Liverpool has had a relatively quiet transfer deadline day this far. With Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson signed weeks ago, and wrapping up the paperwork with Sebastian Coates last night, it looked as if the Reds were content with the squad they had for at least the first half of the season.
However, there seems to be one name that has been lurking around Anfield for the past few days and seems to have only intensified as the deadline approaches, Craig Bellamy.
ESPN reports that the striker may be making a return to club after four years aloof throughout England. He is supposedly at Anfield right now undergoing a medical, which usually means a deal has already been agreed upon at least in principle.
I wrote just the other day an article on one player each of the top four sides could sign to give them the upper hand in the title race (you can read that here). For Liverpool I suggested Craig Bellamy. The reasons why you would want a player like him are not so obvious and mostly has to do with the other players on the team.
Liverpool is off to a good start this season. They have seven points in three games, including a win over Arsenal. They have been firing on all cylinders as Luis Suarez has seemed to pick up just where he left off last season, a menace to Premier League defenses.
What else would you expect from the MVP of this summer’s Copa America.
New arrivals this summer Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson have been an impressive duo and both have already found the back of the net. And Stuart Downing has lived up to his billing as Daglish’s most expensive purchase with effective wing play down the left side.
That spotty defense that was supposed to be the Achilles heel of the Reds has even been solid, conceding only two goals in those three games.
Despite all the greatness Daglish has helped reinstill in the club, they are remarkably barren depth wise up front. Only Suarez, Andy Carroll and David N’Gog have significant experience at this level of the game. Should one go down to injury, it could ruin the Reds comeback season.
They need another forward, and not just one who can play the position, but a hard nose thug that can play against bullying sides like United, Stoke, and Chelsea. Bellamy is that perfect fit. Luiz cannot play 50 games with his pace and energy and not be run down by March, or even worse, get a major injury.
As it is now they only have Suarez, Andy Carroll and David N’Gog, with substantial experience in forward roles. At the very least the signing of Bellamy would give them another body.
So what are the reasons you would not want Bellamy?
Well for one he is really not that great. With only 11 goals last season playing in the Championship, you cannot expect him to be the go to guy off the bench when that one more goal is needed. And at age 32, his days of putting away double digit goals a season at this level are well behind him.
The other is the reason he was forced out of Anfield in the first place, his attitude. Never the one for sportsmanship or class, he has been involved in numerous altercations throughout his career. His infamous golf outing with teammate John Arne Riise, landed him on the cover of many tabloids and brought the club a lot of negative publicity.
Most recently he was caught on camera slapping a fin who had run on to the field during a match, though some would consider his actions commendable, including his club Manchester City.
He is also one who is not afraid to make his feelings known to the public. When Bellamy wanted out of West Ham and a move to City, he reportedly stormed out of training on “strike,” until a deal was made. He is currently involved in the same type of issue.
Wanting out of City now where he knows he will not play given the overwhelming amount of talent at the club, he has pleaded with City to let him go a on a free transfer. However, City have placed a price tag of roughly £4 million on him. He stubbornly then said he would wait out the remainder of his contract at City as to allow for a free move next summer.
So is he worth the hassle?
It is a matter of risk/reward when dealing with a player like this. Though he has had a lot of off field issues (and on as well), it is this passion for the game that has kept him going all these years. Liverpool fans also enjoyed when he was at the club. Let’s not forget that this is a team that prides themselves on work ethic and a blue collar mentality.
Despite how it my look, he is indeed an old school professional, who when given the chance to play gives 100 percent effort all the time.
With N’Gog possibly on the move by the end of the day, they will be in desperate need of strikers on the team. Bellamy will be the best player available and for the price they are getting one heck of an athlete.