11 Mar 2014

Lawro: FSG will offer 'off-form' €12m star a 'take it or leave it' deal. Fair...?

Last week, Reds defender Glen Johnson made a thinly-veiled public plea to FSG to hand him a new contract, arguing that the uncertainty over his future is an 'unnecessary distraction'. Brendan Rodgers quickly moved to reassure the right-back that a new deal would be discussed 'at the end of the season', and Anfield legend Mark Lawrenson insists that making Johnson wait is the right decision.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo this week, Lawro argued that Johnson is 'playing for his future', and suggested that he'll 'almost certainly' have to take a pay-cut to stay at the club. He observed:.

"My gut feeling is they [FSG] will offer Johnson a new deal with reduced terms [or] a performance-related deal, and ask him to take it or leave it.

"Perhaps FSG are thinking ‘hold on, he’s been off form and injured, so let’s just wait and see what happens between now and the end of the season".

On the issue of taking a major pay-cut, it doesn't seem as if this is something to which Johnson is particularly amenable. Speaking to ESPN last week, he said:

"Some people have been saying Liverpool don't want to pay me my current wages, but I've not heard that. No one has come to me from Liverpool at all"

Reading between the lines, that sounds to me like €12m-rated Johnson will not be receptive to a performance-related deal suggested by Lawro, but if he wants to stay at Anfield, he may have no choice.

Liverpool are in a strong bargaining position, and with Jon Flanagan and Martin Kelly in the squad (along with several other promising young fullbacks), it's not essential to keep Johnson at all costs.

Having said that, if Liverpool are genuinely considering a summer move for Ashley Cole - who is 4 years older than Johnson - then it shows that Rodgers values experience in full-back positions, and Johnson definitely has that in spades. As such, it wouldn't make sense (IMO) to sell Johnson (for what will inevitably be a reduced fee), and bring in an older fullback to take his place in the squad.

Before Rafa Benitez signed Johnson, I argued on this site that he was a defensive liability, and that has frequently proven to be the case over the last five years. However, Johnson does go through periods of good form, and he'd be an useful squad player for the next few seasons. I doubt he'll be willing to sit on the bench, though, so it will be interesting to see what happens over the summer.

survey solutions



  1. To Johnson I'd say: No, honey, no money.
    He'd better start proving he's worth something, or he'll be have nowhere to go. I can hardly remember a great performance from him, maybe against MU in September, but that's about it. Oddly Flanno has produced better performances than I can remember from Johnson.
    Still, guy has great skill, but poor judgment, and what appears to be a poor attitude.
    I'm sure there's a queue of players willing to work harder and play better for half the wages should he go.
    Distractions, please?!?!

  2. If he'll take a pay cut, then I think we should keep him but not on the current terms. He earns a lot as I understand it and I'm not sure with his injuries it would be worth investing too much in an ageing full-back.

  3. I totally agree with you jk, he's been liability from day and hour he joined us. He thinks he's better than he really is and always has, why rafa spent 17'million on the guy I'll never no. We could've gotta world class right back for that sort of money we spent on him.

  4. Considering the idea that many players have "supposedly" signed incentive-laden contracts that FSG is promoting, Glen won't be immune to that treatment.

    Bottom line is if he plays well, he gets paid well. But he may be able to get a guaranteed higher wage from another team, which if that's the case, I wouldn't be able to fault him for it.

  5. My answer would be - Yes, on reduced terms

    GJ is not going to get an offer from a CL team, we are almost there now

    West Ham might do something silly and give him big money but we definitely should not

    GJ has his strengths, but it is nerve wracking when he gets possession and he seems to have become ponderous

    Take reduced terms or say adios GJ