Why the Winter Transfer Market has been Fantastic

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Post by Arquitecto Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:10 am

(Its 5:00 AM here atm so bear with my inconsistencies here)

Fact is we Liverpool fans just love to moan about many things regarding our club, our fortune, and of course, the fiscal prosperity of the club in regarding the economics. My argument is less about the success of our signings but more of being afforded the options, because what has satisfied me more, is the fact that Liverpool has had far more funds allocated to transfer signings then initially thought. During the tyrannical Hicks and Gillet saga and its final embers of resolution we were glad to have anything and anyone over the despotic and dishonest duo. There was little retaliation when it was announced that we would have another set of Americans overtake our club but not due to their past record and successes but due to how disillusioned the general magnitude of the fans grew towards H&G. Eventually when John Henry and Fenway Sports Group took over we did not know what to expect. Our only hope was a steady and ethical assemblage of long-term thinkers who will only display pro-activity and the same zeal of its privilege that any fan would for Liverpool. We also were given a set of expectations which went along the lines of not expecting any big-money signings or those cash splashes that would compete with the more financially blessed clubs. It was understandable given the absurd amount that FSG had to install within Liverpool to cover the massive gaping hole of debt left by H&G. So in essence, we were told to expect transfer markets that are conservative and practical. Was that disappointing? Well given the magnitude and ambition of the club it was quite underwhelming in having to 'tighten the belt' after some large-scale signings over the decade.

Less then 2 years later, we have signed a significant amount of players for prices which well enough compete among the top clubs. Lets not focus on the quality of the players themselves bought yet focus on the extraordinary sums of money splashed to reinforce our squad. Lets look at how we looked right away to spend the money accrued by the sale of Torres, the money splashed on Downing, Henderson, Charlie Adam and more shrewd signings like Bellamy and Enrique. Lets look at how we complained over the summer in not reinforcing the lack of depth left by Carroll's loan departure. Nonetheless this summer we spent over £24,500,000. We expected a very conservative winter transfer mercato yet splashed over £20,000,000. Did anyone really expect that? Can you honestly say that since FSG's takeover that you expected these almost exorbitant sums to spent?

Coming back to this winter market, it is a stunning success since the purchase of Daniel Sturridge and Phillipe Coutinho represents exactly the vision of FSG and that is to develop and breed young players brimming with talent. Not only has FSG rectified their controversial mistakes from the summer but allocated enough money to satisfy the desires of Rodgers himself. The purchase of Sturridge may have been overpriced yet isn't anyone delighted upon the option of the purchase itself given its economics? Did anyone even expect us to sign Coutinho and for such a bargain price? Frankly, all I expected was some Assaidi-esque coup and Championship player Tom Ince as our marquee winter signings except we signed two high profile players who can well enough justify their price, and definitely have the time to unearth their talent.

I hold some things against FSG. Their poor communication with the club at times, how they handled the Suarez-Evra saga and of course, the absolutely disgraceful sacking of Kenny which is something I will never forget. Yet throughout their tenure and to me, they have proven well enough that they are enthused to designate their time and money to our club. Thats impressive given we feared how Henry and CO. would have to influx a lot more of their time and money to their projects regarding in the baseball side of matters.

There is no real point I'm trying to make here aside from the fact that its quite disappointing to see that few people are in gratitude to the intention of FSG and their monetary direction.

Personally, with the signing of Sturridge and the surprise signing of Inter starlet Coutinho, I am more then grateful and excited to see how our new signings fare within our club.




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Post by Art Morte Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:26 am

Depends how Sturridge and Coutinho perform, but it was nice to see a couple of new players arriving.

What I'm starting to think a little is that clubs - not just us - are overdoing this "let's buy almost solely young players who will have re-sale value" strategy. If you pay £15m for a 22-yo Joe Allen and he doesn't do that well for us in a couple of seasons, his re-sale value will be around £5m and it's just been bad business and you wouldn't have been worse off buying an older player.
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Post by Arquitecto Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:01 pm

Art Morte wrote:Depends how Sturridge and Coutinho perform, but it was nice to see a couple of new players arriving.

