Friday, August 10, 2007

The Summer Acquisitions

It has been a very busy summer for Liverpool indeed and those panicky and to be honest, the club sealed those deals pretty effectively this time round with less hassling. Back in June when things were so quiet and us, as fans, got so panicky and scared. But soon, those fears were unfounded.

Here's a quick recap of players who are signed for the first team and will probably appear in the TV near you!

Fernando Torres

The new Liverpool record signing from Athletico Madrid will have to share the goalscoring burden along with Dirk Kuyt and Peter Crouch for the upcoming season.

Liverpool's problem in recent times had always been scoring goals and the failure to stick the ball into the onion bag cost us titles on countless of occasions.

His pre-season showing have been mixed and judgment won't made until the time is right. Although it is believed that he'll have to get quickly off his block and score his first goal for the club as soon as possible or the 'Peter Crouch effect' we've seen in the 05-06 season will probably manifest itself again.

As the most expensive player bought by Liverpool in it's long and glorious history, fans are expecting and anticipating something big from the Spaniard. Expectations reap pressure for him but I'm sure he'll handle it well.

Rough Prediction: He'll take awhile before scoring his first goal, like Peter Crouch. But once he find his confidence and momentum, he will come good. Will probably score around 15 goals.

Andriy Voronin

Looking the business there, isn't it?

His move was obviously overshadowed by Fernando Torres' and that he moved into the club almost silently, without much attention.

But from his pre-season friendly performance, many started to sit up and take notice of the man Rafa got for free when he had resources at his disposal. Well you can argue that he got Voronin when the takeover was still in doubt but I believe Rafa had faith in his ability.

He looked perfectly fitted for the hustle and bustle of the Premiership, big, strong and good in the air. What's more, he's the sort of footballer Rafa love. Intelligence on the pitch itself plus hard-work and determination.

But then again, jury is still yet to be out for the man who partnered Andiry Shevchenko in the World Cup. He might look pretty fine during the pre-season but even Bruno Cheyrou looked good back then......

Rough Prediction: Won't make too many appearances but will certainly make some impact, being a surprise player. Will score around 5-9 goals in all competition, optimistic view though.

Ryan Babel & Yossi Benayoun

The reason why I combined both of them into one section is because...they look really good together in the picture...

No, just kidding. It's because I've no idea where they'll exactly play and how they'll fit into Rafa's rotation policy and his formation.

Ryan Babel looked pretty much like an Henry-esque winger cum striker sort of player who always looked to drift into the flanks. He's known for his speed and also his shooting accuracy from range. His shots does pack a punch!

Yossi Benayoun was the playmaker of West Ham in their peak period, when they narrowly lost to Liverpool in the memorable 2006 FA Cup finals. He played a major role in the Hammers uprising and that his ability to create and his creative vision made him the perfect player to replace Luis Garcia, who was offloaded to Atletico Madrid.

Rafa is a long time admirer of Benayoun even back in the days when Yossi was still playing for Spanish side, Racing Santander. He was delighted to finally land his man after such a long time.

Benayoun will probably appear on the flanks more often than not and he will have to fend off competition from fellow wingers, Jermaine Pennant and Harry Kewell and secure a place in the side.

Babel still have got a lot to learn and his inexperience means his appearance will be limited to perhaps some cup games and a handful of league games. Rafa will probably let him develop at his own pace and not rush him in, with still so many players at his disposal.

Charles Itandje

Currently, no official news from but most football sites seemed to think the deal is done. He will replace Scott Carson, who will leave on loan to Aston Villa, as Liverpool's number 2.

Not much is known of this goalkeeper but one thing that struck me was his built. He's 1.93m tall and observers who watched the French Ligue One mentioned that despite his built, he's agile and quick.

Will have to wait for the official news to filter through before I start blabbering on and then becoming a fool in the end!

Lucas Leiva

An exciting prospect coming from the home of football, Brazil. Football talents are rolled out year after year without fail yet this is a Brazilian U-20 captain afterall.

Said to be in the mold of Steven Gerrard, a box to box midfielder, his appearance would also be limited as the central midfield are congested with talents such as Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso.

Despite having so much talent in the middle of the park, Rafa still went ahead to capture the playmaker from Gremio and it speaks about Rafa's faith on Lucas. He's adamant that he will succeed at Liverpool and that's the reason why.

Spending might not be done yet as the Gabriel Heinze saga continues to loom but do watch out for these new blood in Liverpool. let's hope, pray and cross our fingers that our summer acquisitions will turn out to be who Rafa wants them to be and to fully unleash their potential.

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