Liverpool fans defend spending but it’s a hell of a risk for one-season Darwin Nunez

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Darwin Nunez will cost Liverpool a lot of money Credit: PA Images
Darwin Nunez will cost Liverpool a lot of money Credit: PA Images

Darwin Nunez and Liverpool dominate the Mailbox, with the Reds taking a massive risk in pursuit of Manchester City.

Mail us at theeditor@football365.com

 

Darwin is a bigger gamble than we usually see from Liverpool
Nunez is definitely more of a gamble than I would expect from Liverpool, given their excellent record on signings over the last five years.

Darwin Nunez isn’t Van Dijk or Allison, proven consistent top performers clearly worth a fee commensurate. Nunez has had one excellent season in Portugal far outperforming his XG, one below average season in Portugal and one decent season in the Spanish second tier.

Maybe he’ll continue to vastly outperform his XG now he plays with a vastly better team in a vastly better league against vastly better defences, but it’s more likely he’ll revert to his statistical norm. At which point Liverpool have paid a world-class fee for a decent player.

He’s young and clearly a good footballer but 100 million is not a fee that I feel is a fair measure of him as a player in the same way the high fees for Allisson and Van Dijk, the mid range fee for Dias and the lower fee for Minamino were.

Not how Liverpool have done things previously, and it makes me wonder if perhaps Edwards was keen to end on a big splash.
Tim Sutton (brackets)

 

Inevitable response to Rob
I guess it was inevitable, rival fans would immediately start baiting Liverpool because they dared to spend their own money, earned off the back of almost a perfect season, for a position that is needed to improve the club.

Klopp’s original quote was – “If you bring one player in for £100m and he gets injured, then it all goes through the chimney.”

As is always the case, everything there was twisted by the tabloid press and everyone remembers the headlines not the argument he was making at the time.

Paul Pogba cost £89m. Since then Lukaku cost Chelsea £97.5m (apparently) and Grealish cost City £100m (apparently) but received none of the vitriol because no one was being a “hypocrite”.

£ is not €.

You don’t compare Miles per hour to Kilometers per hour. You don’t compare Miles per gallon to L/100km (Aussie metrics) because they don’t make sense and are different units of measurement.

Even if Nunez, and it is an if, managed to meet all the requirements for his full (speculated costs) then the total deal is worth £85m. That used to buy you 1x Harry Maguire. For the record, based on current exchange rates, Nunez would need to cost in excess of €115m, which clearly isn’t the case. This is not a deal valued at £100m, this much is certain.

Furthermore, if Benfica’s own statement on their website is true, the initial cost is £64m which is of course neither £100m or €115m but where is the “bants” in that?!

Apropos to nothing, the last time Liverpool even spent > £50m was for Allison in July 2018 which was over four years ago. I assume Liverpool put some pocket money aside during this time instead of relying on artificially inflated commercial deals (allegedly) or money gained through dodgy Russian means (also allegedly).

Klopp isn’t perfect but neither he or the club are being hypocrites in this situation. I look forward to a Mediawatch coverage that gives the same treatment it did to those talking nonsense about the Haaland deal costing almost £250m by the time you add up everything including his lunch money…
Barry (Perth)

 

…Rob in Dorset is fishing and here I am bored enough at work to bite. First up the asterisk is clearly on the season before last, games being postponed left right and centre, empty stadiums and teams with vaccinated players effectively being punished because their entire squad didn’t have to isolate if a few stars went down with covid. But sure, the season where we wrapped it up before everything stopped is the one you want to hang an asterisk on.

As for spending money, fair enough mentioning VVD and Allison, club record signing and briefly the world’s most expensive keeper. We splashed the cash on two major upgrades who remain first-team fixtures, but mentioning Ox and Keita, who cost less than some of City’s back up full-backs, is a bit of a stretch. As for Darwin, yes several years ago Klopp said something about silly money and now we’re spending silly money, but that’s the economy of football and we can either accept it and try to keep up or settle in for a few years of completely unopposed dominance from the blue half of Manchester.

We’ll likely not even be paying half of Halaand’s wages to Nunez, we certainly didn’t pay his dad or agent silly money to facilitate the deal. Benfica set the price and we’ve decided that with the ongoing revamp of our attack that it’s a price worth paying. If he fires us to another cup final or two, or another 90+ point finish that probably still won’t be enough to win the league then it’ll look like a bargain.
Manjo, LFC (excited for next season already, shame about this winter break they’ve got planned)

 

…Ah looks like old Rob the knob from Dorset is at it again. It’s hard to know if he’s actually serious or just trolling the mailbox, feeding off the hate that will inevitably come his way.

First thing we notice is Rob is very careful not to nail his allegiance to any mast but if I was a betting man I’d say he’s probably a United fan, under the age of 25 so too young to remember the glory days and he’s been fed on a diet of crap United teams for hos entire adult life.

