26 Feb 2013

Transfer Check: BR personally scouts 5 exciting players worth €61m. Summer bids...?

Last Sunday, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers conducted a personal scouting trip to Holland to watch several reputed LFC targets in action during Feyenoord's Eredivisie victory over PSV Eindhoven. The Reds' interest in 'Noord's cetral defender Stefan De Vrij is well established, but reports claim that Rodgers also ran the rule over four other players.

A Feyenoord spokesman confirmed that the Liverpool boss was present:

"We can confirm that Brendan Rodgers was here on Sunday."

Feyenoord beat PSV 2-1, and according to Sky Sports:

"For Feyenoord, Bruno Martins-Indi and Jordy Clasie will have been of interest, whilst for PSV the likes of Kevin Strootman and Jeremain Lens would no doubt have been of interest too"

Liverpool have previously been linked with all of the above players. A recent report in The Mirror claimed:

"Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham have ­received glowing reports about Stefan de Vrij, 21, and 20 year-old Bruno Martins Indi, who both play for at ­Feyenoord. They would cost ­£25m in a ­package deal this summer"

In December 2012, the Liverpool Echo reported that Brendan Rodgers sent scouts to watch De Vrij - Feyenoord's captain - in action, and soon afterwards, the 21-year old admitted to being flatted by the interest from Liverpool. He said:

"It's nice to hear such big clubs are interested in you, but I'm not making a transfer. When you see how strong [Ron] Vlaar was when he left, then I still need some time"

Liverpool were linked with a January move for Lens, and Kees-Ploegsma - Lens' Agent - directly the speculation in an interview with Sky Sports:

"Juventus and Liverpool interested in Lens? I have had no type of contact with them, but I cannot know if they have spoken directly with PSV. Lens still has a three-year contract with PSV and I think it is not intended to leave in January, but in football anything can happen. In June we'll see".

Kevin Strootman is another player who's been on Liverpool's radar for a long time, and in November 2011, Kenny Dalglish sent Steve Clarke along to scout the player during Holland's 3-0 defeat to Germany.

Strootman's Agent recently confirmed that the midfielder has his eye on a move to the Premier League this summer:

"All the top clubs in Europe know about Kevin, but a move to England next summer is his first priority and, yes, Manchester United and other big clubs in Europe have been in touch with me.”

The combined value of the above players is reportedly over £53m (€61m)

* De Vrij and Martins: £25m
* Lens: £8m
* Strootman: £15m
* Clasie: £5m

Will any of these players end up at Anfield?


NOTE: Please stick to the Comment Policy (Click to read)


  1. Do you think these guys are what we're needing?

    Apart from the 2 centre backs, whom we've already discussed, I think a new keeper (ter Stegen) and one forward marquee signing - Sanchez or Gomez (or both!)

  2. kevin strootman would be a fantastic signing along with stefan

  3. I really like the look of Clasie. I'm resisting the urge to make a pun.

    They all seem good prospects.

  4. Good, constructive argument there; care to elaborate?

  5. A strong defensive midfielder to protect the back four is most important, Rodgers should adress this position first, then resign and let someone that knows what he's doing take charge.

  6. I think he does, mate. 

  7. two big centre backs who can win the ball in the air is a must plus a goalie and a big tw*t in midfeild who can bully people

  8. I think Shelvey can be the man in the middle; he's certainly big enough1

  9. Ronaldo just won a legit penalty for Madrid. Pique and all the other defenders protested and wanted Ronaldo booked for a dive, including Pique who knew that he had committed the foul. I brought this up the other day, but surely this is also an attmept to con the ref, possibly equal to diving. A diver tries to win a penalty, a false protester tries to wrongfully prevent the same thing

  10. Fabregas shameful dive now

  11. I wonder is BR considering trying to get Erikson..Now granted he probably wouldnt come to Liverpool but still why not throw a bit in?

  12. there is definitely love lost between them after their man utd days together

  13. Like yourself for instance ?

  14. If your going to be talking targets playing in Holland Fisher and Cuenca would rate above all those bar the defenders in usefulness.

  15. Maybe it's all a tactic in guile, I hope it is! BR strikes me as a wiley character with some tricks and guise up his sleeves. Lead them one way then resurface in another to come uot with top prize: i.e. a player of unquestionable quality untouched by the hype of transfer window antics.

