The secrecy that shrouds the modern game means we don’t know exactly why the transfer collapsed, but whether it’s this alleged heart defect or something else, the finality to the collapse of his £8.5 million move from QPR means Liverpool will turn their eyes to other targets.
It’s a shame because Remy fit the bill perfectly – strong, excellent hold-up play, a natural finisher and a proven Premier League pedigree. All for a relatively low price. It could have been the bargain of the summer.
I think it’s a really difficult one for Liverpool. I’m not sure they want to pay £40m for a striker, and to get someone who could enter the ‘world-class’ bracket, that’s the bare minimum spend; someone approaching Luis Suarez’s level could, as we know, cost twice that amount.
Liverpool want to operate in a way that makes business as well as football sense – Financial Fair Play has put an end to the reckless spending on superstars, unless of course you are winning titles, always in the Champions League, and therefore able to justify that spending. Liverpool are not quite there yet.
The problem with the £10-15m bracket is that any Premier League club operates in that range. West Ham went there with Eder Valencia and Everton have doubled it for Romelu Lukaku. Promoted teams will spend that kind of money too. The TV cash means you have to spend tens of millions to compete, unless there’s a caveat in there, whether contractual or otherwise.
While it’s very difficult to get yourself a bargain these days, there are promising strikers that Liverpool could target, for reasonable prices (well relatively reasonable, anyway).
I know Swansea are making noises about cashing in on Wilfried Bony, and I think he would be a very good option with his physical and technical attributes – scoring 25 goals in a struggling team is not to be sniffed at, not in your first season at this level. He would probably cost around £20m, but it would be well spent, particularly given Fabio Borini will exit for around £14m if all goes to plan.Jay Rodriguez, who in my opinion is not the natural goal-scorer they want. And, still injured, he wouldn’t be fit to play until a few months into the season: with a bedding-in period, he probably wouldn’t be near top form until the New Year. Liverpool fans are very demanding, and I’m not sure he’d have the time to shine, not if he signed this summer anyway.
One player who could have been an interesting option is Fernando Torres.
While Jose Mourinho has insisted he will not be sold following Lukaku’s exit, privately the Chelsea boss would love to offload a player who just can’t seem to get back into his groove. It would also allow him to bring in another foreign player. And of course, if he did find a buyer for Torres, he wouldn't be short of cash to bring in a replacement.
Chelsea’s transfer policy, coupled with FPP, means you will see a lot more sales that could frustrate their fans: promising young players who shine on loan and arguably deserve a chance, but are offloaded to other teams for big money.
Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne spring to mind. Remember, Mourinho prefers his players to have 200 first-team games under their belts so he can make the quick impacts we’ve seen throughout his career, although he does make exceptions if they have great ability and work-rate (such as Oscar).
Torres hasn’t been a great success at Chelsea, impressing in fits and starts, but he isn’t exactly reviled, having scored important goals. He also gives 100% at all times, and fans love those players.
Furthermore the owner would love him to come good, to justify the inflated fee he paid for the Spaniard. He does have support at the club, even if Mourinho would rather offload him.
Torres has at times looked like a broken man at Chelsea. In reality, for Torres to reach anywhere near the heights of old, he needs a new club, a change of scenery, full unequivocal support. Liverpool could work for him.
But is there anything left in him? I worry there isn’t and I hope I’m wrong. Some of the staff at Liverpool would welcome him back, but would the management? I’m not so sure that he fits into Rodgers’ masterplan.
I wold be amazed if Liverpool didn’t get somebody in before the window closes, but who that would be is a mystery. They may decide to sit on what they have, striker wise, for now.
And for me, left-back is more of a problem. Napoli’s Algeria international Faouzi Ghoulam has impressed me both as an athlete and technically. His current boss, a certain Rafael Benitez, would have something to say about that, but he’s a top class left back.
While Liverpool fans are looking for somebody on the top shelf, a marquee signing if you will, I’m not sure that’s how Rodgers operates.
Liverpool are not the new Spurs with all these players coming in, because last season they were notably short on numbers, and that was without European football. All these new signings were always part of the plan, unlike when Spurs sold one player and added seven to an already bloated squad. Liverpool needed six or seven players anyway. Their next move has to be about quality, or at the very least projected quality.
And herein lies the problem. If Everton can pay £28m and Sunderland will pay £14m for Borini, Liverpool have to gamble with big money if they’re to find the new Suarez. And I’m not sure they are prepared to do that.
By Jan Molby
- Sports & Recreation
- Fernando Torres