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Thursday, 2 August 2007

Fernando Torres - 21m

I think many people are aware of the striker jinx that’s has befouled many a man who has entered those Shankly gates. From Anelka to Cisse(who turned from a talented striker to a player who would keep his head down, run and usually end up in the Anfield car park, without the football) to Morientes(who made me wonder whether Liverpool had signed his slower, fatter twin brother). Many have come with big reputations and left with nothing but a scouse accent and their proverbial tail between their legs.

Is Torres the “20 goal a season” man Anfield has been waiting for? Torres has never scored more than 20 goals in a season, but you will be surprised to know that a certain Michael Owen never scored more than 20 league goals in a season for Liverpool. Many people highlight the need for a player who can score 20 goals in a league season, but how many strikers in the last 5 years have scored more than 20 goals? Henry, Shearer, Drogba, Johnson and Van Nistelrooy are the ones I can think of, and scoring that many goals doesn’t guarantee you a league title.

What price would you put on a player who can create as many as he scores? Torres has the ability to create chances for others and score them himself, which is why I think he will be successful next season. But as we all know Rafa likes to rotate his team more frequently than planet earth, so that could stifle El Nino's strike rate next season.

Eduardo Silva – 8 -16m? (Nobody really knows)

Many of my Arsenal supporting friends had to go into counseling when the news broke that Henry was being sold to Barcelona. But after al the tears had been wiped away, Wenger signed his replacement, the relatively unknown Brazilian/Croation Eduardo Da Silva.

Da silva has be
en in impressive form, scoring freely at international level(England fans will fondly remember) and netting 34 goals in 32 games for Dinamo Zagreb last season. That is not a record to be sniffed at, but scoring in the Croation league could be likened to England losing on penalties or Frank Lampard scoring a deflected goal, its pretty much guaranteed. His international record suggests he can make the step up to the premiership level, could he be the man to provide a Viagra dose to an impotent strike force? Only time will tell.

Darren Bent – 16.5mil

16.5 million sounds like a lot of money, especially as Thierry Henry went for half a million less, what does that mean? Is Bent a better play than Thierry? Probably not, but hes young, strong , quick and definitely knows where the goal is. I think the big question is, has Martin Jol got what it takes to utilise his strikers effectively?

How many times did we see Martin “I know how to throw away a lead” Jol make poo
r decisions in team selection? Could Jol’s decision to maintain his little and large comedy strike force be detriment to Bent’s chances? Bent knows he has to impress to have any chance of featuring in Steve MacClaren’s circus act and I think he will.

Voronin – Free

Many people have laughed at the prospect of Voronin actually being a decent signing, maybe it was his not so impressive strike rate? Or his porn star pony tail? Whatever the
reason you cant write off a player who impressed in the world cup more so than his 30 million pound, slower and older counterpart, and has shown undoubted class in pre season.

When the season ends I think Voronin will be a cult hero amongst the Liverpool faithful, lets hope its for reasons other than his now infamous ponytail. “We have the best Ukrainian in the league” is what you might hear from the Kop next season.

Malouda – 13.5 mil

Is Malouda the new Cygan? Both were bestowed with the honour of French player of the year and then moved to the premiership with that title. Cygan was later found to have the turning circle and pace of a tree, but Malouda has all the attributes to succeed unlike the cult legend that is Pascal Cygan.

He is strong quick and skilful, and has been likened to having a Drogba on the wing, but without all the theatrics and the atrocious perm. His experience in world cup and champions league means he knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level, I think he will be a success at Chelsea, which is probably a bad sign for the rest of the Premiership.

Nani, Anderson and Hargreaves – 50+ mil

Man Utd made their intentions clear for next season by splashing the cash on 2 of the world’s brightest talents and the ever reliable Owen Hargreaves. Nani has undoubted skill and is one for the future but I think his featherweight frame might be a problem, every time he does his back flip celebration you always feel like the wind is about to carry him out of the stadium, so how is he going to handle those windy days in Bolton? I personally don’t think he is ready for the physical nature of the Premiership, imagine Amir Khan stepping into the ring with Mike Tyson in his prime, now you have an idea of what Nani is up against.

I think Hargreaves will be the most important signing they have made so far, when Man Utd played Milan last season at the San Siro, it was like watching a sun burnt child in a park, they clearly had no protection. Man Utd have lacked a real ball winner in the middle for the last couple of seasons since the departure of Keane, and I think Hargreaves is the man to fill that role. Ridiculed for years by England fans, but how many of those fans actually watched the Bundesliga or saw his Champions league performances? Or were they blinded by the tactical ineptness of Mr Eriksson?

Anderson has been dubbed the new Ronaldinho a title which is becoming the Brazilian version of the new Maradonna. Many have been given the label and failed to live up to the hype. Who remembers Kerlon and his famous “seal dribble”? Where is he now? Anderson definitely resembles Ronaldinho, and was also developed in the Brazilian club Gremio, his skill is incredible and often breathtaking at times. He is young, and I will put my neck out and say he has the potential to be one of the best players in the world.

1 Responses:

Valderrama's Jockstrap Says:

Hey man....insightful yet entertaining first article...however, the Cygan bashing is uncalled for, the man is a Legend.

I do think Voronin is a good buy and could be a good surprise. I'm looking forward to West Ham's awful buys blowing up in their face!