9 Aug 2014

'I don't understand': LFC legend slams BR's 'strange' €7m transfer decision, and questions the club's scouting

In May, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers insisted that he was done with loan deals, and resolved to bring more 'permanent' players to club. Given his terrible record with loan signings, that was clearly a good decision (!), but the signing of Javier Manquillo this week shows that Rodgers is back on the loan trail, and Liverpool legend Steve Nicol is not impressed with the deal.

Manquillo has signed a 2-year loan deal, with a €7.5m option to buy, and in a radio interview this week, Nicol labelled the deal 'strange', and suggested that the Spaniard will struggle to get into the team. He noted:

"I'm not sure scouts have seen him play because the guy hasn't played. I'm a little sceptical.

"What if this guy sits on the bench for Liverpool? How happy is he going to be? Not only is he on loan, but he is not playing. I don't understand why a team of Liverpool's size are doing that.

I agree to an extent with Nicol here:

* With Martin Kelly, John Flanagan, Andre Wisdom etc, Liverpool already have enough young, up-and-coming right backs, so the decision to bring in another youngster in that position doesn't seem to make sense.

* Is Manquillo really going to relegate Glen Johnson - a massively experience England international - to the bench?

* Johnson clearly needs to be replaced, and bringing in an experienced, top quality right back is a much better idea. Is he going to feel under pressure from Manquillo, who is a comparative nobody in the game?

* Johnson's defensively suspect, but to be fair, does he deserve to lose his place to an inexperienced player with a paltry six senior appearances to his name, and zero Prem/European experience?

* If Tiago Ilori - who is the same age - can't break into the first team, what chance does Manquillo have?

* Even if Johnson plays on the left, is Manquillo good enough to usurp Flanagan and Kelly on the right?

Atletico boss Diego Simeone believes that Manquillo is on the path to becoming a top player, and last season, he enthused:

"Manquillo [is in] a maturing stage. [he] is going to be a very important player for this team. The future is great but the present is very important and we want [him] to keep developing".

If the Spaniard is so 'important' to Atletico, then why has Simeone let him leave only months after making the above statement?

As noted above, Rodgers record with loan signings is poor, but his luck has to change sometime...right? Who knows - perhaps Manquillo will surprise everyone and turn out to be the most successful transfer of the summer...



  1. Look at it one way or the other still hes a better bet then johnson and so far the only loan is manquillo maybe that is the only deal AM agree with it.

  2. Hate articles like this.... Most fans questioned coutinho and Sturridge signing and they've turned out to be genius. Martin Kelly injury prone wisdom not good enough and Johnson needs to be sold .. Gotta look to the future which is manquillo and flanno and moreno Robinson at LB. Its pretty simple wen u actually look at the situation properlly . lovren sakho will make up the back four and there all at an age were they will only improve. So actually the homework has been done on all signings BR has made even players like moses were signed as back up to the squad because it was soo small. Yeah the likes of aspas and alberto were just unfortunate that other players played soo well like sterling and suarez henderson .... Soooo many think next time before u right that load of gob shite ..YNWA

  3. We won't know until he plays, but from the small bit you can see on YouTube he looks like a really good prospect. He's very fast which suits Rodgers' way of playing, so hopefully he'll get enough game time to progress ineptitude a really good player for us

  4. I think the loan actually works in our favour because we can have a good look at him and if he's no good, send him back. Bet the club wished they'd got aspas on loan. By all accounts he's highly rated but I've never seen him play. We'll probably be stuck with Johnson for another season. The only way we could justify another quality, experienced right back purchase is if we could find a taker for Johnson, which on his wages isn't gonna happen. Hopefully this kid is the real deal but my expectations are realistic of a 20 year old RB

  5. its a no lose situation he has been signed as a companion for Moreno he will be playing his football with the Under 21 side at first if he develops to the standard needed we get a decent player for buttons look how much Moreno and Shaw have cost and if he doesn't he goes back at the end of the season having integrated another young player into the first team We did the Same with Coates with Suarez its not new for us with players coming in from Abroad where the culture is so different a brilliant deal by Rodgers

  6. "I'm not sure scouts have seen him play because the guy hasn't played" - I think this statement is a bit naive. They're hardly plucking a player from La Liga on the basis of two or three games. I would posit that they've been watching this guy for a number of years (perhaps similar to Origi), and see something special in him. Maybe Steve Nicol hasn't seen him play, but I'm sure the scouts have.

