Talk of a potential attempt from Liverpool to bring Peter Crouch back to Anfield seems strange at best. It’s understandable that Roy Hodgson wants another striker to bolster his attacking options, but for Tottenham, Harry Redknapp and Crouch himself, the move would be a confusing one.
While it is obvious Fernando Torres will again be Liverpool’s first choice striker, the rest of Hodgson’s firepower is either, still unproven – David N’gog and Dani Pacheco – or not out-and-out forwards i.e. Gerrard, Cole and Jovanovic. Liverpool played their best football last season when Steven Gerrard played just behind Torres, but the signings of Jovanovic, and Cole in particular, pose the question of how Hodgson will marry the various combinations together; with that amount of quality attacking midfielders it seems plausible to play them around a central striker. This doesn’t change the fact however, that if Liverpool want to compete for the title, there needs to be at least one other quality striker to ease the load off the shoulders of their Spanish talisman.
Having played for eight clubs already in his career, there is no real suggestion that Peter Crouch has any great affiliation with a particular team. This is not to say he is un-loyal, but that he tends to play well when he gets games at smaller clubs before earning big moves. It then fails to work out and he is forced to move on to get regular football again: the journey from Southampton to Liverpool, and then to Portsmouth and now Spurs highlights this trend, but it is hard to see it continuing right now. Spurs may not be on the scale of Man Utd or Liverpool, but they are still a major club and one that now has Champions League football to boot. As well as this, Crouch is certain to get a lot of games at White Hart Lane this season, as his partnership with Jermaine Defoe appears to still be Redknapp’s first choice (although it can be hard to tell at times). At Liverpool, Crouch didn’t get the amount of games he thought he deserved under Rafa Benitez, and whether Roy Hodgson would give him 40 starts a season is unclear. Also, for Redknapp, why would he want to sell Crouch this close to Spurs’ biggest season in recent memory?
There may be questions over the Tottenham strikers: both Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko have been linked with endless moves away from North London over the last year, and Spurs have joined the ever-increasing queue of clubs linked with Nice striker Loic Remy, but surely Crouch’s position is still reasonably safe? Tottenham will play enough games this season for Crouch to play regularly, even if there is rotation, as well as the fact that some of those games will be in the Champions League, something he won’t get at Liverpool.
Having bought Crouch from Portsmouth for around £10m, one cannot imagine Redknapp selling him for anything less, especially as the club aren’t in a position where they must offload to ease their books. A hefty fee then makes Crouch a less appealing option, particularly to a club with pocket money that has been clipped by their bankrupt parent.
I may be wrong, but from the outside looking in, it appears that Tottenham need Peter Crouch in their squad this season, it appears that Harry Redknapp likes Crouch (having bought him for Southampton and Pompey, as well as Spurs), it appears that the Tottenham fans like and rate Crouch, it appears that Peter Crouch is enjoying his time at Tottenham and it appears that Tottenham don’t need to sell him – so I’m really struggling to see the move happening. With everything in place for a productive relationship between club and player, it doesn’t make sense for Crouch to return to a club where things weren’t to his liking, even if there has been a change of manager since his time there.
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