He misses the point entirely regarding Liverpool’s transfer spend. Yes they are prepared to drop big coin when the right player becomes available but they cannot and seemingly will not be dragged into bidding wars against other, wealthier teams.

Let’s not pretend that Liverpool are paupers, because they ain’t but they are not operating with the same financial muscle as City, United, PSG, Newcastle and Chelsea. That means they cannot afford to make the same mistakes in the transfer market – any slip ups will be much more costly than they are to the aforementioned clubs. If Grealish turns out to be a flop this isn’t going to greatly affect City but if Darwin Nunez flops this will have a big affect on Liverpool.

Cleary Rob the knob thinks Liverpool spending any money means they are frauds and the fact that he claims the 2019/20 title win “doesn’t count” really smacks of someone who clearly doesn’t watch much football and probably walks around with a giant chip on his shoulder.

Grow up Rob and stop being a knob.
Peter, Auckland, New Zealand

 

…’I’m sure some Liverpool fans will use net spend to be the factor that helps them sleep at night’.

Yes, that is absolutely what I personally focus on because it’s what actually counts. You take in 140mil for Coutinho and spend it on the best CB + Keeper pairing in the world and that’s just good business and staying about a million miles within the boundaries of FIFA financial fair play rules. Here is the net spend ‘table’ over the past 10 years, and would you looky looky who is top. And all for the privilege of finishing with 57 points and a zero goal difference. More than 3 times what Liverpool spent (who spent less that Aston Villa by the way).

I can only assume you’re a Utd fan Rob. I feel for you, genuinely. I get it that you need to find holes in Liverpool’s achievements because they’ve just been so impressive for a while now and Utd are once again the cup team they were before Ferguson got there. I had to watch Liverpool creep in the shadows long enough pal. Now I get to watch them fight for quadruples and hear Utd fans twist facts to downplay their biggest rival’s superiority. It’s pretty great.
P Dizzle

 

Liverpool net spend higher than Man City since 2020 but let’s pretend they invented selling

 

…I am going to rise to Rob from Dorset’s email.

The thing he (I suspect purposefully, as no one can be that stupid) forgets is that Liverpool are investing money into the squad that they themselves have generated. FSG are not a sugar Daddy (like Chelsea were) and they are not financially doping (like Man City). They do not take money out (like the Glazers/interest payments), but nor do they put money in. This means that it is a sustainable business model.

Yes, it’s a lot of money to spend on a player, but through all of history, the big (well supported, and therefore lots of revenue to spend) clubs have bought the best players. Liverpool did it in times gone by, Man U obv when they were top dogs and so on. Investing to improve the squad is not cheating; moreover, it is not something to be looked down on. If a club has money to spend, then its best strategy is often to spend it; if there is no money, then promote youth or coach better players. Liverpool try and do all three, and crucially, they neither financially dope nor do they spend over and above their means, thus distorting the game (Everton). That is why, some fans crow about doing things the “right way”. I agree with the sentiment FWIW – the crowing is annoying obv.

Re Nunez – exciting. A risk clearly, and Mane will be a loss… but a front 6 of Diaz-Nunez-Salah, with Jota, Bobby, Carvalho as back-up is pretty damn good. If we can sign a RCM (Gavi or Bellingham please), then it really is a fantastic squad.

As for Rob, I;d get ready to be even angrier, because the fact Liverpool were so heavily involved in the Tchouameni chase suggests to me that Liverpool have the funds for a significant midfielder purchase. I look forward to more faux indignation based on feels not facts.
Russell, LFC

 

…’It has been a few weeks since ‘Lucky Liverpool’ has departed the realms of myth and entered fact’ says Rob peddaling his own opinion as definition of fact. Liverpool have just recorded a 90+ points tally for the 3rd time in 4 years. Prior to 2017-18 season when Man City achieved 100 points it had only been achieved 5 times in a 38-game season by Man Utd (99-00, 08-09), Chelsea (04/05, 05-06) and Arsenal’s invincibles (03/04). They all won the league. The fact that Liverpool didn’t win the league in two of those three seasons is not lucky.

During those three 90 point sessions Liverpool haven’t lost a single league game at Anfield. Yes, this may have included the odd lucky moment, but it is not because we are lucky.

Moving on to your next attempt to p*ss all over our chips, Liverpool splurging again! You used four examples all at least four years or more ago as the best examples you can. How many transfer windows have there been since we signed Keita? 7? Also, out of curiosity did you have to look through Liverpool’s squad to try and find the best examples of poor purchases? Admittedly neither has been a great success, but we have a whole squad of players who have been and I think you’ll find most people would agree our transfer hit rate is pretty good compared to most clubs.

