So with the end of the footy season, we enter the silly season. The annual linking of Liverpool with every footballer with more than one leg. With Champions League football a real possibility, let’s have a look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly so far.
Having secured Mohamed Salah for a reported £39m – at the second time of asking – and youngster Dominic Solanke from Chelsea for what may turn out to be a snip, one could be forgiven for thinking all is rosy in the Liverpool transfer garden. Thus far I’d go so far as to say: it is.
Many Liverpool supporters are reacting as if we’re six weeks away from now and still with only two signings in the bag. In reality, it’s not that bad. A look around at the competition has seen the top four lagging behind with one (confirmed – ink dry on the contract) signing each. All except Tottenham who remain as they were and without a new recruit in sight.
All things considered, it could be much worse. Expectations are three, four or five top signings by now but that’s not gonna happen. The blue noses across the park have been busy, but they’re not exactly competition and they’re not after the same quality of player. They even made a bid for me but I turned them down – I was washing my last remaining hair.
I’m not sure if one can blame this on Globalisation, the current age of instantaneous information over the Internet, or the fact that people simply can’t hold water these days. There was a time when Liverpool Football Club kept themselves to themselves. “When we’ve got something to tell you, we’ll let you know.” was the word. The media waited with baited breath. As for the transfer kitty… well you’d have more chance of seeing the Elizabeth Windsor’s bank account than finding that out. Information was hard to come by.
Alas those days seem to be as far away now as a walk from London to Loch Ness. In its place the clamor for information. The race to be first with the scoop. The spin is more valuable than the truth. We’re all guilty.
The Virgil van Dijk episode was a lesson in shooting yourself in the foot if ever there was one. Not just that, but shoving said foot foot royally in one’s mouth for good measure. How on earth Liverpool could have made such a mess of a favourable situation I’ll never know. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory doesn’t come close. You could even argue we’re to blame as supporters for hankering after the tiniest morsel of news.
Whatever the reason, the thought that Liverpool “briefed” journalists about it, is beyond belief. Frankly, it shows a massive disrespect to Southampton, and I can well understand their ire. Even Jürgen Klopp talking about “Most of the work is already done“. Yes, clearly that and more. Es nicht vorbei bis die dicke Frau singt!
This, for me is the Naby Keïta saga which is trying to outdo the van Dijk farce as the daftest yet. The noises coming out of RB Leipzig are simply scary. Ultimately, it shows how backward football is. How far behind the rest of society they are.
We must be looking at a potential “Bosman” type situation here? I know we all don’t work in football but when all is said and done, it’s a job and a business, just like any other. If you want to find a new job – invariably this would be in the same industry and likely in the same role – the last thing anyone would think of doing is asking their current employer for “permission”. The situation is ridiculous.
Same goes for the “tapping up” claim from Southampton against Liverpool. I’ve already said LFC have been disrespectful toward the Saints, but this situation shouldn’t even arise. Especially with the money being mentioned these days. You can’t put these sums in place, just in the hope you’ll be “allowed” to discuss terms. Then to find your target isn’t interested. I don’t know the ins and outs of a transfer but I’m certain a hell of a lot of work has to be done behind the scenes.
These practices must amount to an infringement of freedom of association. A player should be allowed to go and play for whoever he wishes. One would expect these rules will change in the next five to ten years. Surely? They’re archaic and discriminatory. A contract is a contract but if the terms are deemed either unfair, prejudicial or illegal, then the it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
Rant over, I’m hoping Liverpool can get both VvD (as he’s now known apparently) and Keïta at (relatively) reasonable prices. They’d definitely improve the squad. However, that said, the club should be getting on the phone to their alternatives. Good things come to those who wait. Equally, when you miss the last bus, it can be a long walk home!
Finally, congratulations to young Trent Alexander-Arnold who has signed a new contract with the club today. It’s nice to see that one of the youngsters is making the grade. Here’s to many more.
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