  7. The voice of reason.12:31 am, August 10, 2014

    At this moment in time i would be prepared for anyone to play in the right back position above Johnson, I think Flanagan would be the first choice and then maybe Manquillo above Kelly or Johnson with the latter being last, because he is useless beyond words.

  8. This deal is obviously "semi-purchase", something quite novel and hard to understand if you stick with traditional methods. Why "semi-purchase"?-because of both AM and LFC-AM likely saw great tallent and demanded more than normal estimate; LFC was interested enough and in imediate need to deepen the squad for multiple fronts this season to pay a lot for a long loan and first option to purchase if claims of tallent come true, but leaving themselves off the expensive hook if talent does not come through. I actually see this method becoming a common place in near future for apparent young tallents who need to prove themselves.
    Also, with pressuress of modern football one must forget the old concept of"first 11" squad. Now first 22 or even 33 are needed. Best example may be Ozil last season but costly declines in LFC itself, say K.Toure, or even Suarez toward the very end of the season. Opposite example - how MC used a deep squad over recent years for great advantage... So, yes, there is Johnson but new guy is not to replace him but to make his usage sustainable.

  9. Flanno should start at right back and let Kelly and Manquillo fight it out behind him. Nuke the " once great but nowhere close anymore" Glen Johnson. End of story...........

  10. Sky's pundit Rob Palmer described Manquillo's appearances as 9/10 for athletico last season. Some nobody!

  11. I hope Brendan wins a cup or the premier league soon or the LFC supporters will turn on him, and the first thing they'll say is Kenny won the league cup, got to the FA cup final, and got LFC back into Europe in one season. It's a tough game, supporters want and remember winners, not nearly men, After spending 100 million or more the pressure is on Brendan to deliver and soon. FSG fired Kenny, it's fair to assume that they won't take kindly to spending such a massive amount of money and not seeing excellent returns. Come on Brendan, you can do it.

  12. This should read that former LFC player, not a coach with any understanding of player development, makes comment because he can.

  13. "I'm not sure scouts have seen him play" what a stupid thing to say...
    Are they signing him for fun then?

  14. Loaning him in for two years is a great idea. It means we can have a seriously close up first person look at him without having to fork out a significant transfer fee. If he's good, the fee is set. If not, then he goes back to Athletico. How is this possibly a bad deal for Liverpool? Anyone who thinks otherwise is really not thinking clearly. This is clearly a good idea from Rodgers and co.

    And with regards to him not being able to dislodge the competition, Johnson has completely lost it, doesn't deserve to start and won't be resigned after this year, Kelly hasn't been the same since his injuries, and Wisdom is arguably more a centre back who was playing right back simply because he's not ready for the defensive responsibilities of playing centre back, plus he's on loan again. Flanagan is arguably the only serious competition at the moment and even he rarely offers a lot in attack, something Rodgers clearly wants from his fullbacks. So again I repeat, how is this possibly a bad deal?

  15. Steve Nicol is never impressed with anything and likes to put his foot in his mouth quiet a lot of the time. Glen is poor and Flano is still maturing into the position. Why shouldn't we have a back incase Flano gets injured as he is right about now???

  16. BR must have seen him, or at least his scouts. Delayed, but apart from Aspas, BR's transfer purchases hadn't been that bad; may be inappropriate, but we didn't suffer massive loss yet for his transfer howlers. Even Borini & Aassadi as it looks could earn us positive net; hope Lallana doesn't make me eat my words, while some of the players have increased price multiple times.

    Can anyone actually tell how good this guy is? He indeed played for Spain U19, U20... but, not sure how good he could be at highest level. However, I think it's a great business - Spanish boys are technically very good; if this boy turns out to be gold, we can get him with fraction of his the then price, if he doesn't; I don't think he is costing much in salary & loan fee. May be once he starts training, depending on early days, we might see BR saving 100K+/week by off-loading Johnson at the last moment (QPR 'll always be there).

