Several news reports―including those featuring in The Independent and the Daily Mirror―have suggested that the Reds will hijack a deal to take the talented Dutchman to Galatasaray and instead whisk him away to Anfield, where he could form an exciting midfield partnership with Steven Gerrard and play behind a fellow former Ajax player in Luis Suarez.
A move for Sneijder does remain unlikely―with some reports even suggesting that Liverpool have moved to distance themselves from any deal (via Sky Sports)―but what can’t be denied is the player’s quality. Any team would benefit from him being around, especially one with as many young players as Liverpool have.
At 28, Sneijder is no spring chicken, but neither is he past his prime.
Manchester United have shown the value of buying experience this season―and against Liverpool on Sunday―and whilst there is a lot to be admired about the Reds’ policy of buying youth only as they bid to reshape the club from the bottom up, you can only wonder what might have been this season had they had a couple more wise older heads around.
Sneijder is certainly that, and he’s had a fantastic career.
Always regarded as a top professional and one of Europe’s best, most technical operators, it was the 2009/10 season that saw Sneijder transported into the global consciousness.
He won Serie A, the Italian Cup and the Champions League in one never-to-be-forgotten season with Inter, proving to be the team’s heartbeat and Mourinho’s leader on the pitch.
Many felt that his stellar performances came from an anger at not being given a fair chance at Madrid, where he played for two years, but Sneijder was soon to take that form into the World Cup in South Africa, where his performances helped inspire the Netherlands to the final.
He was voted as FIFA’s man of the match in four of his side’s six games on the way to that final in Johannesburg, where, sadly, the Dutch performance is remembered as merely an attempt to kick Spain out of the game. They failed, and Sneijder didn’t have the golden ending that his season had deserved. Had the Dutch won that match, a Ballon d’Or could have followed for their main man.
The seasons since then haven’t been as kind, with a contractual dispute now meaning that it will be highly unlikely to see Sneijder don an Inter shirt again. Whether he’ll ever wear a Liverpool one is now a pertinent question.
The removals of Joe Cole and Nuri Sahin from the Reds’ wage bill have created both a hole in the financial expenditure at Liverpool and a vacancy for a creative midfielder, and so on paper a move for Sneijder would make perfect sense.
The prospect of Sneijder and Gerrard lining up in midfield with either a Lucas Leiva or a Joe Allen behind them and a Suarez and a Daniel Sturridge in front is one to get supporters drooling, but as with so many transfers the fantasy might just outweigh the reality.
Liverpool are unlikely to break their transfer policy just a few months into its existence, even for a player of Sneijder’s undoubted ability.
Whether or not the player would be keen on a move to Anfield remains to be seen, but although Liverpool are certainly still a big enough draw to entice the best players, wages could still prove to be a stumbling block too large to overcome.
The dream of seeing the Dutchman lining up in a Liverpool shirt might have to remain just that, a dream.
It’s a nice one to have though.