So it appears to have begun…. that one month halfway through the season where newspapers and sports websites are once again given freedom to print whatever garbage they want to. Over the coming few weeks you can expect all sorts of unlikely rumours to emerge, and every story should be treated as a work of fiction until the player is actually seen in a new team’s kit or signing that contract. One can expect Harry Redknapp to say all sorts of crap about not signing any players before he goes ahead and buys a few more strikers.
Obviously, as a Liverpool fan I’ll be once again looking for all new rumours and getting excited by some, and ignoring others. As will always be the case I will be disappointed by those I was excited about and somewhat surprised that the ones I ignored came through. Of course the surprise works both ways…. selling Torres was a big surprise so close to the end of the window, particularly as weeks earlier he said he wouldn’t leave; but equally surprising was that we paid 35 million for Andy Carroll after Torres left.
I suppose the biggest ones doing the rounds currently for Liverpool is the Darren Bent saga. Darren Bent has been linked with Liverpool for a number of seasons now. In fact I still remember when somebody sent a link to a website that said “Liverpool Sign Bent” to be led to this picture:
From what I currently read, the current status seems to be one of the below:
- He stayed in Manchester alone – implying possibly that he is talking to one of the Manchester teams
- That he has already signed for Liverpool
- McLeish has stated that there has not been any contact from Liverpool
- Villa are not looking to sell any of their strikers
Clearly one or more of those are wrong.
Now let’s evaluate some of those. I can understand the bottom two, Bent has been decent enough for Villa and I could see them wanting to hold onto him. I very much doubt that he has signed for Liverpool already, or I would assume there would be more weight to that particular rumour, or at the very least he would have been around Anfield at some stage. Him staying in Manchester to join one of the Manchester teams seems to make the least sense. Man City clearly do not need another striker. Sure they could go and get another one but I fail to see Mancini wanting to add to those except maybe to add to his homegrown talent. Man United also seem to have plenty of strikers, although I suppose they could be looking to sell Berbatov and bring in another English player.
For now I’ll leave it as another “nothing has happened yet and there’s plenty of time so let’s wait and see”. I personally would have no real objections to Bent being bought. His scoring ratio is up there with the likes of Owen, but for some reason people underrate him. He has a knack for scoring in the premier league, and has proven that. We do also need another striker regardless of the Suarez ban, and we need one that can put away the chances. The teams Bent has played for have hardly been teams renowned for their attacking splendour, so he clearly thrives on putting away the little chances he gets. If he was able to do that whilst playing up front for Liverpool he could be immense. He may also be a better playing partner for Andy Carroll than Suarez is.
When we bought Carroll I thought they would be the perfect partnership. A big man being able to knock the ball down to a talented smaller striker. However, over time it has been slightly more obvious that perhaps they may not be the perfect match. Carroll isn’t really the kind of striker to really knock the ball down, his aerial game seems to be more about going for goal himself. Suarez on the other hand, whilst highly talented can be greedy. Too many times he gets into a tight angle and he goes for goal when a chipped ball into Carroll may have been the better choice. Suarez also seems to prefer to do the hard work by getting the ball outside of the box. Bent on the other hand strikes me as the sort of player who, whilst having pace about him, also thrives in the box. He may do better at picking up the scraps left from Carroll’s mayhem causing forays into the box, or even from Suarez’s trickery. He also has a bit of pace about him to help with fast counter attacks. Still I suppose first we need him to actually be signed, then I suppose we’ll see how he fits in.