Liverpool’s Signings Redefine ‘Value’

by Sam Wheatley

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

The stories that broke just before midday on January 31st 2011 turned out to be the ones concluded last as Liverpool and Chelsea spent big trying to revive their ailing fortunes. For Liverpool, the consternation at having lost proven goalscorer may be assuaged by the promise of Andy Carroll and Luis Suárez, two players with an opportunity to prove their potential on the big stage – and after the Hodgson saga and some stagnation under Benitez, Anfield could once again become the big stage.

I am not for a moment suggesting that Liverpool will now win every single game for the rest of the season and push for the title, but NESV seem to have shelved sabermetrics in favour of flexing their financial muscles which goes a long way in the modern English game, as Chelsea have proven and as Manchester City seem to get stronger. The purchases of Luis Suárez and Andy Carroll are an attempt to re-instill the big club mentality to Liverpool, and not a bad one either.

It would be easy to criticise the club for the amount paid for Carroll, but remember that just a day or two earlier Tottenham were trying to prise him away from St. James’ Park for £25 million to add him to a squad already boasting two established England international strikers and a Russian international. If the value of Carroll is then dependent on the current squad, considering the strikers Liverpool had at their disposal at the inevitable loss of Torres, then the additional ten million pounds may be a drop in the ocean against the affect he can have.

It would also be too easy to draw comparisons between Carroll and Shearer, and Dalglish. Carroll, if anything has been slightly more prolific than Shearer in his early years. If Dalglish can nurture Carroll properly then Liverpool and England could have an excellent prospect on their hands. Carroll plays differently to Shearer and their attitudes are markedly different, but the move away from Newcastle may be what Carroll needs. He’s a confident young man, and he will want to prove himself on the big stage – it all depends how Dalglish deploys his new strikers and the playing style.

The purchase of Carroll almost completely overshadowed the arrival of Luis Suárez, the Uruguayan that scored a whopping forty-nine goals last season in all competitions and impressed during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Buying Suárez at a price that others may perhaps have been unwilling to pay (£23 million) doesn’t show foolishness on NESV’s part, but a determination to assemble the squad that they want, to play the way they want and to add value to a league campaign that, so far, is almost completely worthless.

More good news for Liverpool fans is that Paul Konchesky has been loaned out to Nottingham Forest, despite only having Aurelio to play the position. Konchesky, unfortunately for him, has come to symbolise Hodgson’s reign, so it can be no surprise that he’s been shown the door, at least for the time being. Some player departures do not show a lack of ambition – and I believe it is the same for Fernando Torres.

Torres had been cutting a forlorn figure for far too long – £50 million represents a good deal for a player that was unlikely to ever recapture his top form whilst he remained at the club against his will, and the money has gone on to pay for Carroll and more than half of Suárez (or the other way round, depending on how you want to look at it). Two strikers on the ascendancy are better than one that doesn’t care, as they fail to say with any regularity. Whilst Liverpool fans may feel betrayed by Torres, they may have to thank him for solving their lack of depth in his position – Suárez and Carroll are a frightening proposition.  Between the two of them, they offer much more than Torres on his own.

Conclusively, with a couple of tweaks, Liverpool may now begin to fulfil their potential as Dalglish attempts to shift the deadwood and build the sort of squad that Liverpool fans want to see. Charlie Adam would have been the icing on the cake, but the acquisition of the Scotland midfielder was not entirely necessary to reinvigorate the Anfield faithful’s hopes of a good end to the season. Suárez and Carroll (when he returns from injury) could be just the injection of enthusiasm and pride that Torres was sadly unable to provide – and that could prove to be priceless.

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  • lee

    great write up, has i was feeling down about torres departure but reading this as made me look at it in a possitive way . still feel we should have got at least 1 winger as the owners have nearly spent nothing when you had the sales of torres and babel , but hope they buy a couple of world class wingers in the summer

  • Josh

    Amazed King Kenny didn’t buy a left back of any sort…I guess he thinks Johnson can cover LB and that Kelly can play RB. Also, Meireles and Adam? Too similar? Liverpool seem to leak players and never actually replace them (with the exception of Torres). Who replaced Hyypia? No one. Who replaced Mascherano? No one. Who replaced Xabi Alonso? No one. Kenny now has to rebuild that defence, as Agger is prone to lapses of concentration, Skrtle isn’t good enough imo and Carragher is not only old, but more adept at scoring goals AGAINST his own club. He has no decent Left back, one decent right back (who is actually a centre back) and an £18m Glen Johnson who is, really, a pile of turds.

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