Fernando Torres, who left Liverpool yesterday to move to Chelsea
Yesterday was certainly a busy day for Liverpool.
In one day, the club’s forward line completely changed, with Fernando Torres moving to Chelsea, and Liverpool finalizing the deals for Ajax striker Luis Suarez and Newcastle front-man Andy Carroll to move to Merseyside.
The morning after these deals, many questions were inevitably raised.
Why did Torres hand in a transfer request when he did?
Did the club play too much for their new players, especially Carroll?
And more importantly, would Suarez and Carroll perform a partnership to move Liverpool back up the league, where they really should be?
Many have already made the link between a potential Carroll-Suarez partnership and the Toshack-Keegan partnership which worked so well for Liverpool in the past. However, it is important for Liverpool to realize that, should such success be seen on the pitch, it is unlikely to happen for some time.
The £55 million or so that was spent on the pair won’t be repaid immediately, as Carroll has so far only been a Premier League regular for half a season while Suarez has been a big fish in a small pond, in terms of performing well in a minor league (compared to the Premier League) in Holland with Ajax.
What is important for Liverpool is that both of these players are still young, Carroll at 22 and Suarez at 24, and are now playing for a manager who certainly knows how to manage young talent, both as in his first spell as Liverpool manager and while acting as a mentor to the likes of Ian Rush as a player.
With Carroll being so inexperienced in the Premier League, everybody seems to think that the £35 million spent on him was too much. Even though Carroll has had such a good season, and is clearly very talented, the fee is risky to say the least.
He may well be worth £35 million at some point in his career, but not right now, a fact that will put him under pressure should he lose form. No longer will his status as a cult hero at Newcastle mean anything if this happens.
If Dalglish manages to keep his confidence high, at least until he proves that the fee was worthy, then he can become a great player at Anfield.
As for Suarez, his record at Ajax speaks for itself, as did his impressive performances during the World Cup, should we ignore that incident against Ghana in the Quarter-Finals.
However, Suarez hasn’t proven himself at the highest domestic level yet, and needs to make the step up to prove that £22 million was actually a bargain. Like I said earlier, the introduction of Carroll as well as Suarez, has led to many seeing a great partnership potentially growing, which can only benefit Suarez should this materialize.
The final big question regards Fernando Torres.
Many will be disappointed by his sudden change of heart. On January 9th, he said that he was completely committed to Liverpool and helping new manager Kenny Dalglish, only to hand in a transfer request a few weeks later.
Despite this, and the fact that Liverpool have lost a quality player in Torres, the deal should be viewed as a good thing for Liverpool.
The £50 million received can’t be ignored, and although Dalglish would’ve loved to at least try and get Torres back to his best, he should be happy enough with Suarez and Carroll.
To be fair to Torres, he was loyal to Liverpool for some time, and he has always wanted to play at the highest level, including Champions League football, which Liverpool can’t get until the 2012-3 season at the earliest.
Also, the fact that he hasn’t been in form for a long time means that the £50 million should be viewed as a bargain.
At the beginning of the year, all Liverpool fans will agree that their club needed change. Whether these transfers and the change in manager, is the change to benefit Liverpool remains to be seen.
What is clear is that Liverpool, under their relatively new American owners, are ready to take risks to get the team back towards the upper regions of the Premier League table, where they should be.