    Right... My point: Just got home, watched the old "El Classico" on TV. Real 3-0 (4-1 agg) resounding winners at the Nou Camp, so a few things occurred to me. We play a very similar style to Barca, maybe not as much quality YET, and perhaps we are slightly more direct... but the way Real dissected them AT HOME was astounding. Real players twice the size of Barca, Barca lots of possession (as expected), but what ends up happening? Real convert just under half of ther chances and come running out the winners - sound familiar?Yes, we are in the same boat as these Catalan giants - a style of football lauded and increasingly adopted, but also increasingly becoming susceptible to certain strategies of play - particularly counter and ultra defensive football. Twice in the space of a week have Barca succumbed to this! I kept saying to my mates "this can't happen to us, it just can't".

    SO I hope BR was watching and seeing that his mentor got the better of his proffered style of play! 

    Where was Barca's plan B or plan C for that matter? It never really came... THIS CANNOT HAPPEN TO US!

    I Suggest solutions and I hope that BR will read this:

    1) Plan A: 4-3-3 - we all know this one, what has become predictable Liverpool and also (I say this with a blush) predictable BArca...

    2) Plan B: 4-5-1 - Rafa Style - can also easilt transition with Plan A, we need to be able to counter attack. Make your weakness your strength. If we could have an extra dimension to our game and counter it would make us more potent. E.G. the end of an era, "The Invincible's" were dominant in possession, but toward the end of their impressive reign (and perhaps the end of the gunners as serious trophy contenders) they became predictable and defend-able. After which they went back to their roots and played counter attack (without the boring arsenal defensive method). ok their not successful, bad example. But, Madrid, resounding victors tonight won through defensive solidity and counter attacking football. Yes indeed, the sucker punch is one of the most powerful phenomenons in football! I won't mention the other team~!
        3)Plan C: 4-4-2: Wing play with deep striker and most importantly A TARGET MAN!!! AC is a donkey foot everyone tells me, sure, but he bullies in the box. We should sell yes, but if we could get a Drogba type? holding the ball up, receiving crosses from the wings and knocking down to the deep striker... indeed Sturridge could fulfill this role, but not sure he is physical enough? Nevertheless, this is another tactic worth exploring! 
    No Zenit repeat! Effective football first... all said, I love the passing game! Cheers

  16. Lens £8m and Clasie £5m look good for that money!...
    Definitely would not even consider any of the others by the video shown!

  17. First of all no one calls Feyenoord 'Noord. Second of all these are all kids who have only had one or less decent seasons behind them. From all of them, only Strootman and De Vrij have seemed reasonably mature but all of them should really stay in Holland for another two years or so or make the move to a smaller club in a big league.

  18. Unfortunately if we leave them for a season or two and they impress they'll be snapped up by another club with money or CL football.

  19. Lens is a great player, can play through the middle or on either wing, great feet, quick, and a good shot. Would love it if we nab him. Love that Brendans looking at the Eredivisie, some real startlets are coming through. If I was in charge I'd be looking there too

  20. I wonder who will be replaced this summer.

  21. Wisdom should get a chance in the middle as well as acquiring one of the Dutch guys -

  22. i reckon we need to loan shelvey out next season and see if he sinks or swims when starting each week. 
    Definite potential but needs game time.
    OR if he makes another leap forward in the off season like last year we keep him and actually play him

  23. I do like Eriksen but even though he could be a step forward do we really need him?
    we have coutihno, sterling and suso who are all talented and have long term contracts.

  24. Definitely go for Clasie to replace Lucas. This guy is much classier (no pun intended).

    De Vrij will be a welcome addition too – we desperately need another CB after Carra's departure.

  25. We signed Suarez without CL football didn't we? Following the Arsenal model to an extent is one thing but on the other hand they have won sfa for almost a decade now. So there has to be more of a balance. The last time they won things was when they had an experienced Henry, Pires and Bergkamp combined with a veteran backline and goalkeeper.

  26. He did well on loan at Blackpool and scored a good few goals but maybe he'd feel insulted at being farmed out again.
    Who knows, but the lad has a ton of potential.

  27. I think Oms' point is that, if we leave them to get better, their value will rise and we'll probably be priced out of a move for them.

  28. Kelly's been making noises about moving into the centre and, as was discussed on here a few days ago, he's a better defender.

  29. Replace Lucas? There's nothing been said about replacing Lucas. Bring in competition for him, yes, but replace him? No.

  30. ChampsWinnerTraore9:49 am, February 27, 2013

    I totally agree with you where a weaker version of barca at the moment but we have the same flaws such as our defending. Real Totally destroyed them on the counter attack and there being found out teams now know to set up against them.

