Football FanCast guest columnist Harry Michaels feels that Liverpool should move quickly to secure a new deal for Xabi Alonso amidst Juve rumours.
If we ever needed to know whether relations between Rafa Benitez and Xabi Alonso have been fully repaired following the club’s attempts to offload the midfielder last summer, then now is the time as Juventus have once again made their interest known.
It has been well documented about what went on last summer with Rafa himself conceding in recent weeks that the club were listening to offers for Alonso as he looked to raise funds to buy Gareth Barry last summer. At the time Xabi expressed his disappointment as the season commenced and suggested how flattered he was that Juve came calling for his services, he refused to rule out the possibility of a move in the future.
Obviously since those comments were made by Xabi in September a lot of water has passed under the bridge and not only has he been restored to the starting line-up but has arguably been our best player this season. He has been sensational, taken his game to a different level and surprised us all with his consistency and how his game has become complete. It is like the prospect of being sold galvanised him to a different level and how we have been reaping the rewards of it, the thought of him leaving the football club is now simply unthinkable and while last year they were only too happy to listen to offers, now they must be looking to do everything in their power to make sure he remains.
So the big question remains as to what is Xabi’s thought process and whether he would be tempted now he suddenly finds himself in a position of power. There is no doubt that the events of last summer will still be in his mindset and that is why I feel it is vital that the club look to, especially with Juve coming out today and expressing a desire to sign him, enter negotiations about a contract extension or improved terms. Xabi has certainly earned it and I really believe we need to act early to stop these links manifesting themselves and other possible temptations presenting themselves. Alonso has become far too big a player to let slip from our grasp and a huge reason for our clear improvement this season.