  17. It's quite clear that LFC is convinced by Glen Johnson's contributions, else BR should have tried to sign established players to replace GJ. JK said it, it's highly questionable how a non-playing 20 year-old from AM can usurp GJ for the starting job? Also there's a tad of hypocrisy from Diego Simone, AM's boss. If he is keen in keeping the young lad, he could have done so easily. Based on a rather sadly fact, LFC is not any bigger than AM, last season's UCL finalist, right at this very point in time. I gotta agree that it's merely an act to jack up the price for the player.

    Love it or not, we fans will be given at least one more season to admire the impervious defending and breadth-taking forward runs from one of our all-time greats, Glen Johnson! WOW!

  18. The kid will get a chance to show his quality in training and if Rodgers likes what he sees then he'll play. It's simple enough, Nicol just likes to speculate the worst case scenario because it gets more people listening to what he has to say. Yeah, there are plenty of kids in the side but having another one can't hurt. Our young players have all been around for a while and they are yet to prove themselves as absolute top quality so there is a gap there that needs to be filled. I think it's just about putting enough potential in your larger squad so that there is a better chance of one of them developing into the player you actually want to have. At some point that becomes redundant but for teams like Liverpool I'd don't see that we're overloaded, not yet.

  19. you know why our defending has been so atrocious? Our fullbacks have been shit last season, partcicularly Johnson. He was supposed to be the attacking FB with Flanagan more conservative. Johnson was horrible and has picked up that with the preseason. In a team that scored 101 goals i think they share 1 goal between them and Flanagan scored it against Spurs. Thats atrocious. With our high press and attacking intent our FBs have been far too slow. Thats why Rodgers went after manquillo and Moreno. I have no doubts these guys will come good. FBs are not hard to coach up and they don't lack for pace which is clear Rodgers see as a deficiency in our team. Sitting there arguing over a initial loan deal for a good if not great prospect is really mind boggling. Some people never know when to shut up. Its like we have endless amount of money to spend on every position and once a guy come with a big price tag it means they are quality. Ridiculous i tell you. This guy will have time to adjust, its a two year loan deal. Jose Enrique will be back at LB and Flanagan will relegate Johnson to the bench which is where he belongs atm and the youngsters will get time to get up to speed. I see nothing wrong with that.

  20. Jeez, talk about pathetic pessimism from Nichol! It's a no-lose, low cost loan deal for a former Real Madrid player, 20 years old who is an exciting prospect. If he grabs his chance, then everyone will be saying what an inspired bit of business by the club. Can't we give the kid a chance before we send him packing back to Spain?

  21. Lighting in the West5:41 am, August 10, 2014

    Stevie Nicol is becoming quite the outspoken Statesman, check my puns out lads? :D If Manquillo isn't good enough to break straight into the first team then Flanagan has shown himself to be a solid right back with Kelly back from injuries as well, so it's no hardship but if Manquillo goes on to take that position and shows potential and quality and we tie him up for a good deal, then that's even better, we've managed to upgrade a position and for a decent price, if nothing else it adds competition for a position that has become quite stagnant in choice. The last first team right back Liverpool signed was Glen Johnson which leads me into my next points.

    Rodgers hasn't signed a right back since he's been at Liverpool, Rafa was the last to buy a 1st team right back in Johnson, so this needs to be addressed, Rodgers needs his criteria for right back filled. Rodgers likes the continental defending so it's only natural he looks to the continent for someone who is either capable or later able to fit the bill then that's a good move for us.

    We've spent a lot this Summer, with rumours afoot of Moreno signing after the Super Cup show piece final and for big money with a striker likely as well, i think Manquillo could be a clever and cost effective move made and especially if Johnson leaves for QPR or somewhere else and we are able to free up his large wagers just like we have done with Pepe Reina and we'd then save over £10.4 million just in wagers a year on those two not including the couple of million we'll get for them, putting back into the club for the next few years, i think we'll see a fair few more leave mind you.

