4 Sept 2011

Raul Meireles: Genuine reasons for leaving, or a betrayal of Liverpool FC? (Guest Post)

Guest Writer Jennifer Sambell gives her views on the Raul Meireles transfer, and looks at the veracity of his reasons for leaving Anfield.

Just half an hour before the recent transfer window closed, Raul Meireles handed in a transfer request, and soon afterwards an agreement was made to sell the midfielder to Chelsea for 12 million pounds. Raul subsequently claimed that he was not a 'Judas', but it's hard to find credible reasons for his decision to leave.

33 appearances and 5 goals doesn’t begin to show the impact that Raul had on the Liverpool squad during a poor season last year. Many would say he was one of our star players toward the tail-end of the season, scoring many important goals, including the winner against his new club at Stamford Bridge.

Undoubtedly one of the few positives that came out of the Roy Hodgson era, Raul finished the season with a 73% pass completion rate and 5 assists, as well as being the creator of 58 more chances.

At the start of this season, Raul was reduced to substitute appearances, making a big impact in the Arsenal game after coming on at 0-0 and setting up Luiz Suarez for his goal. As a result of this he found himself in the starting eleven in the midweek games in Exeter but had to leave the field after twenty minutes with a shoulder injury, which then kept in out of the win against Bolton.

The depth and strength in the squad has improved dramatically over the summer and with the arrival of Charlie Adam, Stuart Downing and Jordan Henderson (and Steven Gerrard waiting in the wings), it is hard to not think that this didn’t influence Raul’s decision to move to Chelsea.

In my opinion, he still had a major part to play in Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool team; many players insist that competition within a squad does nothing but good but maye Raul maybe wasn't willing to fight for his place.

In an interview after his transfer, Raul was quick to shout down claims that he decided to move to Chelsea (annual wage bill is £172.5) for financial reasons. Perhaps he's being truthful, but I am struggling to see much truth in the reason he did come up with, namely he moved to 'win trophies'.

Of course, Chelsea can offer him Champions league football, which Liverpool cannot, but when he signed for us just last summer, Champions league football was not an option. It wasn't important to Raul when he signed, but with half an hour of the transfer window left, it seemingly became his top priority.

Whatever Raul's reason for leaving (and apparently there is a reason, which he says will be revealed in the future), I can’t help but hope that his Chelsea career goes somewhat like the career of the last man who went in that direction.

Jennifer Sambell


  1. I do remember reading somewhere that Meireles initial wage when he signed was somewhere in the region of £40k but it was agreed at the time that Liverpool would review this salary / contract after his first season and dependent upon his performance.  Raul was signed under the old regime but with Comolli at the club  and it remains to be seen whether or not an increased wage / contract was on offer or whether Kenny saw him as only a bit-part player and made this known to him.  Like Benayoun when he went to Chelsea I also see him struggling to get into the Chelsea starting eleven week in and out, however Meireles has likely doubled his wages and after his fellow countryman AVB came knocking for him perhaps promising more time on the pitch it was perhaps a no-brainer for the player.  With Gerrard back and hopefully everyone fit, it is difficult to see how Raul would have been anything more than an impact sub for LFC, although I personally would have been delighted if we had retained that option.  Nevertheless as has been proven with   Torres, Dalglish knows whats best for the club and we have plenty of options even after his sale.

  2. The point you may have missed is that maybe like he said he was desperate to join the premiership and Liverpool is a great option when non of the champions league clubs went in for him.  Now, with AVB at Chelsea he can have the premiership, champions league and a Portuguese manager - Chelsea become a better option (and as much as it irritates you - there is a better chance of winning trophies at Chelsea).  Add to that the fact that Kenny made him available for transfer and the dispute on wages and I think this should answer your question.

