10 Aug 2015

Transfer Update: Liverpool close to loan agreement for £65k-a-week Spaniard. Done Deal 'this week'?

Last week, Rickie Lambert left Liverpool to sign for West Brom, and new reports suggest that another Reds star may be on the verge of following Lambert to the Midlands.

According to a report in the Liverpool Echo today:

* West Brom are interested in signing Anfield sicknote Jose Enrique.

* A loan deal will be completed 'within days'.

The Telegraph further claims:

"Liverpool are...happy to let Jose Enrique join West Bromwich Albion on loan and a deal could be tied up this week".

Brendan Rodgers totally ignored Enrique over the summer, and its clear that the defender's time at Anfield is up.

Enrique's injury history at Liverpool is an absolute joke:

* 376 days out through injury in the last 3 seasons (57 games missed).

* Hasn't started a league game since November 2014.

* Averaged only 9 appearances per year for the last two seasons.

It's hardly surprising that West Brom are only interested in a loan - no club is going to pay serious money for a player with Enrique's injury history, so the Spaniard will have to prove his fitness before (hopefully) sealing a permanent deal next summer.

In my view, Enrique's career as a top-class footballer is basically over. As ex-Reds Michael Owen, and Fernando Torres have also discovered, knee injuries are one of the worst injuries a footballer can suffer, and like those two, Enrique's issues are persistent, and seemingly incurable.

As such, it's a surprised that West Brom are even interested. Tony Pulis is no fool, and surely he can see that signing Enrique - even on loan - is a massive gambled, especially for a manager who prides himself on building a physically imposing defensive unit.

To add insult to injury, it'll come as no surprise if Liverpool either subside Enrique's wages (reportedly £65k-a-week) in a bid to get him off the books. The only hope is that he'll somehow maintain his fitness, and prove to be a superstar at West Brom so that LFC can finally move him on (permanently).

Whatever happens, Enrique's contract expires next summer, so he'll almost certainly be leaving. The only question is will Liverpool make any money back? The Spaniard cost £6m in 2011, and I can only see one outcome next year: a free transfer.

To be honest, it's an utter farce that footballers like Enrique continue to be paid obscene wages despite being constantly injured. What exactly is he being paid for - sitting on the sidelines? Massages, physio, and the best medical care money can buy?

In my view, players should be financially penalised for persistent injury issues. One-off injuries are understandable (i.e. bad tackles leading to a broken leg, ACL etc), but if a player is perpetually injured (like Enrique, Sturridge etc), then contracts should stipulate that a player receives only a percentage of their salary whilst they're out of action.

Author: Jaimie K


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