need to build on that. Atm there needs to be players brought in.

  7. We need one more top class striker or Man U or Chelsea will win the season again. We should tried for Owen, why not I just cannot fathom. Maturing a team is okay, but what happens when you only get goals from 2 players and one goes off injured. You come second - that's what.