Paul Parker

Now Adam must prove his true worth

Paul Parker

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It's good to see Charlie Adam's transfer to Liverpool finally go through, considering it has been on the cards since well before the season ended. He has benefited from playing a full campaign in the top flight for Blackpool rather than making a move in January, which so nearly happened, and now he has a full pre-season to get settled at his new club.

It's a great opportunity for the player. After the way things ended with Rangers, he now gets another chance to show he is cut out for a big club. Plus the big hike in wages he will get on Merseyside can't hurt either.

More importantly, though, it is a great move for Blackpool. Sure, they have lost their captain and star player, but the cash injection Adam's sale brings will be of great use to a side which has just been relegated from the Premier League. It gives Ian Holloway a real chance to revamp his squad and ensure the club's rapid rise was not just merely a flash in the pan. Ollie will certainly have work to do, having also lost the club's Player of the Season, David Vaughan, as well as Luke Varney's loan deal coming to an end.

There are, however, question marks over how Adam will fit into a squad already full to the brim with central midfield players.

Adam has thrived for the past two seasons in a team completely built around him. He was the fulcrum of that Blackpool side. Every time another player had the ball, they would always look for him first. When he had the ball at his feet in the centre of the park he lifted his gaze, that was the cue for DJ Campbell, Gary Taylor-Fletcher and co to make their forward runs.

At Liverpool, he will not be given that same status. Steven Gerrard is very much the big man on campus at Anfield. He is the man who has been doing Adam's job at Liverpool for more than a decade. Add to that the strong showings both Raul Meireles and Lucas put in under Kenny Dalglish last season, plus the recent big-money acquisition of Jordan Henderson, and it begins to look by no means certain that the Scot will feature week in, week out for the Reds.

Even if Dalglish goes for a 4-3-3 formation, with Luis Suarez and Dirk Kuyt buzzing around either side of Andy Carroll, Adam will have to play his way into that central trio.

If they do play 4-4-2 or a variation of it, Liverpool will need width to get the best out of Carroll. The England striker's game is about a lot more than just his aerial ability, of course, but to truly maximise the £35 million striker's attributes he will need service from wide areas. After missing out on long-term target Ashley Young, the club are doing their level best to bring in Stewart Downing, also from Aston Villa. I am sure, however, that they can recruit better than him for the sort of money which has been quoted. They have already paid over the odds for one Englishman this summer.

Adam does not have the mobility to make a position on the flank his own. In fact, the most capable to do just that would probably be Gerrard, but there is no way that is going to happen to him at his club, especially after having to do just that for England on so many occasions.

So Adam will really have to change his game if he is to succeed at Liverpool. He must be prepared to be patient as he will not be an automatic choice or see as much of the ball as he is used to when he does play. He must accept that he won't be taking nearly as many set pieces, and work harder on his defensive responsibilities. Rather than wearing the armband, he must let his new skipper have first refusal on playing the Hollywood balls up to the forwards.

But, if he can take his chances fully when they come, and show that there is more to his game than spraying the ball around from the comfort of the centre circle, then he could force himself into Dalglish's plans and fulfil his potential.

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