    As for Tactics im very impressed with the juventus formation 3-5-2 a system i think would benefit the team through the personel that we have  an extra CB in the team to give us some sense of defensive stability wing backs in enrique and johnson who will give us a sesne of width guys in all fairness not paticualry great at the art of defending and more comfortable with going forward  a midfield 3 of Lucas breaking up play Hendo recycling the ball though joe allen would be better i think hendo gives you more energy andhim buzzing around the pitch would free up stevie in bombing forward however he can also rotate with gerard in going forward as a dual pivot and finally up top Sturridge and Suarez up top in there prefereered positions without 1 having to play a supporting role to the other in what is currently happening in our 4-3-3 Sturridge using his pace running the chanels while suarez can come deep in a false 9 like role

  31. I wouldn't go with 3-5-2 as it never seems to be a very fluid system - i.e. it's a bit slow from what I've seen. Juve would do well with it in Italy or Europe (most of the way), but in the EPL I'm not so sure. I remember last season, Kenny masterminded that formation against Chelsea, and it worked there because we were playing chelsea at the bridge - desperate to beat us (Kenny has only lost to chelsea once in his ENTIRE CAREER!!), but I think it mostly worked because we were playing Liverpool football and not letting them have a sniff. When they did, we closed down and went back to possession football, pass and move - patient slow build. 

    There is minimal penetration with this tactic though from what I'd seen in a later game, he chose the same formation. We struggled for goals and ended up losing to Wigan I think (ominous i know!!)

    I would pick the 4-4-2 with a beefy skillful target man to hold up and knock down to the deep striker (ideally Sturridge or Suarez). The deep striker roams around in a semi-circular radius of the target man, while wings and wing backs bomb down the touch line using pace and skill, crossing in for the target man and headed goals. Ideal candidates: Wilfred Bony, Lacina Traore, Peter Crouch, Romelu Lukaku and (*cringe) Andy Carroll.Both my suggested 4-5-1 and 4-4-2 focus a little more on counter football, but easily adaptable from the BR way! slight change in personnel, tactic and formation... Just to add a little potent spice to the mix if needed. 4-5-1 focused more on defense (1 or 2 - 0 up in an nb game); 4-4-2 more of another angle of attack if things aren't working for us...

  32. ChampsWinnerTraore10:34 am, February 27, 2013

    I read into it an u made some good points then i saw neymar and stevie g in the 1st team squad and thought cant really take this serious

    I mean this isnt a football manager forum or Fifa is it ?

  33. ChampsWinnerTraore10:45 am, February 27, 2013

    I remember when we went a goal down to chelsea at the bridge earlier this season and brendan switched it to the 3-5-2 it rescued a point for us kenny did try it at times last season and it seemed to benefit the team when we did play it again chelsea and stoke come to mind last season

    However my argument against ur conventional 4-4-2 is that it leaves teams overrun in the middle and our defence isnt currently doing enough defensively to see that formation working plus lets say our 2 in the middle were stevie and lucas against a 3 man midfield it would leave alot work for them to get through See england in the euro's we just dont work with 2 in the middle and im not sure you get the best outta stevie when he 1 of 2

  34. ChampsWinnerTraore10:49 am, February 27, 2013

    The only players we should consider buying from the eredivise are
    Siem de Jong
    De Vrij

    Any one else should not be looked at

  35. I see your point. But the key with that is to have your deep roaming striker to help out in the mid - make the links between midfield and the wide players. Through possession allow the midfield to join the attack. Stevie and Lucas particularly will have to sit deep. Wing backs are very important, but we pretty much play that way without the target man, so the system would be similar. High pressing, crisp passing in slightly different areas, and more crosses.

    When I say 4-4-2 it's not on solid banked lines... it's still the BR way with interchange and fluidity. similar to the way tottenham played under Redknapp...

  36. teixeira is better than suso and sterling

  37. its not unrealistic. its taking a risk to get our club back to where it is or risk becoming a top 10 club like newcastle who just lose there best players. if we really wanted to we could sign neymar, our club is big enough and way bigger than santos. and the way i set the transfers out/in there all possible 

  38. ChampsWinnerTraore11:43 am, February 27, 2013

    There is no way on the planet that neymar would be attracted to us right now we do not have the appeal we once had in terms of ambition

  39. ChampsWinnerTraore11:50 am, February 27, 2013

    I think im starting to see you point more but wouldnt you liken it to a rafa 4 2 3 1 ?

  40. I do like teixeira also and hopefully we can tie him down to a long term contract after getting a chance or two in the firsts.
    If all our potential young superstars actually develop as we'd hope and we can keep them we wont have to buy an attacker or midfielder for a decade! and the defense wont look to bad either.

