15 Aug 2015

Transfer Breakthrough: After improved offer, Liverpool to finally sign 'fantastic' £15m playmaker

Another day, another link to 'fantastic Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi. Earlier this month, the Telegraph claimed that Liverpool in an 'improved' offer for Illarramendi, and new reports today suggest that the Reds are very close to sealing a deal.

In Early August, The Telegraph claimed:

"Asier Illarramendi is set to move to Liverpool after the Anfield club came up with an improved offer. A deal should be completed this week".

Today, The Telegraph further claims:

"Asier Illarramendi is poised to join Liverpool in a £15m deal after being frozen out at Real Madrid".

Historically, The Telegraph is comparatively reliable, and is generally perceived as a 'quality' newspaper.

However, in recent months, it has started copying Metro's execrable and dishonest tactic of placing entire headlines in quotation marks in a bid to fool people into thinking that someone 'in the know' has imparted this exciting-sounding information.

The online headline for this Illarramendi story, for example, is:

* 'Illarramendi poised to join Liverpool in £15m deal'.

The entire headline is a quote, which is just cynical tactics in the extreme. As such, I seriously doubt there's any real merit to this 'story'. But I digress...

If the Reds can get Illarramendi for a cut-price fee, it'll be good business. However, I just can't see how or where where the Spaniard fits in:

* James Milner will almost certainly be a regular starter in a central role, and with Henderson - now captain - set to be practically everpresent, there's no room for another starting central midfielder.

* Add-in Can, Allen, and Lucas (if he stays), and that's SIX players fighting for two midfield places (or three, if Rodgers decides to saturate the team with central midfielders).

* If Milner and Henderson play most games, where does that leave Illarramendi?

* Emre Can has repeatedly made it clear that he wants to play in central midfield, but how is that going to possible, especially with Illarramendi in the squad? Milner and Hendo are not going to be a bench players, so that creates a major problem.

Competition for places is good; excessive competition is counter-productuve, and if Liverpool sign Illarramendi, and keep Lucas, and Allen, the fight for places in midfield will (arguably) be unhealthy.

In his three years at the club, Rodgers hasn't show any great appetite to consistently play with a dedicated defensive midfielder, and it's probable that he'll rely on Milner and Henderson to do the job between them (which will, in all likelihood, fail).

Do Liverpool even need Illarramendi?

Author: Jaimie K


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