What I'm starting to think a little is that clubs - not just us - are overdoing this "let's buy almost solely young players who will have re-sale value" strategy. If you pay £15m for a 22-yo Joe Allen and he doesn't do that well for us in a couple of seasons, his re-sale value will be around £5m and it's just been bad business and you wouldn't have been worse off buying an older player.

Good points there Art. Its also why Rodger's was hoping to buy some 'experienced' players rather than investing in hoards of youth since part of the purchases and their youth philosophy is catalysed by FSG themselves. In the end the young players assigned have undoubted quality as its only a matter of how well the develop along with their respective consistency contingent in performing for us.

I take it well that Rodger's will most definitely spend on experience within the summer mercato.
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Post by iftikhar Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:09 pm

Art Morte wrote:Depends how Sturridge and Coutinho perform, but it was nice to see a couple of new players arriving.

What I'm starting to think a little is that clubs - not just us - are overdoing this "let's buy almost solely young players who will have re-sale value" strategy. If you pay £15m for a 22-yo Joe Allen and he doesn't do that well for us in a couple of seasons, his re-sale value will be around £5m and it's just been bad business and you wouldn't have been worse off buying an older player.

I disagree.

Even if we ignore the resell issue, a experienced player would:

1. Cost more (unless a Poulsen)
2. Cost more in salary
3. Lacks the flexibility. Remember how we turned a young AM into a beast of a DM! Or Suso (another AM) playing in wings and how we are at a loss with (experienced) Downing or Cole! For a young player you have the option of reinventing or reengineering before giving up.

The bunch of Sturidge, Coutinho, Allen, Borini, Henderson would have saved £10-15 million if we were in contention for CL. Now that extra payment is weighing down their performance and potential. When you think of Allen, think of a £10 million buy and you might find it ok.

Instead of Sturridge & Borini we could have bought one worth £27 million. But that player simply wouldn't sign for a non-CL team.
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Post by Art Morte Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:41 pm

Even if we ignore the resell issue, a experienced player would:

1. Cost more (unless a Poulsen)
2. Cost more in salary
3. Lacks the flexibility. Remember how we turned a young AM into a beast of a DM! Or Suso (another AM) playing in wings and how we are at a loss with (experienced) Downing or Cole! For a young player you have the option of reinventing or reengineering before giving up.

1. For example, a 29-yo Arteta cost Arsenal £10m.
2. True.
3. I think that's irrelevant, happens so rarely.

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Post by iftikhar Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:11 pm

Art Morte wrote:
Even if we ignore the resell issue, a experienced player would:

1. Cost more (unless a Poulsen)
2. Cost more in salary
3. Lacks the flexibility. Remember how we turned a young AM into a beast of a DM! Or Suso (another AM) playing in wings and how we are at a loss with (experienced) Downing or Cole! For a young player you have the option of reinventing or reengineering before giving up.

1. For example, a 29-yo Arteta cost Arsenal £10m. Well Arteta or RVP are exceptions and also consider the lure of playing in a better team.
2. True. Thank you
3. I think that's irrelevant, happens so rarely. Not really. May be not to the extent of Lucas, but there is tewiking with every young player to find what makes him click.

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Post by Lupi Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:00 am

hmm what are the chances of skrtel move to zenit?
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Post by Nishankly Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:22 am

He wont move. Carra is retiring.
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Post by Red Alert Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:51 am

Not sure where to add this, and it's far too early to make a thread for the summer transfer window but Cacares is apparently being linked to us.

He would definitely help us. He can play anywhere at the back, and Suarez could help lure him. Signing Cacares would mean we would only need one defender in the summer.* He's still at a young age and can only get better.

* I still have faith in Coates to succede here.
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Post by Arquitecto Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:24 pm

ynwa wrote:Not sure where to add this, and it's far too early to make a thread for the summer transfer window but Cacares is apparently being linked to us.