  41. It is unrealistic.

  42. OK, I admire YOUR ambition and see that quite a bit of thought has gone into your post. However, as stated above, there is no way Neymar is coming to Liverpool Football Club, especially with the current owners.
     Firstly, his price tag is nowhere near the £35m you suggested; the high side of 50 would be a more realistic figure.Secondly, he has, himself, stated that he is going nowhere until after the 2014 World Cup.

    Thirdly, this kid takes home £1m a MONTH. Can you imagine the atmosphere in the dressing room if he doesn't rip up trees from the off? 

    Fourthly, it has been reported that he has said he likes Bayern Munich. With Guardiola about to take over and with a reported transfer kitty of £240m, Champions League football (potentially defending their crown) and a league title to defend as well as a plethora of world class talent, they're looking a better proposal than MOST European sides.

    Also, you mention players like Begovic, Hangeland, Williams and Riise in the same post. Sure, they may be solid for their respective clubs but are what we want or need to take our club forward?

    And, to add to the Neymar no-no, if any of the Oil Billionaire backed clubs hear of us going for him, how high do you think they'll be willing to go with his wages? Yes, I understand the commercial revenue a player of his stature would bring in, but can you see Liverpool's board offering him something mental like £500k a week?
    I don't. Even if Standard Chartered & Warrior put their hands into their pockets and worked out a package for him and 'employed' him as the global face of their companies. 

    Sorry, buddy, but this ain't going to happen.

  43. Absolutely! 

  44. Thats true, It is that fine line where you really have to try make a point of letting the player know it is for development and they will be back, but im sure that line has been used on players who end up being sold also.

  45. So far we've paid 35 million for Carrol, 20 million for Downing, 23 million for Suarez etc. I don't think we'll be priced out of any deal. We may not spend 80 million on fake Ronaldo but other than that I think we could have bought any player that the likes of Citeh and Chelsea have bought moneywise. The only thing their money brings them is that they can buy several of them at the same time but it also means they have wasted a tremendous amount of money. If you just consider what Citeh have spent on guys like Santa Cruz, Adebayor, Johnson etc. it's hardly something to be jealous of. Yes they're the champions and yes their money helped them to take the fast lane but they used a bazooka to shoot a rabbit. We can do the same thing by being more careful with what we spend, building a team, and paying what is needed for the right player. I can't say I would swap Coutinho or Sturridge for anyone in their position at Citeh, Chelski, Real or Milan right now.

  46. Neymar definately will not come to liverpool.
    Even if we can sell out history and how amazing he would be to be apart of history restoring us to the top, As pele recently said he is more interested in being on tv and his new hairstyle then playing football.
    While we are still one of the worlds biggest club we are not the "Sexy" club that Neymar will want.
    Man U, Man City, Milan, Barca and Madrid are really the only teams i can see him moving to and even then i say Man City because of all the young stars they already have may attract him there.
    Bayern could be a dark horse mainly because of Pep taking over, He may turn them into a young exciting powerhouse ala Barcelona.
    (Not to say Bayern are not good at the moment).

  47. Absolutely. I remember when he played against PSV, possibly his debut, he played as a center half and he looked very composed. Problem is his injuries. With Carra we're losing an old head and a big name. We really need to replace that experience as it is so very important in that position. I really think we should splash out on someone with a truckload of international experience from a leading national team. Someone like Chiellini, Westermann or Rolando. Uncompromising yet with technical ability.

  48. What have u been smoking dude

  49. It certainly looks like it may well be a busy summer for lfc. Both with players coming in and players going out. The positions we currently need to strengthen regardless of the purchase of coutinho, are the CAM position and the third forward position in a 4-3-3 (which is what rogers wants to play but does not have the squad for it at the moment so he utilises it into the 4-2-3-1).

    People say we need a back up CDM if Lucas gets injured which I agree with to some extent but I think other positions are more important and Allen has been good at his defencive duties this season so rogers can utilise him as back up DM. With that being said I think these should be the players going in/out:

    Out: - Assaidi (I'm not sure what rogers has against him but he clearly doesn't fancy him) £4mill
    - Carroll £14mill (even though we have an agreement with west ham to sell him for £17 mill if they stay up)
    - Downing £5mill
    - Borini £6mill (if reports are correct Fiorentina want him so we should take advantage as he clearly isn't cut out for EPL)
    - Coates £4mill (thought he would come good eventually but I can see why rogers will want to get rid of him)
    - Pacheco £1mill
    - Spearing £2mill
    - Skrtel £10mill
    - Reina £8mill
    - Suso (loan)
    - Shelvey (loan)

    With player sales and possible money from the owners (sponsorship money) these should all be possible:

    Ins: - ince £6-8mill (with Assaidi and downing sold he can be a real attribute along with sterling)
    - Mertens £10-12mill (a lot of interest in this guy and rightfully so but we can get him with a firm offer as he has expressed the desire to move at the end of the season, if we are able to get him or Arda turan then we would have a dominant front line)
    - Honda £8-12 (not sure why we haven't followed up our interest in the past, he is exactly what we need right now and we could easily get him)
    - Lovren £8-10mill (again face competition from other top sides but he would be a fantastic replacement for skrtel and is still pretty young. Plus Lyon sell players nowadays)
    - De vrij £6mill (would be a good replacement for Coates and I'm sure would actually get game time. With wisdom stepping up as 4th choice CB)
    - Ochoa £5mill (in my opinion the second best keeper in France at the moment and he is very underrated, with us seemingly interested and him stating the desire to come i think this one should be in the bag. Unless of course we can get bernd lens or ter stegen.

  50. Eriksen is a central mid though or like an attacking one like Gerrard,I honestly think he could be Stevie's replacement if we got him,Coutinhno and Sterling are wide players so they're different positions,and Suso has been put out wide too so I dont see who we shouldn't at least try to sign him

  51. Mertens and Eriksen would be two quality buys

  52. Hondas a good player but I'd say hes on a hefty wage in Russia which could explain why we've never gotten him

  53. Apparently Honda is on €3million yearly salary which is less than Stewart downing who is on €4.8 yearly salary. Lol I would think Honda is worth it as well considering who we would have coming off the wage bill anyway.

  54. that would be plan B...

    Planc C is similar, however we are adapting our game to the use of the high ball and using pace and skill down the flanks for crosses. Most fundamentally, Rafa's system worked with a lone striker and a Central Attacking Midfielder in support, backed by two midfielders: defensive and distributive. Rafa's system was also largely central with no true wingers, the Full backs would bomb forward and give width.THis Target Man 4-4-2 I speak of will FOCUS on pace and width, sometimes even long ball (lets face it guys, Reina has excellent distribution and it's almost a sin to not use it!). 2 Strikers - 1 supporting and 1 target man. The two midfielders focus solely on defence and distribution with rare bombing into the box.  

  55. I want the same thing your taking!! haha ;-)

  56. Well if his wages aren't a problem than I would love to sign him,he is a quality player plus Liverpool probably would make the fee back with shirt sales in Japan as a result

  57. maybe not neymar but mate, its worth a try. who says if we didnt try sign kaka, alonso, pato and with lucas and coutinho already here he cant join our project. maybe the wages is the only thing, but we can get neymar, trust me. but maybe remove neymar from it and put stefan jovetic, who is cheaper (£20m). but these signings will make our squad a proper competitive with experience and youth

  58. Exactly and at that price he would be a no brainer but so was Gaston Ramirez and rogers opted to go for Allen for £15mill which was clearly worth it (NAATT).

  59. Meh whats done is done,Im fairly sure this summers window will be better or Rodgers will loose his job around January

  60. The two players id want would also be Alonso and Kaka they would add class and much needed experience, but 2 get them both for 15 million?? Yr man Bilga of Anderlecht look's a better option to give Lucas competion. De Vrij look's a decent player...... Pato would be a cracking addition!!!!

  61. If we qualify for CL sure we can buy but if we couldn't then we will stuck with old player maybe 2 player below 20 m

  62. The new Sky money comes on line in the summer. Our league position is important to get a bigger share of that money, either way we (and others ) will have money to spend.

    The competition will be fierce, however. Expect more Spurs hijacks  , or even Southampton style gazumping

  63. We don't need someone as good as Lucas, we need someone better. Clasie is not it, for now at least. People see these kids and see their obvious talent but no one sees the mistakes they make every week. Feyenoord are definitely in the position they're currently in because of these kids and a couple of shrewd additions to the squad but they're also not top of the league because of those same kids. None of them, bar De Vrij, would be a regular starter for us for at least a year, possibly two or three.

  64. IN 
    GK: Al-Habsi £5m, LB: Cissokho £8m, CB: Howedes £8m, CB: Pearce £Free, CB: Williams £8m, DM: Diame £3.5m, LW: Ince £4m, AM: Ericsson £12m, ST: Emenike £12m = £42

    GK: Jones £1m, CB: Coates £4m, CB: Carra £Ret, CB: Skrtel £13m, CM: Spearing £3m, LW: Assaidi £2m, ST: Pacheco £2m, ST: Carroll £12m = £37m

    Nice upgrade for just £5m, leaving the rest of the transfer kitty (£35m appox.) for a marque signing or two... (Probably a Right Winger)