At £6m should Rafa look to beam up Scotty?

400x400_ScottParkerNewA weekend rumour, which progressively made its way to the Mirror and the Telegraph this week is the quite unexpected move that Rafa Benitez is lining up a January bid for Scott Parker. To exploit the financial situation at the Hammers, the Liverpool manager is rumoured to be prepared to pay £6million for the combative central midfielder in a bid to bolster Liverpool’s hopes of achieving a fourth place finish. So if true what would be Benitez’s reasoning behind the bid?

Javier Mascherano’s future has been in question since the start of the season but his performances in recent games have shown that the Argentinean captain still has real passion for the club and that there maybe a greater likelihood of him signing a new contract than people might think.  So why the interest in Parker? Despite the injuries that have hampered his development since he left Charlton for Chelsea, Parker has really had a renaissance at West Ham and despite also having injury problems during the start of his spell at the London club, he was named player of the season last year.

Parker is certainly a player that would attract Benitez because of his all round game. He can tackle, but it is his creative play, playing incisive through balls, which has come to the fore in recent times. It was a talent he first showed during his early career at Charlton and it is something that Benitez would no doubt look for in a central midfielder at the moment when Liverpool are struggling to find an attacking threat in the middle of the park. Especially away from home, playing both Lucas and Mascherano limits the possibilities of attacking play, and although it creates a protective blanket for the back four, it makes it that much harder to win games without a creative outlet such as Alonso in midfield.

So what of Alberto Aquilani, wasn’t he meant to be the replacement for Alonso and the creative force in central midfield? He may well be in the future but it will take him time to adapt to the English game and at least a few months to get used to away games in the Premier League. Benitez may be looking for a quick solution which over the coming few months will help Liverpool up the table and in contention for fourth place. At 29 years of age, Parker fits the bill perfectly and as he is relatively cheap compared to many other options, the English midfielder covers all the bases.

Many will be saying that if you spend 20m on a new attacking midfielder you should play him. I couldn’t agree more but Benitez is not in a situation to wait for Aquilani to get used to the English game, he will no doubt play the Italian international but when things are not going so well for him during matches in this settling in period, Benitez may feel he needs a different option who is proven in the Premiership and is used to both the speed and more importantly, the physicality of the English league. Aquilani is an elegant attacking midfielder with a range of passing, while Parker offers better defensive options as well as the capability of picking out a pass when he needs to. It is not an essential purchase for Benitez in January but it would provide a different option to both Aquilani and Lucas when the occasion calls for it.

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Helen Chamberlain, Max Rushden and the rest of the Soccer Am crew tackle the task of unearthing the team of their dreams.

Tubes, Health and Safety, Rocket and Baby Elvis are among the familiar faces joining Helen and Max to indulge in a special set of sketches, including Kung Fu Academy, Third Eyes and the return of the £10 Goal Celebration.

Who makes it through the filter of football’s funniest show as the Greatest Team In The World?

Does the Premier League take precedence or does La Liga lead the way??

NEW Soccer AM IIII DVD OUT NOW – Order your copy now