January 31, 2011


Liverpool line up late Carroll swap (AFP, 31 January 2011)

Liverpool look set to spark a record-breaking end to the January transfer window as they try to land Newcastle striker Andy Carroll as a replacement for Chelsea target Fernando Torres.

The Reds have had a bid of around £35 million accepted for Carroll which would smash the British transfer record if the 22-year-old England international can agree personal terms. Carroll's pending switch to Anfield has been prompted by Chelsea's determination to sign Torres for around £50million - which would set a new British record just hours after Carroll's deal.

Turning a formerly great player who seems to slender to stay healthy into a physically dominant young star, and pocketing a sizable profit on the deal, isn't a bad first move for the Yanks.

Transfer frenzy goes straight to No1 in compendium of splurges (Paul Hayward, 1/31/11, guardian.co.uk)

Anfield's raid on Tyneside is a spectacular riposte to the loss of Torres to Roman Abramovich's Chelsea, where crises tended to end with a P45 for the manager before the oligarch rediscovered his bite in the transfer market.

Liverpool's move for Carroll should be seen in the context of their earlier purchase of Suárez. For a few dollars more than they will receive for El Niño, Dalglish and the Fenway Sports Group have bought themselves a double and complimentary strike force. In the space of a week a faltering team has been fundamentally rebuilt at the cost of expelling an employee who wanted to leave way back in the summer.

The Kop will awake to a whole new age: 31 January 2011 is bound for their transfer hall of fame. Suárez, Diego Forlán's Uruguayan accomplice, and Carroll, a 22-year-old from Gateshead, are unlikely to strike up a swift verbal rapport, but a Uefa coaching badge is not required to see how they might function together, with Carroll frightening the lunch out of opposing centre-halves and Suárez applying more subtle virtues around the edges.

Selling Torres and buying Carroll is Kenny's biggest gamble - but also a move straight out of FSG playbook (David Maddock, 1/31/11, Daily Mirror)
When they arrived at Liverpool, John Henry and chairman Tom Werner stressed they were prepared to bankroll major investment in playing talent, IF it adhered to their strict model for development.

The Fenway Sports Group plan for Liverpool is simple. They want young, hugely talented players with real potential to develop further, and to secure such talent, they are happy to take a calculated gamble. [...]

Their decisiveness in identifying such exciting, raw talent as the clear direction the club must take was at least admirable, if still unproven. And within Anfield, there was quiet satisfaction last night.

There is a genuine belief in some quarters within the club that Torres is no longer the striker he was. At 27 next month, he has already reached his peak, and injuries have taken a massive toll on his pace and ­confidence.

He has looked a shadow of his former self this season, even for Spain, and the fear has lingered that two serious injuries have had a debilitating effect.

To get almost £50m for the player under such circumstances seems like a minor triumph, and to effectively use that money to bring in Carroll, 22, and Suarez 24, doesn’t seem too bad a swap.

As Kenny Dalglish was at pains to point out yesterday, Liverpool are bringing in massive youthful promise to replace someone who was ­undoubtedly world class, but whose best days could be behind him.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at January 31, 2011 3:29 PM
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