    Which is the smart thing to do for these two players offering little and taking lots both over 30+ years old. It's similar to Kuyt and Maxi a couple of seasons back being allowed to leave for a tiny fee as to rid the heavy expenditures on players who won't likely feature and are not in the managers plans.

  22. Hey Fergie never saw bebe play, look at how well that turned out :/

  23. I wonder if there is a mandatory buy in this contract. If not we can return him if it doesn't work out. Also I wonder what club would loan a player 2 years if he was good enough.

  24. Johnson should not be making the team. If he is not gone before this window closes or January 2015 then he will be packing his bags by the end of the season when his contract ends.

    Kelly, Flanagan and Wisdom are not attacking fullbacks which Rodgers is after. Manquillo and Moreno are.

    Kelly will most probably be moved to CB if he is not moved on and Flanagan will most likely be kept as backup. Wisdom probably is deemed as surplus to requirements.

    Loaning Manquillo for two years is a bit strange but players from La Liga normally struggle to adapt to the EPL and Manquillo is only 20. I read somewhere that the option to buy is after one season. If he shows promise in his first season but the club are unsure then there is another season to see whether he is good enough. Saves us from spending the money straight away and will also give us time to find a replacement for Johnson should Manquillo not cut the mustard.

  25. Kelly seems to be out of his depth at the PL level after his string of injuries and Wisdom should eventually be on CB for the club. Flanagan was good last season but he lacks the attacking prowess we'll be looking for considering how attack-minded we are so I'm very much for this deal. He has a full year to settle in and then the second year of the loan he can finally step up and everyone can see what he wants. It's a new idea, the two-year loan but it could pay dividends for Rodgers and the club in the long term.

  26. I just hope we are able to sell Johnson before the season starts but there are no buyers and even QPR have got Isla. It is quite simple for me. Moreno and Manquillo/Flannagan for the full backs and the other for back up for both position.

  27. It's just Nicol. He's had to keep his mouth shut all season last season because he only comes out from under his rock to moan and groan. It's the low season now so there are no matches to prove him wrong, again, in his negativity. I understand the need for another right back. Kelly is more injury prone than Chris Kirkland, Johnson may be on his way out and Flanagan is hardly an established player yet even though he did great last season. What I don't get about this transfer though is that it's another young player who, like Flanagan, is not established at his parent club. So on top of him hardly playing a game in La Liga, we'll have to wait for him to "get accustomed to the Premier League". It could all be a matter of budget though. We need our cash for other more pressing transfers and were able to get him on the cheap to make up the numbers. If he's not as injury prone as Kelly, he'd already be a step up from what we currently have really.

  28. Looking forward to the match vs Dortmund today. Reckon we will see a strong starting lineup with Lovren and Manquillo getting their debuts. I would go with






    or a diamond with Coutino supporting Lambert and Sterling. Not sure we will be risking Sturridge as we need him for the EPL opener.

    It is a friendly but should be a very good game.

  29. I keep imagining Aly Cissokho on a two-year loan....#shudders...hope this guy proves to be a gem for us.

  30. Fergie didn't see Bebe play...but the scouts did...

  31. Early signs look good :).

    He was quite decent today.

  32. Ok, it was only pre-season but he looked solid, mature, energetic and completely at home today -- pretty much straight off the plane too! Great debut for one so young. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Nichol.

  33. just after finishing watching the pool v dortmund game and looks to me like stevie nicol is seriously wrong about manquillo absolutely outstanding game from the kid nailed on to start next sunday and 2 year loan and to buy for 7.5 mil euro after 2 yr i think liverpool will have taking that option up by january and paid the money,and moreno to sign tuesday night r wednesday morning wont be letting in 50 r near it goals this year.a forward now icardi r bony and we be there abouts again this year.roll on sunday.the start of another roller coaster season again.y.n.w.a

  34. looks like mr steve Dicol will be regretting opening his mouth. Everyone thinks they know better than rodgers, yet none of them have put their own opinions into practice. losers.

