By Justin Fitzgerald
As we mark the halfway point of another January transfer window, the majority of Liverpool supporters can’t help but be encouraged by the efforts made by the club thus far. Business has been conducted early on and Liverpool brass have stuck to their guns regarding a policy that focuses on youth at a reasonable price. While it’s often said that an abhorrent lack of value is characteristic of the January transfer window, Brendan Rodgers and Co. have found a way to bolster the attacking options with the addition of Daniel Sturridge, while at the same time removing £90,000 a week worth of deadwood in Joe Cole.
The additions of Sturridge to Liverpool and Ba to Chelsea have been the two biggest signings in the window to date. Both strikers hit the ground running, wasting no time to acclimate to life at a new club. While the facets of their respective games may differ greatly going forward, each is on the right path to proving his worth, having found the back of the net in successive outings. Sturridge has definitely shown a bit of rust, but that is more likely the result of coming back from injury and hopefully a return to form will come when he regains match fitness. His linkup play with Luis Suarez shows promise, with the two nearly finding the back of the net after a series of intricate passes in the box at Old Trafford last weekend. With the addition of Daniel Sturridge at half time, the Uruguayan occupied a deeper role on the pitch just behind the striker, and Liverpool was immediately more of a threat going forward. These are encouraging signs for supporters who aren’t used to having such attacking options and who are now being treated to the return of Fabio Borini as well. So with roughly two weeks left in the current window who if anyone else might we expect to make to a move to the Merseyside?
Let me just preface this by saying that for this move to happen you’ll have to throw out basically everything I’ve said previously about Liverpool owners sticking to their policy regarding a focus on youth and value. I’m talking of course about the rumored move of Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan. That’s right the dynamic Dutchman is on the move again, falling out of favor with the Nerazzurri and reportedly preparing for a move to the Turkish giants Galatasaray. With Sneijder refusing to take a pay cut, Inter have accepted an £8.2M bid from Galatasaray, however the Dutchman is thought to favor a move to the Premiere League and is delaying the transfer. According to http://www.independent.co.uk/, “Reports in the Dutch press claimed Liverpool had made an £8million bid but this has been denied by the Merseyside club.” Wage demands will be an issue for any club, the http://www.mirror.co.uk/ has reported that, “Sneijder is on £160,000 a week at the San Siro.”
While Liverpool has freed up the wages of Joe Cole and Nuri Sahin recently, to say that Wesley Sneijder would have to take a serious pay cut to complete a move to the Merseyside would be an understatement to say the least. At £160,000 a week, he would make more than Gerrard or Suarez, roughly £20,000 more than the wages of Agger and Skrtel combined. Manchester United took a long look at Sneijder two years ago, only to be put off by his wage demands as well.
So while it’s tantalizing to imagine a midfield duo of Gerrard and Sneijder spraying balls across the pitch or the reunion of Suarez and Sneijder from their days at Ajax, I wouldn’t get my hopes up. That being said, the success that Manchester United has had adding veteran talent this season has certainly not been lost on Liverpool’s owners, and while the jury is still out on Joe Allen, the Welshman’s performances as of late have not been encouraging. Wesley Sneijder is one of the most technically gifted midfielders in a generation, pulling the strings in a reemergence of Dutch “Total Football” and engineering a historic 2009-10 season at Inter Milan capturing the Serie A, Coppa Italia, and Champions League titles. The Dutchman’s quality is known, what remains to be seen is whether he will be willing to forgo a lucrative contract in Turkey in favor of a chance to write a new chapter and continue his storied career in the top flight of English football.