I think Rob you should cancel your daily Alexa reminders to write crap to F365 about Liverpool and set yourself free. Your time and energy could be used far more constructively. You have the best beaches so go and enjoy the Summer.
Chris (travelling home from Download)

 

…Interested to who Rob, Dorset thinks Liverpool should be allowed to buy according to his strict moral code.
Ste, BFC

 

He can’t wind up this fella
So it’s close season, and still Dickwolf and Knob, Dorset are venting their fury in the mailbox at Liverpool.

At first, it used to wind me up reading the crap you both spout. Now, it just amuses me, and I mean really amuses me.

How sad both your lives must be that you need to troll Liverpool in this mail box on a regular basis. I can just imagine both your chubby red faces spitting feathers as you angrily pound away on your keyboards. Hilarious!

RENT FREE BOYS! RENT FREE!
Gronk (LFC)

 

Let’s talk about the Nations League
The Nations League is taking place but there seems little discussion about it in The Mailbox, so here is a contribution on The Nations League.

Firstly, I like the concept of The Nations League. UEFA have 55 nations with huge variations in ability, a broader range than any other continent in the world. Creating competitive fixtures against well-matched opponents with promotion and relegation is better for the footballing development of all participating nations.

It is for this exact reason I dislike the usual qualification format for the World Cup and the Euros. Groups of five or six teams with huge variations in ability makes for a tedious and dull process with a predictable outcome. It is this qualification format used by UEFA has led to the apathy towards international football. In the qualification process Qatar, football fans had to put club interests aside to watch England play San Marino and Andorra. Can you blame them for their apathy towards international football? The only defence UEFA seem to have for this process is that “every team deserves an opportunity to qualify for a major tournament”, which is fair enough. So, here is an idea that allows that to happen, but improves international football:

Expand The Nations League and get rid of the historical and not fit for purpose current qualification process which is clearly in need of modernisation. Here is a suggestion for qualification for Euro 2024 using the current Nations League format of three divisions of 16 teams (in four groups of four) and one division of 7 teams (in a group of three and four):

The top two teams in each group from League A (8 teams) qualify for Euro 2024 automatically. They will then participate in The Nations League Finals competing for the trophy. We now have 16 places left to qualify for Euro 2024. The remaining 8 teams in League A, the top three teams in each group from League B (another 12 teams), the top three teams in each group from League C (another 12 teams) and the top two teams in League D (another 4 teams) qualify for the play offs. This play off process would see 36 teams reduced to 16 and your qualification process for the Euros is complete. The 11 teams that don’t qualify for the Nations League Finals or the Nations League Play Offs are free to arrange friendlies among themselves whilst the other fixtures are taking place. This would create the following:

A tournament for The Nations League trophy, with all participants qualifying for the Euros.

A separate tournament/play off process for qualification to the Euros.

An opportunity for every nation in UEFA to qualify for the major tournaments.

Competitive, well balanced fixtures that supports the development of all nations in UEFA.

Obviously, there would need to be a tweak to the structure of the secondary ‘play off’ tournament when it comes to World Cup qualification as the number of teams able to progress would be less than the Euros, but that can easily be done.

I encourage fellow Mailboxers to endorse or criticise, but most importantly to discuss.
Naz, Gooner

 

…Yes, this incarnation of the Nations League has been dull and literally know one seems bothered but for me, that is simply because of the decision by FIFA to host a World Cup in a country that needed it shifting to winter.

The Nations League has actually been a lot of fun when it is played in normal international breaks with a mini finals in an odd yeared summer. With the World Cup being shifted to November and essentially taking away the autumn/winter international breaks – UEFA were left with two choices, either canning it this cycle or squeezing games into the summer gap provided by there being no World Cup. They went for the latter and the result is the mess we are seeing now, with knackered players going through the motions or youngsters making a debut earlier than expected. As managers have no friendlies before the World Cup, it has essentially become a series of meaningless games for most. It should return to being fun next time round.

Unfortunately, from an England perspective that may be in Division B if they don’t win a game or two and potential competitive games against the might of Albania, Kazakhstan and Finland.
Paul (what’s wrong with not playing football for a while), Frankfurt

 

…I know the timing of these Nations League matches doesn’t help make them seem important, but I think one major change has occurred which has made a big difference.

In the first edition, the top league only had 3 teams per group. So the matches often had a lot riding on them, as the threat of relegation was very real.

There was an awesome group of France, Germany and The Netherlands (Germany got relegated!), and England’s group was also very strong.
The fantastic win in Spain set up a real all-or-nothing match at Wembley against Croatia. It was possible for England to finish in all 3 positions before kick-off, and when Croatia scored it was reduced to either win the group or get relegated.

But then UEFA bottled it and changed the top league to be four teams. They rescinded the relegations (Germany got un-relegated!), and ever since the jeopardy has been massively reduced. The addition of a fourth team diluted the quality in many cases – for example in the previous edition Iceland were in England’s group, but ended up losing all six matches.

Bringing back three-team groups for League A would be a good start to make the competition interesting again. Because big teams getting relegated will never not be funny!
Michael

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