We've gained something of a reputation for not being the most avid Charlie Adam supporters over the past year and a half, with mostly negative opinions about adding the player to Liverpool's squad since he was first linked in January of 2011. Events today--in which Adam was accused, erroneously, of faking an injury to get some time off--make it feel slightly necessary to at least mention that even though we think Liverpool's better without him in the eleven than with him, we've not known him to be anything other than committed to the cause, and that he was selected for much of the past season was not really something that he could control.
Anyhow, last summer saw the first real explosion of in-the-knows, with Twitter proving a major culprit, and the Charlie Adam saga was as good an example as any. That he wasn't a major signing in the mold of Fernando Torres or Luis Suarez was one thing, but the manner in which the deal unfolded was nigh-on unbearable. Unfortunately this summer has unfolded in a similar manner, and while the feelings about Adam have changed (and not really for better), the past month or so has almost been a carbon-copy, with reports of agreements for Gaston Ramirez, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Fabio Borini, among others, already confirmed and then proving to be nothing other than more attention-seeking. "Liverpool Agreeing a Deal for Charlie Adam" happened in reality, but much of what surrounded it--and much of what's occurred this summer--didn't.
And with that, as well as a fee rumored to be in the range of £8 million, it seems that one of the summer's longest running transfer sagas is finally at an end. Adam gets the move he apparently wanted, Liverpool get the man they were after since January, and, regardless of whether or not you're an avid Charlie Adam fan, we all just sort of shrug our shoulders and say, "about fucking time."
There's two different levels to this transfer---the first is the impact that the ongoing rumors and reports had on the way we experience the transfer window, and the second is the impact that the player can have on this Liverpool squad. Noel's already covered both in some amount of depth prior to the transfer (when discussing Conor Wickham for the first and Adam's statistics for the second), but given that we actually have some news today, both are worth briefly revisiting.
The Charlie Adam transfer experience has, at least for me, been the transfer window's shark-jumping moment. Yes, we've had drawn-out rumors of negotiations and stories of helicopters en route to London, but Adam's twelve different medicals, Liverpool's seven different offers, the four different modes of transportation Adam's tried between Blackpool and Liverpool...it all proved to be one of the most consistently asinine transfer dealings in recent memory.
None were more guilty in the saga that the self-anointed "in-the-knows", who took all the spotlight off the parties involved and placed it firmly on themselves. With each passing day their stories became more and more convoluted, and when nothing happened, we were treated to another twist and turn, none of which had much truth to it. The longer we waited, the more their tales became like a five-year-old trying to explain the juice stain on the carpet---there's a point at which reality is irrelevant.
Now that he finally has signed, we're likely to be exposed to a number of folks pronouncing their rightness and proclaiming that "deals take time." I'd preach caution in falling back into the trap, though, as by the time this deal actually did become a reality, there wasn't a football-following person who didn't know something was coming. Thinking Liverpool were in for Charlie Adam and that a deal was possible didn't mean you were in the know, it meant you had a pulse.
With a good chunk of the window left---a little less than two months---there's plenty more to be stomached, with attentions shifting heavily to Stewart Downing and Aston Villa's reported resistance to Liverpool's approaches. And whether or not that happens, or deals for Juan Mata, Nolan Roux, Aaron Lennon, Santi Cazorla, and Jesus H. Christ are reached, I'm hesitant to care about any of it.
Not because there's nobody I want to see arrive at Liverpool (there's plenty), but because the transfer window's become less about the players involved and more about glory-hunters spouting off to anyone who'll listen.
There's significantly less for me to add about Charlie Adam, as I think most of us are on the same page about what he brings to the squad. He's got skill from set pieces that can, at times, be extraordinary, as can his range of passing and ability to drag a team along with him on the way to bigger and better things.
If we're looking at the squad as a whole, though, I'm not convinced that he brings anything Liverpool are absolutely in need of. Sure, he's left-footed and sprays passes at will, but as Noel pointed out after the player had his third medical of the summer in the middle of June, there's a maddening inconsistency in that part of his game. And, when much of your reputation is built around that part, it's worrying.
I also don't know that he automatically lands ahead of anyone in Liverpool's current midfield---plenty have been quick to hand him a place in the starting eleven over more proven, more consistent squad members like Raul Meireles and Lucas, which makes no sense if you're actually paying attention. In my mind neither the Adam or Jordan Henderson signings should displace any of Liverpool's best midfield last season; they both add depth and something slightly different, but not necessarily much that's an immediate upgrade.
The best case scenario for all parties involved is that training and preparing at a higher level provides Adam with the type of structure that leads to performances that help Liverpool win football matches. He doesn't have to be an instant first-teamer or the one to take the place of Lucas or Meireles or anyone else---he just needs to have a positive impact on the side when he's called upon.
So we welcome Charlie Adam to Liverpool and wish him the best of luck, even if there's varying opinions about his place in the squad. Let's hope he's one of the pieces that helps Liverpool move forward.