|photo by Ben Sutherland||via PhotoRee|
Columnist Scott looks at Liverpool's off-season moves to date:
Brendan Rodgers was trying to be coy about whom he might sign this week or next, promising only that the Liverpool faithful will be “excited”. As it turns out, it was Fabio Borini whom he fancied and finally signed. Borini previously played under Rodgers at Chelsea and Swansea but spent last season scoring 10 goals in 26 appearances for Roma. I honestly don’t know enough about Borini to form an opinion on the matter. On the one hand, it is exciting to see new blood that is specifically chosen by the new manager. On the other hand, Borini couldn’t even get on the field for his nation during Euro 2012. But, he is only 21, his team is Italy and Cesc Fabregas had trouble getting on the field for his team, too.
Ever more interesting to me, especially in light of this acquisition, is all the talk regarding a possible loan move for Andy Carroll. I have mixed emotions on the topic as he clearly did not live up to expectations during the season but then he (1) was injured at the beginning and (2) never seemed to get regular playing time to get back “in the groove”. Plus, his performance at the Euros shows the big forward he can be. Unfortunately for Carroll, it would seem, simply by inspecting history, that Rodgers’ gameplan does not require a big forward.
As much as I loved seeing Liverpool players in the England squad at the recent Euros, I have to admit I was scratching my head when I saw Jordan Henderson inserted against Italy. Despite showing infrequent bursts of ability, Henderson, more than any other Dalglish signee (including Downing), failed to impress last year. Quite frankly, if Rodgers is looking to put anyone out on loan, he should consider the English youngster who could really benefit from more time to develop.
Despite being on contract for a while longer, Rodgers has been eager to report that he is near to extending Luis Suarez’ contract. Mixed emotions again invade my humble brainspace as I weigh the Uruguayan’s abilities against his antics. Perhaps a season of head-down, mouth-shut playing will put the bad taste of last year’s Evra fiasco far enough in the rear-view mirror.
The first notable departure from Anfield is Maxi Rodriguez who is headed back to his old club, Newell’s Old Boys, in Argentina. I’m sad to see Maxi Man go. Aside from providing fodder for feminine hygiene jokes, Maxi always injected a spark into the proceedings when he came on and had an impressive goals-to-minutes-played ratio over the last year. His streak of hitting the net at the end of last season was one of the main reasons the team finished as “high” as they did. I wish him luck in Rosario. Adios amigo.
Alberto Aquilani’s agent has confirmed that he will be staying at Anfield after two years out on loan in Serie A, first with Juventus and this year with AC Milan. I’ve always been very curious about Aquilani. Clearly Rafa Benitez rated him very highly when he acquired him shortly before his departure. But the Italian had ankle surgery then and took much longer to find his groove again that anyone expected. Rodgers seems to be interested in taking him out for a spin so we’ll see.
Lots more will happen before the season but it is nice to see Rodgers getting some traction, even if he did lose Gylfi Sigurdsson to Tottenham.
This is farlieonfootie for July 16.