  3. Raul is Only  Mr JUDAS!!!!
    His move is ONLY for the eagerness of getting a BIGGER salary as Chekski is offering him!!! There's ANY SO CALLED SPORTING REASONS following his move, if so he shouldnt have waited the last day & last hour of the transfer window to make a force transfer request as LFC never put you for sale!!! If you wanted to move for sporting reason, we ought to have made ur request like  a gentleman on the FIRST DAT the window had opened!!!
    @ LFC we want players to be happy to put a Red shirt & fight to gain their role in the first team through continuous improvements in training & in matches to prove that you are a quality player rather than Thinking BUSINESS!!!
    Unluckily, u should have contact Man City you shall be getting TRIPLE that Chelski is giving u now!!!
    Goodluck Raul, dont worry you are only a short-term requirement @ chelski as when the january window reopens, there will be Modric & others purchase to be preferred on chelski's mildfield....enjoy ur luxury stay...

    LFC Fans..You'll-Never-Welcom-Again...

  4. Nice post,I heard or read somewhere.That he thought he was suppose to
    be given a better contract if he activated something in his contract?IDK
    for a fact...still,the policly of our owners is to get a resale value on players
    we look to aquire..and i suppose this would be the likely scenario with him.
    Even if he was one of the better play-players within the squad,and he could see a pass.His mobility was not the best.And he seemed to lack HEART...I mean against
    exeter 20 mins?come on!It was a little tumble.Did he really have to go off..unless
    a deal was already in place with chelsea?
    As someone with a decent resale value...it looked like he had been hawked about
    as a possible transfer thoughout the summer..one or two italian clubs springs to
    mind?with that said.It's probably like the alonso situation...just saying lol.
    I like him while he was here,but now he's gone i couldn't give a ***s.It's like F/T
    i wish him all the luck that goes with a move to them lot.Bad luck..ynwa. 

  5. JUDAS- i hope you ROT like that that donkey Torres, if that's what you call him LOL

  6. Mark Sproule, i never knew there where any Sproule's in Londonderry mate. Sproules rule the world lol

  7. can't you just accept that he has ambitions to win trophies and he has a better chance doing that at Chelsea, and as for Dalglish knowing best I was under the impression that he didn't want to sell Torres and lets see what happens for the rest of the season. I believe that Torres is too good a player not come good at some stage for Chelsea and in your hearts to hearts you probably believe that as well.

  8. I can't agree with that last comment,when was the last trophy Chelsea won.Liverpool as a team have the beating of Chelsea in 75% of all games.Since Torres arrived you've been going backwards,he most certainly cost you the title last season and will again this season.The man's peaked,he's had his best years at Liverpool,and now it seems Chelsea are happy to sign Liverpool rejects.

  9. Torres and Meireles rejects. why make such a fuss about then.

  10. without forgetting Mr Benayoun..trying to act smart but now need to beg to find another club to prove their existance as a player!!!
    Money is not everything in life...
    Anyway anyone predict RAUL's next season club?? I say MAN CITY$$$

  11. Sorry man if Raul ambition was a move for sporting reasons as he wouldnt have been waited the last day & last hour of the window to want force a move rather that speaking to the LFC Club & fans on the very first day the window has opened!!!
    Be practical its only for money$$$ my friend, as AVB have fail to land Modric, they approach short-term solution MR JUDA$ with some $$$.. So to be a gentlman, Mr Juda$ can only say "i move for sporting reason not for a better pay...as i thing chelsea are more ambitious than LFC to win trophies..." Be a man, say i want money$$$ to be happier like a player & Chelsea's propo$al are windfall$$$ especially @ this age!!!

  12. I doubt very much that he submitted a transfer request 30 minutes before the deadline, it would have been the morning of deadline day at the latest in order for it to go through in time. Liverpool released this story once they had Bellamy in the bag. His reasons for going to C.F.C are strange, they are in as much a state of flux as Arsenal in their own way and it still remains to be seen whether AVB can cut the mustard; besides which they are still riven with over-the-hill players who have far too much influence in the dressing room. Raul was a solid all-round midfielder but hardly spectacular. and far from irreplaceable

  13. London is the gay capital of the UK? ???

  14. what a rubbish blog.....even though i hardly agree with JK, his blogs are interesting and argumentative...but a good read none the less...but why are you allowing bloggers with no understanding of what really happened.....there are a few other websites with crappy bloggers like this..

    jk, as i said,,,even though i dont agree with most u write.,.still very well written and an interesting read...pls dont spoil your site with tripe like this

  15. Hi gX - thanks for visiting.  Everyone's opinions are equally valid, and I feel it's important to give fellow fans the chance to reach a large audience.  Everyone perceives things differently, and I'm sure that there are plenty of readers who feel the same way as Jennifer on this issue. 

