13 Dec 2013

'Top player' - BR hails 'outstanding' €30m star who rejected LFC. Loss or relief...?

Over the summer, Liverpool were briefly linked with a move for Spanish striker Roberto Soldado, who ultimately (inevitably?) chose to sign for Spurs. Given his goal-record in La Liga, it's easy to see what attracted Andre Villas Boas and Brendan Rodgers to the player, but it's fair to say that, so far, he's struggled to make an impact in the Premier League. Hopefully that won't change against Liverpool this Sunday, but Rodgers is acutely aware of the Spaniard's talents.

When asked about Soldado during his pre-Spurs press conference today, Rodgers hinted that Spurs might not be playing to the the striker's main strengths. He observed:

"He [Soldado] is a really top player. They [Spurs] spent a lot of money [€30m] bringing him in, and he is an outstanding player, but even a player of that quality can take some time to settle in.

"If you look at his record, over the course of three years he scored just one goal outside the box; most came from inside the box, as his movement is very good to get across defenders".

Given his paucity in front of goal (in the league), 'outstanding' is a bit of an exaggerated label to apply at the moment, but then again, this is Brendan Rodgers, the king of gross overstatement (!)

Liverpool scouted Soldado several times during Kenny Dalglish's second spell at Anfield but the club baulked at the €20m fee Valencia demanded during the January 2012 transfer window.

Anfield Legend Jan Molby then lobbied hard for the Reds to buy Soldado, and a week before the Spaniard signed for Spurs, the Dane told the 5-Times Podcast:

"Sometimes, as a means to an end, you have to look to experience. Roberto Soldado has a fantastic record, great experience, and [He] would be available at the prices Liverpool will be talking about. Obviously there is a risk when you bring in players from abroad, but [his] style of play and ability to adapt to different playing style and environments bodes well".

It's easy to see why Molby wanted Soldado:

* 2012-13: 34 goals/6 assists in 46 apps.
* 2011-12: 27 goals/6 assists in 51 apps.
* 2012-11: 25 goals/3 assists in 42 apps.
* TOTAL: 86 goals/15 assists (101 combined) in 139 apps.
* Goal every 1.6 games.
* Goal/Assists every 1.3 games.
* LA LIGA ONLY: Goal/assist every 108 minutes (1 every 1.2 games)

Things have certainly changed in England, though. With only one goal from open play in eleven Premier League games so far, it looks like Liverpool dodged a bullet here, under both Dalglish and Rodgers.

However, Soldado's hat-trick last night against Anzhi in the Europa League will undoubtedly give him confidence, and that could be bad news for the Reds if he starts the game on Sunday (though that seems unlikely given AVB's comment son the subject today)



  1. Soldado is a good player, but Premier League does not suit him. I hope that he will not remember his goalscoring abilities against us.

  2. I think BR might be attempting some sort of reverse psychology mind games on Soldado. Whatever AVB says, I'm sure he'll play Soldado. The guy's just scored a hatrick, so he'd be mad not to.

    Looking at how few goals Spurs have scored, I think BR's priority will be to keep it tight, keep them out, get the crowd restless and then maybe turn the screw in the last 20 minutes. The way he's bigging up Skrtel and the language he's using seems to suggest that he expects the team to keep a clean sheet. Succeed in that and you can't lose, but might win.

    He's already said 10 points out of the next 15 would be good and I felt that 7 from the next 12 would be doing really well, so with our missing players I think he's hoping to get 4 points at least from 3 tricky away fixtures and to win the 2 'easier' home games.

    Good news at least that Hendo should be able to play at WHL.

  3. Rodgers is referring to Soldado's time in Spain. He is a good player but may need time to adapt to the EPL but as things stand, it looks like Soldado has been a massive waste of money. AVB has wasted the money they got from Bale :-)

  4. This is the first year in awhile that La Liga has been more than a 2 horse race. It's no surprise a class striker will score bushels of goals playing Getafe, Zaragoza, Osasuna and the other poverty stricken club teams in Spain.

  5. Quality player overall... Just not a 30m player.

  6. I wish hendo could complete plays as a passer and recipient. Love his hustle and defensive effort. I wonder if DM is better spot.......

  7. Koke,Diego Costa and Javier Pastore is the players we want to see wearing LFC shirts this january or next season.

  8. since he came in been switching lot position ! non of place suit him...

  9. If we are in Europe, one more striker is needed next season. Loic Remy has 6mn buyout clause, Liverpool should activate it before Newcastle does. He is good enough to replace Sturridge when he is not fit. Of course, we will also have Aspas but would be using him only in cup matches or late substitution. Borini should go back to Italy on loan where he will be playing every matches!

    Midfielders? we needs loads of them! Diame is a risk but for 3.5mn and a 3 year deal will be fine since we will need players for Cup/European matches, we will need depth. Diame will add to the depth and not the first team signing, for 3.5mn, its a steal. Pastore is someone I haven't seen much since his Palermo days and I think for 30mn, its a risk. I don't know if there are many quality midfielders we will be able to afford or will be able to lure!! It will be a tough task to find 2 quality midfielders next summer. Hope we do well!

  10. Regardless of his power energy and running, Henderson needs to create and score goals, Lucas just about enters the oppositions half never mind scores, and gerrard out now were are goals coming from? Look at arsenals midfield they got Ramsey , Corzola, Walcott, arteta, while Chelsea have LAMPARD, matta, hazard, then you got man city etc, get me point

  11. I would really like to see how the midfield respond without Gerrard. Yes, our captain has the most assist in the league but our midfield has been overrun by the likes of Arsenal, Everton and stronger teams. Is it because of Lucas, Hendo and Gerrard? We can play equally well without Lucas but our defence looks slightly open without him. Now without Gerrard, we see if the team can play better or not.

  12. No one is mentioning how Henderson plays right back, right mid, right wing and centre mid for a good reason. He simply lacks game intelligence whatever position he plays in. Perhaps, his best position ought to be right outside... right outside Anfield... preferably, 500km away.

  13. Diame is not good enough for Liverpool.

  14. Yes, but as I said for 3.5mn its a good deal to add depth in the squad. He will do well against lesser teams.

  15. If it was Fabregas or Mkhitaryan and not Henderson we were properly on top of Arsenal by 5 points now...

  16. I can't agree with this one. There are many players who have done enough to get in to the EPL but we are talking about playing for the mighty LFC. This lad may be able to juggle the ball and do 'keepy ups' off the field but when it comes to applying that vision, skill and composure in a game he is found wanting. If skill challenges were the barometer people such as John Farnworth would be Ronaldo on the field. Ultimately I do hope that his goal and assist rate improves but his work rate effects the team in a positive way at the moment.

  17. Its not that the Prem doesn't suit him, its AVB tactics that do not suit him.

  18. When did Soldado "reject" LFC?

  19. I'd be happy if our club spent 30m. It signals our intentions to Arsenal, City, Chelsea etc. On who doesn't really matter, so long as he's a proven talent who will give us goals and assists. All I'm saying is that we'd be much more likely to sign Pastore than we would Koke. I'm not favouring ether way. I've seen us linked with Lucas Moura from PSG, I'd rather him than either Koke or Pastore tbh. Plus I don't like Koke's beard... :p

  20. Soldado is another of those players that has a good pedigree, but doesn't have any standout individual qualities (that I've seen so far at least anyway).

    The thing that makes both Sturridge and Suarez special is their ability to pick up the ball and make things happen themselves, rather than just depending on teammates to create opportunities for them. Tbh for all the talk about his failings, Defoe shows far more of this ability than Soldado and I'd be very happy for the big money man to start against us rather than him.