One of the biggest bug-bears among some Reds at the moment is the fact that Liverpool are seemingly targeting purely English players who are overpriced and overrated. While there maybe a case for some being overrated and perhaps overpriced, the fact is the Reds will have to go over the valuation for some players to improve their squad. People may counter this by saying that there are clearly better, cheaper alternatives abroad and they cite players such as Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Ever Banega and others as players who should be targeted.
The problem is, although I would love to see these players ply their trade at Anfield, I do not feel they can be realistic targets whilst the Reds are not in the Champions League. For sure we have to be ambitious, and the fact that we are Liverpool Football Club will hold some sway in the transfer market, but many of these players mentioned as alternatives to our current targets will be playing in the Champions League next season. It is not necessarily true they will want to move to LFC in the first place, and this is why to some extent I believe there is a domestic focus to our summer transfer policy. Below I have listed our targets and perhaps why foreign talents were not targeted instead.
Jordan Henderson – An alternative could have been Ever Banega, but he continues to play pretty regularly for Valencia. The Spanish club finished third last season, and will be in the Champions League next season. For me, although Banega may have been cheaper than Henderson, it is quite apparent that the former Sunderland player would have more motivation to move from the Black Cats, who finished 10th last season.
Charlie Adam – An obvious alternative to Adam would have been to Eden Hazard. He is however being chased by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Arsenal, all clubs which are in the Champions League, and his current side Lille are also playing in the CL next campaign. Adam was relegated with Blackpool, the Reds are certainly a more attractive option for him than Hazard.
Stewart Downing – The alternative for most would be Juan Mata. They would probably both cost the same amount but the general opinion is that the Spaniard maybe a better buy. Still, Downing was Aston Villa’s player of the season last campaign but his club finished 9th. Mata’s Valencia meanwhile finished 3rd last season, and would he be more willing to move to a club not in the Champions League than Downing?
Scott Dann – Alternatives that have been mooted such as Gary Cahill, Mamadou Sakho or Nevan Subotic of Borussia Dortmund all maybe better players than Dann. Cahill is attracting interest from Man City and Arsenal and Subotic wants to stay in the Champions League with Dortmund so both may not see Liverpool as the most attractive option. Sakho at PSG will be playing Europa League next season, and he would be my preferred choice over Dann. Out of all the foreign alternatives on the list, he would be the most realistic.
Gael Clichy – The Gunners full back is the exception to the rule that Liverpool are looking just at players at lesser Premier League clubs. He is out of contract next season though and therefore seen as a more realistic target. Still the alternative to him is Jose Enrique, another player whose club Newcastle finished below Liverpool.
Read more of David Tully’s articles at Live4Liverpool