He would definitely help us. He can play anywhere at the back, and Suarez could help lure him. Signing Cacares would mean we would only need one defender in the summer.* He's still at a young age and can only get better.

* I still have faith in Coates to succede here.

Cacares has been the first choice back-up for Juventus and has established himself as vital part of their 3 man backline (despite originally being a fullback) so I have my reserved doubts. He has improved massively under Conte and it would be a fantastic signing.

I'm glad faith to Coates is shown whereas not many here rate his talent and potential as I for one, have great hopes for the Uruguayan.
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Post by McAgger Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:48 pm

My personal choice would be Howedes. Would love us to throw the kitchen sink to get him. Send Coates on loan to a relegation fodder team in PL and let him play under pressure and get minutes. Agger, Skrtel, and Howedes would be absolutely amazing fighting for two CB spots or we may even go with a 3 man backline with them if need be.

As much as I like Caceres, he's neither an improvement nor as good as Dan and Martin. Whereas Howedes is definitely on par with our mighty gladiators if not better at some aspects of defending.
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Post by Red Alert Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:30 am

Cacares is solid defensively and will only get better. He can help cover any of the 4 positions at the back, and will be a lot more realistic than signing Howedes.
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Post by McAgger Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:56 am

You can't possibly say signing someone from Juventus is more realistic than someone from Schalke.
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Post by Red Alert Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:14 am

If you put it that way, no.

Then you look at the little details; Howedes is a starter at Schalke, Cacares is not.

I also just looked up Howedes contract expires in a years time which I wasn't aware of. So I guess we do have an outside chance of signing. Still can't quite see it myself, personally.
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Post by Nishankly Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:12 pm

The transfers have been fantastic, Whenever we play Suarez as ST and it doesn't work, We are shambles. But now that we have Coutinho and Sturridge we have so many options, Also just compare the Zenit games with the Swansea game, We look so much better with Suarez as the CF and Sturridge ahead of him.
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Post by Art Morte Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:52 pm

Nishank wrote:The transfers have been fantastic, Whenever we play Suarez as ST and it doesn't work, We are shambles. But now that we have Coutinho and Sturridge we have so many options, Also just compare the Zenit games with the Swansea game, We look so much better with Suarez as the CF and Sturridge ahead of him.

There was a gulf in class between the Swansea team we faced and the Zenit team that was against us. And in general it's no good trying to compare just two games with each other, you need longer-term trends. But I do believe that with our limited wing options playing 4-4-1-1 with Suarez and Sturridge is generally better than 4-3-3.

What comes to CB signings, I think it's going to be a more established CB than Caceres, possibly from the Premier League, because we are going to need someone who can step in right away. Mind you, we shouldn't exclude Kelly and Wisdom from that position completely.
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Post by donttreadonred Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:51 pm

Regarding CB signings, I think we could go for two in the summer. That's even without SKrtel leaving the club. Carra is retiring, and I believe Coates will be leaving (most likely on loan, but possibly transferred). With Danny Wilson never making so much as an indentation on the Anfield bench, we would be left with 2 holes at CB. In my opinion, it would be ideal for us to bring in a combination of one experienced CB and one younger CB. It's obvious we're crying out for leadership and organization within the back-line.

With that in mind, someone like Ashley Williams could make sense. Though he's already 28/29, he understands the system, is capable of organizing the defense, and doesn't back out of any challenge (beware of dead-balls... I'm looking at you RVP). He's not world class, and he never will be. However, he may just be capable of doing the job we need him to do.

Combine him with the signing of a younger CB that may not be ready quite ready to start or may need time to assimilate into the league and culture, and you can see a much more stable back-line. Now, I don't think this would be a Caceres-type of player, as he's the next in line for a Champions League contender and would likely be beyond our price-range and ability to attract. However, someone like Dejan Lovren or Stefan De Vrij could fit this description to a tee. I have my reservations about both being brought in as the solidifying and organizing force when they're 23 and 21 respectively, have never played in England, and may not even speak the language. Don't misunderstand, I'm not saying we should avoid buying foreign players, but I do believe the adjustment and communication obstacles could prevent the precise type of organization and leadership we sorely need.

