7 Nov 2013

Transfer Gamble? - LFC to bid for 'unique' attacker with €30m buyout clause

In March, reports in Italy claimed, that Sporting Lisbon - perennially afflicted with financial problems - were ready to 'enter into negotiations' with Liverpool over a potential summer move for Spanish attacker Diego Capel. Speculation continued over the summer, and reports this week claim that Lisbon are willing to let the 25-year old go for a cut-price fee, with Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal all in the hunt.

In April, Portuguese Daily Jornal Record claimed:

"Liverpool are interested in signing Diego Capel, and the English club is prepared to offer up to £12 million for his signature"

Today, The Guardian reports:

"Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are in the stampede to sign the Sporting Lisbon winger Diego Capel. Sporting want the big earner off their payroll, and Liverpool are preparing a bid of £5m and will make their move in the January transfer window"

When quizzed in April about rumours linking him with a transfer, Capel told Spanish newspaper Marca:

"The only thing I can think of right now is to finish the season with the team that gave me everything. We will see later if my future is here or not. I can only thank the Sporting, who I will always carry in my heart"

25-year Capel cost Sporting €3.5m in 2011, and although he has a ridiculously excessive €30m release clause in his contract, there's no way he'd go for anywhere approaching that amount. Capel is not really a prolific goalscorer or provider, and his stats over the last few years show this:

- This season: 0 goals/assists in 5 apps.
- 2012-13: 5 goals/1 assist in 25 apps.
- 2011-12: 5 goals/5 assists in 37 apps.
- 2010-11: 1 goals/2 assists in 34 apps.
- 2009-10: 3 goals/3 assists in 44 apps.
- 2008-09: 3 goals/1 assist in 43 apps

That's a pretty underwhelming contribution, and there are plenty of other transfer prospects out there with better goals/assists ratios. Despite his poor creative return, Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque seems to really rate Capel, and after the winger signed for Sporting, the Spain boss enthused:

"He [Capel] is a unique player. There are hardly any players like him. He is very fast, with and without the ball and has good control to overcome any opponent. He is a very complete and very useful player for any team"

Hmmm. If Capel is so 'unique' and 'useful for any team', why has Del Bosque never picked him for Spain? At the age of 25, Capel has only two senior caps so far, which is low for a player who's supposedly 'complete'.

In February, the entire Sporting board resigned after just two years at helm of the struggling Portuguese club. The club's financial problems mean that there could be a fire-sale in January, with the likes of Capel sacrificed to bring in much-needed cash.

The Spaniard would fit into Brendan Rodgers' 433 formation (if it ever returns) but is he the type of player Liverpool need right now?

I would argue no. Capel is (IMO) yet another pedestrian squad player, and wouldn't improve the team to the extent required. Additionally, he's not a prolific/regular goalscorer/creator, which is what the club needs right now.



  1. That's not nice to hear, especially an eight month injury. Knee problems are the worst, I had to stop thinking about football seriously because of knee issues and constant pain. Now I can only play less seriously, and I'm only slightly older than this kid...My knee joints feel 30 years older than my body, unfortunately I'm no Ryan Giggs :P

    What competition do you play in JK? Just for a local club or are you in Sunday leagues or something? I don't know how it works over there.

  2. Hey Pete. I play in a Sunday League for one team, and also a local league on Saturdays for another team. Sorry to hear about your knee troubles. I have a titanium rod in my leg, and I'll have to have it for at least a year. The good thing is I don't have a cast, so muscle atrophy is not really an issue. Like you, I may have to face playing less seriously in future, and that's a major wrench, but hopefully I'll be able to get back to playing competitively.

  3. Christopher Eldred4:09 am, November 08, 2013

    I had knee surgery 18 months ago and then back surgery 7 months ago, both football related injuries. The back has healed up really well but the knee continues to give me trouble. Being a little older than most (40) i have been advised by surgeon to give up playing, however i still coach kids (now in Canada, after leaving UK in 2007) and long distance running. Anyone with knee problems has 100% compassion from myself, after any form of surgery i am of the opinion the knee will never make a full recovery.