  35. OUT#
    IN #
    #LINE UP
    Alves Skrtel Lovren moreno
    Gerrard henderson
    Coutinho Starling
    Sturridge Cavani
    NEXT line up
    Manquillo Kolo toure Sakho enrique
    Alonso Allen Lucas
    markovic Lallana

  36. After Manquillo's performance today against Dortmund, perhaps Steve Nicol would like to extract his rather large foot from his gob!!

  37. After seeing Manquillo today, I think that he is an exceptional signing. Well done LFC. He's got a bright future ahead.

  38. Steve Nicol and Jaime K are now sitting together tucking into a nice big slice of humble pie. Today's game against B/Dortmund was due to big the final big test before kicking off the new season. Manquillo played superbly today and even the commentators said as much. "Didn't put a foot wrong" one said! I think the team looks amazing and playing great football. We certainly took our chances too. Final thoughts, keep Lucas and get Reus or a another decent striker in. With Can fighting for a place, Markovic and Lallana yet to come back from injury, the squad has some real strength in depth which has been lacking for some time. Can't wait for the season to start. YNWA

  39. His first few touches today weren't great but he soon settled; he looked good on the ball, good going forward, aware defensively and showed he could tackle. I'd drop Johnson for him on today's evidence.

  40. Have to agree, Steve Nicol is constantly Mr Negative,reminds me of Lawrenson 'im not sure about Coutinho remark'. As for scouts not 'scouting a player' i remember not so long ago people speculating Origi probably wasn't scouted but was bought entirely off world cup appearances, only to find out he had been scouted for ages. Thought Manquillo was excellent today - don't expect the naysayers to say 'i was wrong' Lawrenson - Nicol !!

  41. I agree with the decision to bring in Manquillo. I watched him today and he has more desire to impress and succeed. The likes of Wisdom Kelly Johnson are just plain lazy and incompetent. Bringing in Manquillo is like an acid test for these blokes to see if they can step up to the cause. If not get rid. Brendan Rodgers is a kind man and he is just tolerating some of these players because they have been here for long and hoping they improve. Jon Flanagan has a lot of heart and desire to play for Liverpool but lacks the quality and ability Manquillo showed today. Kudos!

  42. Manquillo was one of the best players on the pitch against Dortmund earlier, with Johnson shifted onto the other side of the pitch (who, quite frankly, had the best game he's had in ages). Watching him play and then reading this article has been quite funny.

  43. Butt out Nichol and keep your comments to your self. Trying for a bit of free publicity are we ?

  44. Why do you feel so threatened by people having a different opinion to you? Why don't you just graciously accept that Nicol et al are entitled to their views, even if you don't agree.

  45. Will's opinion is that Nicol is a pessimist.
    Why do you feel so threatened?
    Why don't you accept Will's right to disagree with what has been said?

  46. Well from what I seen of him today, he has my vote, better than a number of established players. Defensive and attacking balanced, he is like Johnson, 3 or 4 seasons ago. Rodgers is all about pace, on the break football and if that's what he was looking for, then he has what he wanted. 1 game down, roll on Southampton on 17th, play him again, let's see how he copes with EPL, but it can't be as bad as our defensive last season. And the goals came from all angles today so goals ain't our problem. Could still do with another striker to cover sturridge incase of injury, but other than that, bring it on, YNWA

  47. Patience always necessary. Liverpool isn't a huge, cosmopolitan city but by buying potential LFC can develop a quality squad and maintain financial stability. Ilori and Manquillo both look quality to me. Johnson will leave next season and we won't have to shell out for a replacement.

  48. Maquillo looked really good v Dortmund

    Particularly when it came to his crossing, he actually tried to pick someone out, as opposed to lashing it in aimlessly or hitting the first man

    This is a 2 year loan with option to buy or send him back at end of first year. Try before you buy, what could possibly be wrong with that???

  49. Lol manquillo was awesome yesterday, looks like Nicol will have to eat his words with this one

  50. It's one game (!) A player is not an untouchable superstar after one game.

  51. according to how he played yesterday,I'm sure he's up to that mandate

  52. After that first performance it looks like a good move and appears the clubs scouting is working well hopefully continues