(Addition: I also think Kelly has all the attributes to succeed at CB for our current set-up, and I'm dying to see him get a shot in the position under Rodgers. Buying an experienced CB and moving Kelly is another solution.)
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Post by Art Morte Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:24 pm

I'd like to think that Kelly or Wisdom or both can be our Coates next season. So we'd only need a replacement for Carragher and ideally someone who costs less than £10m because I see Skrtel & Agger to be our best CB pair for a few years to come.
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Post by donttreadonred Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:14 am

Art Morte wrote:I'd like to think that Kelly or Wisdom or both can be our Coates next season. So we'd only need a replacement for Carragher and ideally someone who costs less than £10m because I see Skrtel & Agger to be our best CB pair for a few years to come.
Due to Kelly's experience, I would think he would be preferred to Wisdom. While Wisdom has performed well at times this season, he still has some maturing to do before he takes over at CB.

AS for the CB to be brought in, I don't think an obvious squad player is good enough at the moment. Right now, we're losing our leadership in the back-line. Skrtel appears to have lost his spot due to mentality and organizational ability, more than his physical prowess. I would love nothing more than for SKrtel to come back into the team as the force he was last season, and perhaps the Enriwue/Downing treatment he's currently receiving will have precisely that effect. Even so, I think we need to explore new options for a starting CB slot. Competition in the squad is always a good thing, and that extra pressure keeps the mind sharp and forces some players to stay on top of their game. If we bring in a real contender for the spot, everyone benefits, even if SKrtel ends up retaking his spot.
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Post by Red Alert Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:23 am

Wisdom has more of a chance playing CB than Kelly has. Kelly has played RB consistently for the past 3 seasons or so. He's adapted to that role. He may or may not play in the centre further down his career but for the mean time he's the main back-up for Glen for the RB position.

Somebody like Howedes or Cacares should be signed for rotation (in the starting XI) and for depth. In theory, I'd prefer Cacares though as he has the ability to play as a LB which leaves Agger in the centre; but Agger does his role as a LB if we do want to persist in signing Howedes and playing the German in the middle.

I have no doubts for Skrtel. He's our best defender and this whole leadership thing is getting a little annoying. It all started against Oldham where he was surrounded with nothing BUT inexperience. Put Agger in that situation Skrtel and he would of suffered the same fate.
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Post by McAgger Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:12 am

ynwa it's not even a point worth bringing up anymore. Agger is by far our best defender (okay not by far, but he still is). While neither Skrtel or Agger have everything in their arsenals to be defensive monsters I think Skrtel is more limited than Agger.

And Rodgers seems to agree with this Thumbs up
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Post by Red Alert Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:17 am

Skrtel is the better defender... the only reason why people say Agger is better because he's a much better footballer and has much more "swagger" on the ball.
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Post by McAgger Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:28 am

That's your opinion. You can't sit here and say Skrtel is a better defender when everything proves otherwise.
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Post by Red Alert Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:44 am

What exactly is Agger better at as a defender in YOUR opinion then?

Oh, and I'd love to know what exactly is proving Agger to be a better defender...
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Post by McAgger Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:16 am

Agger is a more composed defender, he doesn't make rash challenges and reads the game better and obviously is the better footballer. Skrtel while slightly better in the air, is a no-nonsense type defender which makes him too rush in his decision making which in turn leaves him more prone to mistakes and leads him needing to use his physicality instead of his brain, something that does not bode well in our new playing system.

The fact that Agger has comfortably outperformed Skrtel throughout the season. And the fact that the manager clearly sees it so to bench Skrtel and not Agger even though they both had errors leading to goals.

Don't get me wrong I love Skrtel to death and won't deny that he was our BEST player last season. But this season he's done f*ck all. And Keep in mind, I'm not saying Martin isn't good, I'm saying Daniel is slightly better.

Hope Rodgers isnt that dumb to let him leave and replace him with Williams. Skrtel is twice the defender Williams is and should be playing again next to Agger.
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