  16. why do u maintain to edit all comments to change the full meaning to support your/your colleagus belief...this blog is way below par for what im used to reading on this site..

  17. i totally agree with that, and you giving other writers the opportunity to reach your wide fan base.

    my point is, when writing an article, it should actually say something...the above article..merely says.."i feel he could still add something"...where is the why? 

    sadly, as mentioned jennifers doesnt seem to grasp the "more" ...maybe she doesnt quite get football...who knows..

  18. Thank you for the feedback. This is my first ever article and I'm just trying to get some experience and learn.

  19. i didnt mean to be rude, i do read alot of articles, and are lot are poor..i think the main thing is the why...more then the what.

    for me, i am interested why u think raul will be missed...tell me ur thoughts and argue your point - would be interested to read that...more then u just saying hell be missed..

    go for the why...and as jk has showed, doesnt have to be popular...just interested and argued well:))..
    good luck

  20. Does anyone know whether or not Meireles would've been due some sort of 'loyalty bonus' (I hate that term), had Liverpool just sold him to Chelsea without him asking to leave? That was my first thought when I heard he'd handed in a late transfer request. The club might've asked him to waive any bonus, and that was the best way to do it to push the transfer through, so late on deadline day.
    What is a slight worry now, with Meireles following Cole and Aquilani out of the door, is that there is a lack of flair in the midfield and we don't have anyone who can come off the bench and change the way we play, we have a lot of similar players but nobody who could offer that something different Meireles could.
    There's no point in keeping a player who wants to be elsewhere. If he wants to play in the Champions League and thinks he'll win more with Chelsea then good luck to him. Let's just hope he's wrong.

  21. i personally feels, the Liverpool owners didn't treat Raul well , especially after the new signings.they must not forget that, this team was on the edge of relegation. from there players like Raul, maxi and Suarez brought back to sixth place.not giving first team appearance for a player at age of 28, will definitely give a bad feeling. even Kuyt threatened the manager that, he will leave to inter, if he was not in the managers plan for new season.time will say whether Gerrard or Carragher will do the same as the season moves on. so blaming Raul is not fare. these are part of professional Football.he had done his best at this club, now he thinks it's time to move on, once the career ends, the fans , the club ,the country,every body leave them,they too have a family,to continue there life they need money,they can make it only when they are at there peak of career.so forget what happened and wish him all the best for his future.

  22. - on transfer list despite being voted player of the season
    - promised salary increase never materialised
    - champions league on offer at Chelsea
    - higher chance of winning trophies
    - old boss and friend and fellow Portuguese AVB
    - probable increase in salary at new club

  23. Can anybody provide any evidence of Liverpool promising to upgrade Meireles’ contract after a year??

    Just think about it objectively – do any of you honestly believe that the management team that handed out a 2 year contract to Aurelio (who couldn’t get any sort of contract offer elsewhere) and gave a 5 year £90k p/w contract to Joe Cole would be slick enough to hand Meireles a contract which would only earn full value once he proved himself over a whole year? Or that an experienced international leaving FC Porto would agree to such terms, and purely as a verbal agreement at that!? It doesn’t make any sense at all. Meireles may have wanted a wage increase, but there is no way that Liverpool owed it to him.

    Eitherways, I’ve made it clear that I thought Aquilani was a better central midfielder, and tbh I prefer Henderson also, while Bellamy is clearly a far superior wide-man. Meireles is obviously a far better option off of the bench than the likes of Spearing/Maxi/Shelvey though, so although for me this transfer doesn't really hurt the first team , it does bring back the depth issues that we'd looked to have covered up early in the summer.

