The latest rumor mill has Liverpool demanding 50 million pounds which includes Anelka in exchange for Torres. The reasoning behind this demand is that Liverpool needs to replace Torres with a player who has Premiership experience. Is this a wise move from Liverpool? Will Anelka want to return to Anfield? Will Chelsea open their cheque book?
Liverpool just completed the signing of Suarez who does not have Premiership experience. Therefore, it is understandable that they require a somewhat proven Premiership striker. Dealing with Chelsea, there are only two strikers with the experience they require: Drogba and Anelka (well, three if you count Malouda). However, Drogba is getting on in age and isn’t one for the long term. And strictly speaking, Malouda is more of a winger than an out-and-out striker. This leaves only Anelka as the option they can request from Chelsea.
At his best, Anelka is a good striker and can score against most, if not all, defenses. However, Anelka is enjoying his time in Chelsea and it remains to be seen if he is willing to make a move to Liverpool as part of the exchange. His reluctance to move may cause any deal to fail to materialize. This could be what Liverpool’s management is counting on to block Torres from moving to Chelsea.
From Liverpool’s point of view, Anelka’s reluctance will cause the deal to fail. In this way, Liverpool can push the blame for the failure of the deal to Anelka’s reluctance. Liverpool can then persuade Torres to stay, claiming that they did try to fulfill the player’s wishes but a deal could not be struck. On the other hand, if the deal goes through, Liverpool will be about 40 million pounds richer and having an experienced Premiership striker to boot.
It seems the the ideal win-win situation for Liverpool to take and I think they are doing the right thing. I understand the fan’s frustration at Torres submitting a transfer request and at Liverpool for seeming to be open to offers. Frankly speaking, they may have no choice in the summer either as Torres is said to have a 50 million release clause in his contract which triggers if Liverpool fails to reach the Champions League.
That said, once a player’s heart is no longer with the club, it is often best to let him go and bring in someone who wants to fight with the club. I was happy when Liverpool bought Torres as I viewed him as one of the best young strikers of the time. I still view him as one of the best strikers now. However, fate is often cruel and if it is indeed time to part ways with Torres, then I wish him the best. A 50 million pounds deal inclusive of Anelka isn’t bad but a 60 million pound deal inclusive of Benzema might be better.
I know I hate to lose Torres but I welcome the cash for reinvesting and rebuilding the squad as how Dalglish sees fit. Maybe it might be better this way too. There’s only less than a day left for any transfer to happen so let us wait patiently and observe the outcome of this late-but-not-so-unexpected transfer saga.