Barcelona does not seem to have any problem roping in players not named Cesc Fabergas it seems. After a short struggle Javier Mascherano is now all set to become the newest member of the Catalan club.
Mascherano was adamant about leaving Liverpool after the WorldCup. In fact his "state of mind" was so bad that he was not even selected to play in any of Liverpool's latest games. Perhaps Mascherano thought that Liverpool was a sinking ship and wanted to bail since he knew there was demand for him from other teams.
Consistently being linked with Inter and Barcelona, It was Barcelona who sealed the deal for 16 million pounds + upto 6 million incentives based on how well he plays. That is a great price to pay for a defensive midfielder of world class calibre. And at only 26 years of age this deal is a steal.Yaya Toure moved to City for a price of 24 million pounds.
One must question Liverpool's judgement in agreeing to such a deal. Mascherano may be a pain to deal with but he is contracted to play for Liverpool and he has to play. If Liverpool were willing to hang on perhaps Inter or some other team might have stepped up the offer and they could have gotten more.
If they chose not to sell then he will have to play or sit it out in the bench and kiss his career goodbye. As a professional who has signed his contract it is his responsibility to fulfill it. Liverpool had the right and the opportunity to make the best use of this unwanted situation.
Some Liverpool fans might feel that Christian Poulsen, their new signing from Juventus could be used as a replacement. That is not true. With so many games to play and injury worries Poulsen was bought in to share the duties with Mascherano - not replace him. Who knows, the manager might have had more creative ideas with Mascherano and Poulsen in the field. Right now though, Poulsen is the way to go.
Liverpool is cash strapped - a situation that all football analysts both in the studios and at home are well aware of. Mascherano along with Gerrard and Torres are their only few shiny gems left that can make a difference for the team on the pitch and in the transfer window. While it is logical to sell a disgruntled star to another team, Selling someone like Mascherano for such a low price might be something that Liverpool might come to regret.