Sergio Aguero , Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez , Juan Mata and Yann M’Vila are just some of the names that Liverpool have been linked with in recent months. For any Reds fan, such names sound exciting but I feel we have to be realistic about the sort of players that will arrive at Anfield in the summer.
Due to the fact that Liverpool will not be in the Champions League or possibly Europe at all next season, it means our sights have to be lowered somewhat. In the case of somebody like Kun Aguero who is expected to leave Atletico Madrid in the summer, the Argentine’s price tag alone of £40m+ will be enough to put off the Reds. On others such as Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez and Juan Mata, price would not be an issue but it will necessarily come down to the specific aims and desires of the players themselves.
For Eden Hazard for example, he has stated recently that he doesn’t want to move to Real Madrid because he fears he wouldn’t get a first team place at the Bernabeu. A potential opportunity for the Reds to exploit then, but Hazard then goes on to explain that Inter or Arsenal would be his preferred destination. Places where he can get first team football but also, crucially, play in the Champions League like he can with Lille next season.
A similar problem would most probably arise when trying to purchase Juan Mata. The Spanish playmaker is a player I have long admired, but if the reports are true that Manchester City are indeed interested, the Reds may have little chance of acquiring the Valencia midfielder. City can offer more money and Champions League football next season, while we would have to hope that our history and stature alone could attract the player. The same could be said of another winger Alexis Sanchez who is also attracting interest from Eastlands.
At the end of the day, Director of Football Damien Comolli has been tasked with the responsibility of bringing players in who are good value for money. The task will be to find players, near to Hazard, Mata and Sanchez’s abilities, but who are valued at less money and are more likely to come. For that reason, the Reds have also been linked with the likes of Ashley Young , Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam, Marko Marin, Eljero Elia, Iker Muniain and Blaise Matuidi in recent months. Players not necessarily less sought after but more likely to move to Liverpool due to their own contract situations or the circumstances at their own clubs. Young and Downing’s Aston Villa are currently 13th, Adam’s Blackpool are 18th, Marin’s Werder Bremen finished 13th, Elia’s Hamburg finished 8th, Muniain’s Bilbao are in 6th with Matuidi’s St Etienne lying 8th in Ligue One.
Pepe Reina mentioned yesterday that he had spoken to Damien Comolli:
“Recently I have talked with Comolli, asking about the future, and I believe in the club and this project. I am happy here. We know how much work there is to be done, but I believe we are in the right place and we are going in the right direction. Next season will be more positive. The quicker we improve, the better for the club, but we cannot change overnight. The owners are preparing a big summer and hopefully the players that come in will improve the squad.”
It is clear he wanted to be reassured about the targets the club were pursuing before committing his future. It would be interesting to know what Comolli and Dalglish have in store for the summer but my instincts tell me that the list more like resembles the ones I have listed second, rather the first list at the top of the article. What do you think?
Read more of David’s articles at Live4Liverpool