Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Winter transfer window closes - the crazy season for Liverpool

Um okay, £50m for Torres...making it the 4th biggest transfer in history. Wow.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (£80m)
Man Utd-Real Madrid (July 2009)
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£56.5m)
Inter Milan-Barcelona (July 2009)
3. Kaka (£56m)
AC Milan-Real Madrid (June 2009)
4. Fernando Torres (£50m)
Liverpool-Chelsea (Jan 2011)

Not bad for a player that Liverpool spent £20m for - 81 goals over 142 matches while playing for the Reds - a good return. With the acquisition of Suarez and Carroll, for a combined £57.7m, Liverpool is still at a loss during this transfer window. I am also not sure that spending £35m for Carroll was a wise purchase. I realize that the former Newcastle striker earned a recent cap for England and has scored 31 goals over his 81 game career with Newcastle, but is he really worth such a large transfer sum? For another 10m pounds Liverpool could have pried away Aguero from Atletico Madrid...who would you rather have? I would opt for Maradona's son-in-law. The acquisition of Suarez appears like a wiser purchase for Liverpool, while the Uruguayan striker might not be as much of a "star" as Torres, he remains one of the games deadliest strikers - same number of goals as Torres, 81 but in 32 fewer games...that is efficient. Seems like the Liverpool moves were questionable at best...a deeper look at the numbers:
  • Carroll 0.38 goals per game - £35m
  • Torres 0.57 goals per game - £50m
  • Aguero 0.38 goals per game - NA
  • Suarez 0.73 goals per game - £22.7m
Looks like Liverpool made a smart purchase on Suarez and very questionable with Carroll. I am not sure the Reds needed another striker after acquiring Suarez.

Not overpaid -

Could they have been better served getting another midfielder to help shoulder the creative midfield load from Gerrard? Maybe another play making midfielder such as Honda. Rumor is CSKA was willing to shop him this transfer season. Or a defensive minded midfielder, something that Liverpool has been severely lacking since Mascherano and Alonso both left - I am sure that Rennes would have been willing to part with their starlet M'Vila, which was rumored to be in the works - and for far less much money (£15m +). This would have been a better move for Liverpool than acquiring two strikers, one of which was way overpaid for!

Coming to Stanford Bridge
What about the move from the Chelsea side? £50m for Torres was a lot of money to spend for the Spanish striker. Granted, when it comes to Chelsea there is no such thing as a "budget" or financial constraints. Taking the amount of money spent aside, add to this the £25.5m spent on defender Luiz from Benefica and the "old" drunken sailor Chelsea is back, however from a football stand point I think the moves were wise. Chelsea are an old team, the addition of two high level players who are 23 and 26 years old (Torres being the older of the two), will add some much need youth to a team desperate to infuse their talent base with younger talent. I think that Torres' time at Liverpool had run its course - I think the Spaniard's form dipped when his countryman (Rafa) was ousted as manager. The change of scenery will benefit Torres as well as being part of a solid strike force of Drogba, Anelka and Kalou. As well as having the likes of Lampard and Malouda feeding him up front. The addition of the young Brazilian center back, Luiz,  will infuse some youth in an aging central defensive pairing of Terry and Alex. These moves might thrust Chelsea back into the title race, especially since Arsenal and Manchester United did not do much during the transfer window.

Finally, not surprising that Wenger and Arsenal basically did nothing...other than loaning out a disappointing Vela. No center back, no keeper, no striker....oh well.

The transfer window closes, with some moving parts in the EPL it will be interesting to see how this impacts the race. Chelsea clearly realizes it had to do something but will it prove to be too little tool late? Liverpool splashed some serious cash, but not sure their purchases were 100% wise...Carroll...seriously? The other contenders - Tottenham (rebuffed in their advances for the aforementioned Aguero), Arsenal and Manchester United stayed pat.

Of course cannot overlook Manchester City who splashed out £27m for Dzeko - who has a 0.59 goals per game yet comes in cheaper than Carroll!!!!  Just makes you wonder what Liverpool is thinking!


Jeff said...

It's not just about goals. Carrol can head balls on for other players - looking at goals stats alone doesn't tell the whole story. All of that said, it is a crazy amount of money, but the new manager has a vision that includes England's best, young, tall center forward.

Anonymous said...

this is why I like internationals more.

It's more "pure" football if you ask me. Limited pool of candidates, only the best are selected, and if you've got a problem (as we French know quite well) you're forced to deal with it internally. No spending 60mil for a savior midway through the tournament.

GFC said...

Jeff, I think you have a good point that Carroll does add some added dimensions to the game. But if Liverpool needed someone to hold up the ball and be leveraged as a control tower they should have kept Crouch...okay that is a stretch! But is the amount of money spent on a decent striker justified? I still think it was a ludicrous amount of a money for said player, especially when Liverpool have other needs that could have been addressed with that money.

We will see how this works out for the Reds!