  4. Well that's pretty cool. Football is so underdeveloped here. We have semi-professional clubs playing in competitive State leagues but if you're not in those teams before 17/18 years old you have no chance of getting anywhere. I found out the hard way when I rejected offers at 14/15.

    Unlucky about the Roy Keane job, when you see the guy next just give him a Jamie Carragher special on Nani at Anfield. Good luck in your recover, hopefully Lucas Leiva can inspire you :P

  5. Cabaye will be a good buy but not in a 352 formation. I

  6. Are you seriously suggesting that there are tactical issues with 3-5-2 that YOU can understand but Rodgers is blind to? Do you not see the absurd arrogance in that? Of course he understands issues with the system, I'm pretty sure he could talk circles around you on the subject.

  7. I'd like to see allen play this game and maybe we should start resting Gerrard a bit, I'd rather him play 25 games at 100% then play 38 games at 60%. We'll just have to see if Rodgers will.
    With regards to allen though, he started last season so well and is a little terrier. He knows where everyone is and his ability to get the ball and recycle possession would be perfect in this formation and this would be a good game to try him out. Obviously not for the full 90 minutes because his isn't match fit, but 60 maybe.

  8. Hilarious isn't it!!

  9. So Hendo's states of 9 goals in 104 game in all comps for Cessepool is worth £20m?? Wind yer neck in, you've no idea, Cabaye wouldn't go to Cessepool anyways, he wants to play CL football in the future, you'll not be there again this year or anywhere near the top!!!

  10. Yeah you're right, and the Toon will be 4th...from bottom, like last season.

  11. I really feel for the lower league teams. You guys know that you aren't going to play in CL anytime soon, but however do cuss us(LFC) all the time for no reason. I assure you that if we're in top 4 come Jan most of the players would happily come to us and as @Pete said I wish you luck to get relegated.

  12. 352 is the problem and Rodgers cannot see it when we are 3rd in the League? I am struggling to make sense of what is being said here.

  13. Rodgers should try 442

  14. We actually need to buy two midfielders, one out and out DM like Yann M'Vila and one like Matic who can play both DM amd rotate with Allen and Henderson in a midfield 3. We cannot play with a 2 man midfield if we play Suarez , Sturridge and Coutinho because neither of them attack. Buying these can make us a certainity for top 4 and adding some attacker like El Sharawy would make us title contenders next season . Montoya on a pre contract and Moreno instead of Cissokho. We are ready for CL with that team given that we keep Suarez. Imagine this:
    GJ/Montoya Toure/Ilori Sakho/Agger Enrique/Moreno


    Henderson/Allen Matic/Gerrard


    Sturridge Suarez

    We can easily switch to 4-3-3 as well if we want to accomodate the likes of Sterling/Ibe. Plus Hughes to replace Gerrard and with Suso and Texeira coming up , we can certainly challenge for the title with this squad.

  15. I think Cabaye is currently better than Lucas, Allen or Henderson.If we were to buy him then we wold have to change formation but that is not necessarily a bad thing. But we are not going to buy him so I suppose its moot.

  16. This reeks of a deal where we become very high on a player because he had a wonder goal against us, and so we think if he were on our team, he could do that every week.

    Need I remind anyone of a gentleman who goes by Charlie Adam?

  17. After the way Mike Ashley ripped us off with Carroll makes me doubt that we will ever do business with them again.

  18. Is Cabaye is the best midfielder in the division that we stand any chance of being able to sign? There are probably around ten better players in his position(s) -- three at Arsenal alone -- but we wouldn't be able to get any of them. I can't think of any other proven players of his class who it'd be even faintly possible to sign.

    Cabaye and Hughes would be a great pair to pick up in January. A super talented young player with a couple of seasons of first team football already behind him; and an established, seasoned, canny pro who knows the league and could produce consistent performances from any of the midfield positions.

    The players people mention from France and Spain -- Pastore for example --are all very well, but the chances of them being able to settle quickly enough to be of any use to us in chasing a top four finish this season are slim to zero. Cabaye would be a very nice piece of business for anything around £15m.