  24. Should fans be called Judas when we want a player that we deem to be 'not good enough' to be moved on also then?

    Football is a job for the players - it may a great job that many of us would pay to do, but it is just a job nevertheless. They have no emotional attachment to the clubs, so why should they be demeaned for wanting to move on? Even if they are just moving on for the money, so what?! Isn't that what people go to work for after all, so if they have the opportunity to work for more money elsewhere, why shouldn't they take it??

  25. If you want credible evidence for Meireles' desire to leave, you can look at his position in the squad throughout preseason and our first few games. He clearly wasn't a major part of Dalglish's plans, and would likely have spent most of the season out of position again when he did manage to get onto the pitch. So he obviously wouldn't have been too happy with the football side of things, and if he felt that he can have a better situation off the pitch with Chelsea, even if he is to remain a bench player over there, then he's still better off moving on.
    I think that his contribution for us on the pitch is well overplayed anyway. Suarez carried the team in the second half of the season (even when other players scored hattricks, Suarez would be motm - when do you ever see that happen anywhere else?!), and Meireles' contributions were little to nothing in the first half of the season.
    It's like a lot of our fans forget that the first half of the season even happened when talking about the 'great' seasons that certain players had though. Lucas and Meireles were as much a part of and as much to blame as the likes of Torres and Gerrard (who at least delivered some sort of tangible contributions even during terrible spells for the pair of them) for our failures early in the season, but seem to be totally exempted from their role in the team.
    Btw, for all the talk of player of the season - just remember that we were a midtable team, and seeing as Reina was never going to be considered due to his midseason transfer speculation, the only viable candidates for the poty award were Skrtel, Carragher, Lucas, Meireles, N'gog & Kuyt. Stiff competition there eh!

  26. Christopher Beasley12:51 am, September 06, 2011

    I do agree with you Jay that players are actually at work. But a lot of players do have emotional attachment to their clubs (or the ones they support) i guess we just need to weigh up all the options case by case and judge their move on everything considered. I mean, Gerrard had Chelsea on a plate twice and turned them down. He would have won the league, a dream of his, but he stayed. 

    Foreign players obviously have different agendas. Times in football have changed, thats just the way it is.

  27. stfu u don't know anything. look at the facts before calling someone 'judas'. meireles was fantastic last season for Liverpool and his contract demanded a new offer based on his performance which wasn't agreed. he said he never wanted to leave liverpool and had said that given new terms he would have signed any day. but, instead liverpool decide to put him on sale for all summer. Intermilan, Juventus were all linked. So, it was clear that Meireles wasn't happy so he decided to leave at the end. If a company you work for doesn't respect your contract, then fuck it. You do what you have to do. Simple. 

  28. stfu. before u call someonelse judas look at the facts first. Meireles was fantastic for liverpool last season. his contract demanded that he would be offered new contracts based on his performance last season and he wasn't offered as was promised. if a company u work for doesn't honor your contract, then f*k it bitch! who gives a rat's arse?? u do wht u want. n that's what raul basically did. simple. got it bi**h?

  29. fuck him let him go as king kenny said about torres der is no man bigger than d club in the nxt 2 or 3 years he will be an unknown player *Y*N*W*A*

  30. We write about players being Judas, liars and more. What do you make of management who sells loyal Red players??? Instead, we use hurtful words on these players like shameless, thick skin, etc. I think it's time that we show some maturity and put a stop to these abuses and player bashing.

  31. Neither Meireles or Torres have told the full story. LFC have hardly been transparent. It was clear when Torres drove away from Anfield that he was unsure. You could see it in his face. Not the same for Meireles, but he did say he did not want to leave, and then handed in a request. We will probably never know the full stories. It is too simplistic to say it is money who needs more ffs?

    Buy back Torres - he will be prolific for 3 to 4 years for LFC, but not for Chelsea. Chelsea's midfield (except Mata and Meireles) are too slow-headed to provide the service Torres needs.