There’s very little glitz and glamour to this one; Loic Remy is far from the replacement for Luis Suarez at Liverpool. What the Frenchman represents, though, is a smart, relatively low-cost addition that takes very little away from the youthful focus at the club.
Reports emerged Monday that Remy was close to a switch from QPR to Liverpool for a fee of £8.5 million, with Arsenal unable to come to an agreement over financial terms with the player.
For both Liverpool and Arsenal, Remy would have served the same purpose: to fill out a squad, add quality, but not take on the greater responsibility in attack. It’s not just that Remy isn’t on par with Suarez’s quality – no slight on the French international, of course – it’s a question of whether he’s up to the task of leading a top four club to silverware, or whatever the preseason target may be. I’m not so sure.
Whatever Remy’s final wage packet may be at Liverpool – and there have been multiple figures rumoured, ranging from £75,000 to £100,000-per-week – the fee is no great dent in the club’s transfer budget, which has been swelled considerably by Suarez’s sale, and will need to be used to address the team’s shortcomings in defence.
Liverpool’s big focus will be on Daniel Sturridge, who should be able to hit at least 20 goals in all competitions once again this coming season. Lazar Markovic, at £20 million, is also an investment that can’t be blocked through even more extravagant additions in similar positions. The young Serb may have very little experience, but the club have bought for the future with him. There isn’t a sense that Remy’s inclusion in the squad will impede his development over the coming season.
It’s the best thing Liverpool could have done this summer. Like Borussia Dortmund, they were not going to replace their talismanic forward with one individual. The Bundesliga side, even without receiving a fee on Robert Lewandowski’s switch to Bayern Munich, splashed out on Ciro Immobile and Adrian Ramos as the key forward additions this summer. In house, Marco Reus will take on much of the leadership and scoring responsibility.
Think of Remy as a similar signing to that of Ramos. Both experienced in their respective leagues, having come off a good season in terms of numbers. But neither are good enough – or have displayed qualities that would deem them good enough – to be the leading centre-forward of a top four club.
In Rickie Lambert and Loic Remy, Liverpool will have brought in two Premier League-experienced forwards at very little cost. Even with Suarez in the squad last season, there were concerns about the lack of depth in attack. Iago Aspas failed to make the step up, and Victor Moses did little to nothing to warrant his loan move becoming a permanent switch from Chelsea. The club have now lost their star forward, but there will be no great concern about depth, with Champions League football now added to the calendar.
At 27, Remy will add the experience yet to be acquired by Markovic, and the high-level experience yet to be tasted by Adam Lallana and Lambert.
There will be no Hollywood presentations on this one, but Liverpool have once again shown themselves to be extremely cunning in the market, set acquire a much-needed versatile forward without taking much attention away from the youthful pillars of the team.