With only nine days left until the transfer window slams shut, what is universally known as "silly season" will only continue to get sillier. Newspapers will invent links between clubs and players where no interest exists. Such rumors can generally be shot down when one looks at the facts of such a link and applies common sense.
Liverpool have to date been the most active of the Premier League's so called "Big Six" during this transfer window. They still have a couple of obvious needs and I think it's fair to say that over the next nine days there are going to be countless stories linking Liverpool to countless players. I would estimate that 95 percent of those stories will be a combination of lazy journalism and reporters simply looking to fill a few column inches.
Normally I pay little attention to the majority of reports that are printed in daily newspapers or posted on rumour websites such as www.caughtoffside.com. It's blatantly obvious, to me at least, that the vast majority of these reports are nothing more than fantasy.
Today however I read one story whilst browsing Facebook of all things that made sense to me. According to a report in The Daily Star Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has turned his attention to Wolves striker Kevin Doyle as part of his ongoing search for a new striker to back-up/compliment Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll. The price for the transfer is being quoted at £10million. This seems excessive to me for a player who has not been a consistent goalscorer in the Premier League over the course of his two seasons with the Wolves, however when I sat back and thought about the idea of signing Doyle seems a good one.
Doyle is never going to score 20 goals a season in the Premier League, he's not a natural goalscorer. That's not to say he can't score goals or isn't a good finisher because he can and is. But he's not a Robbie Fowler-esque poacher who was born with a gift from God when it comes to putting the ball in the net.
What he is, is a clever player, a willing runner and a hard worker. He's also very talented. His hold up, and link up play are excellent. He passes well, and has excellent movement off the ball. He also defends from the front and never lets his head drop when things go against him. He's similar to fan favourite Dirk Kuyt in many ways. Oh, and he's also a life-long Liverpool fan which is always a good starting point.
The signing of Doyle would not threaten the starting positions of either Luis Suarez or Andy Carroll, but he would provide a solid option off the bench when either player needs a breather. He would also represent a decent option to partner with either player, should the other be missing for whatever reason. I could see him doing the target-man job next to Suarez. Despite not being the biggest, he is surprisingly strong and holds the ball up well and his quick passing skills and clever running into space would suit what Suarez's game is all about.
The real beneficiary of a partnership with Doyle though would be Andy Carroll. Doyle's pace and mobility would make up for Carroll's lack of both and with Carroll's dominance in the air, Doyle would be well suited to running onto Carroll's flick-ons when Liverpool decide to go route one. This is something Liverpool currently lacks as none of their current strikers are strong in that area. Doyle is also very adept at dropping wide and getting crosses in, something that would obviously suit what Andy Carroll is all about.
There is also the possibility that we could at times see all three play together with Doyle and Suarez either side of Carroll.
While I would never classify The Daily Star as a particularly reliable source, they are not the only publication running this story and it's not the first time Liverpool has been linked with Doyle. Roy Hodgson failed with a deadline day bid for him last summer and there was talk of a move for Doyle again in January.
As I said above, £10million is excessive in my opinion. I would rate Doyle around the £7-8million price bracket but if Liverpool has shown two things this summer it is that they want Premier League experience in any new signing, which Doyle obviously has, and they aren't afraid to overpay to get the players they want. Whether Doyle is a player they want, we shall have to wait and see.
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