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Should Rafa Benitez go Dutch in January?


Rumours are circulating that Ruud van Nistelrooy is prepared to snub North London in favour of a move back North-West to Liverpool. It may be hard for some Liverpool fans to stomach that a former United star is on the radar of their arch-rivals but with the lack of money that Benitez has available to him in January, it could turn to be a win-win situation for the Merseysiders. It is no doubt a shrewd move by the Liverpool manager, he is a natural goalscorer who will give both Rafa fantastic cover when Torres is not fit and a different option to play two strikers at home when the occasion calls for it.

Van Nistelrooy is currently behind four other players at the Bernabeu including world record signing Christiano Ronaldo, £35million striker Karim Benzema, Argentinean Gonzalo Higuain and club captain Raul. It is hardly likely with such a star-studded line-up ahead of him that van Nistelrooy will get a run in the Madrid first team, a run he needs desperately to get into the Holland World Cup squad.

The need to move away from Spain has been a stark contrast to the first few years he spent at Europe’s most successful club where he scored 59 goals in all competitions making him very popular with the fans at the Bernabeu. A knee injury which has kept him out since last November has however led him to become out of favour and at 33 years of age, van Nistelrooy would prefer to be playing rather than warming the Madrid bench.

So will he be welcome at Liverpool? In my opinion, if he scores goals than I certainly won’t be complaining. If he scores half as many as he did for Manchester United than I would be a happy man, especially with the leaky defence that Liverpool have acquired this season, anything that can assist at the other end is more than welcome. If he is first taken on loan in January, and does the business, he will no doubt be one of the bargains of the season. When you look at van Nistelrooy and his record, you see goals and nothing else. He is not a flashy, skilful player but he is a natural goal poacher, a style of player which is welcome in any team.

The only real concern about the move is the state of van Nistelrooy’s fitness. We are all aware of the Dutchman’s troubles with his knees, and before any move to Anfield goes through the medical staff must make sure there is no recurring problems which may make the switch to Merseyside a fools errand. He may lack a yard of pace than a few years ago, but his game never relied upon it. He was always in the right place at the right time and it is part of the game Liverpool have been missing so far this season, especially in the Champions league. They have only scored 4 goals in five games, two only against a Hungarian side Debrecen who are supposed to be the whipping boys of the group. David Ngog will in time be a good player for Liverpool, and has shown that with goals in recent weeks, but he is still young and will need time to develop.

Benitez, with Liverpool lying a lowly seventh in the league, needs answers quickly and players that are ready now, Van Nistelrooy fits the bill, he is both reliable and cheap, a commodity which is rare in modern football.

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Article title: Should Rafa Benitez go Dutch in January?

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