Saturday, December 12, 2009

Is Mascherano Heading For The Exit?

A possible switch to Barcelona has proved an extremely drawn out transfer saga for Javier Mascherano. I can’t remember exactly when the rumours started but there were rumblings throughout the summer and despite the window closing when the season began it has still hit the news on a fairly regular basis. We’ve been told he has demanded a move, a deal is already in place and that there are no foundations to the rumours at all – so what do we believe? In truth, the speculation doesn’t really matter until the player says something – a factor that has been lacking in this particular saga until now.
Masch hasn’t actually said he wants to leave and has stated he is committed to playing well for Liverpool. However, he hardly expresses his desire to stay with the club and his comments are, unfortunately, very ambiguous.

"I am playing for Liverpool, I am a Liverpool player and like the manager says I have two more years on my contract and don't have to say anything else," explained Masch. "I play for Liverpool and will continue to do my best."

See what I mean? Perhaps I’m being overly negative (I hope so) but to me these are quite worrying comments and he could well be on his way, if not in January perhaps next summer.

Should the Argentine decide to depart Anfield it would perhaps not impact as greatly on the club as the loss of Xabi Alonso did. Mascherano is a great combative midfielder and capable of breaking up the opponents play as well as starting moves of his own but it is a role where there are plenty of candidates to replace him. Barcelona’s Yaya Toure could possibly be part of a swap deal and in all honesty I think he is probably a better player. Lucas will have another season under his belt and he is starting to improve. In the Premier League Sunderland’s Lee Cattermole could be a good option should Masch decide to move on.

Liverpool’s standing at the end of the season may prove a decisive factor for Mascherano. If the Reds can finish in the top-four or win the FA Cup or Europa League he may opt to stick with Rafael Benitez. The player himself hasn’t given up hope of adding some silverware to his trophy cabinet at the end of the campaign.
He added: "It is not a good season, but everything can change and in May we could be talking about Liverpool winning something,"

Written by Gareth Freeman, a sports writer promoting betting tips and Irish racing.

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