LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates as he scores their first goal during the FA Cup with Budweiser Semi Final match between Liverpool and Everton at Wembley Stadium on April 14, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
So this'll pretty much have to become a weekly feature until things actually start happening in reality, because there's not a whole lot to talk about besides who could be headed where and how that involves Liverpool either strengthening or weakening their squad and why they can or can't afford to buy or sell their best or worst players to teams that are or aren't interested and that somehow it could all end up with Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing trying to play pass and move football while Brendan Rodgers strangles the life out of Jamie Carragher as he shouts "EMPTY IT" for the umpteenth time.Right, with that all cleared up, we can get to the meatiest bits, which involve current (and important) Liverpool players either sticking around or connected with moves elsewhere. That's the typical worry, and that it's come to fruition in two of the past three transfer windows is cause for concern. Doesn't mean it'll be the case this summer, but there's not really any way to shake the nagging feeling that someone's going to do something stupid soon. Odds are that someone is Ian Ayre, but still.
Earlier in the day I linked to the Brendan Rodgers interview, which as mentioned included comments on the Luis Suarez situation. I wasn't really aware that a situation meriting comment existed, with a few rumors here and there and some brief comments from the player about his feelings regarding Rodgers' appointment.
But apparently pretty much everything about Luis Suarez demands comment, at least to the point that it was a point of conversation during Rodgers' interview. For those who have read anything beyond the above link, the manager's comments were thus:
"I have had a brilliant chat with Luis, he is really looking forward to being here and we are obviously hoping to get him on another contract. He is really looking forward to the new season."
That's all encouraging enough, given that there's the widely-held belief that the system Rodgers is hoping to implement would be of great benefit to Suarez and his activity across the forward line and the fact that the player himself appeared to be in agreement. Thus far we've mostly read that Juventus are interested, but there's also the more tiresome links to the big-money clubs across the continent--Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG, etc. etc. A new contract would certainly be a step forward, with the only concern being that Suarez is expected to be absent into August as part of the Uruguayan Olympic squad, which, of course, has less to do with his long-term future and more to do with his chances of making an early-season impact for Liverpool.
We talked about Martin Skrtel a bit yesterday, and there's not a whole lot new to report other than discussion about why this would/wouldn't be a good idea. Some are in the camp that, if the price is ridiculously right (read: ~£20m+) it could be more beneficial to sell than keep, using those funds to bolster with either younger talent or someone that's roughly equivalent in terms of age and ability.
For others, and this is a camp I find myself in, it would indicate that Liverpool force themselves into position of having to pay much, much more for a competent replacement, as they'd be required to rely on Jamie Carragher and a likely tired Sebastian Coates in the middle, along with the injury-prone Daniel Agger in the middle. Cornering yourself in that way isn't good for business on or off the pitch, and letting Skrtel go could be very damaging. That's not to overestimate his ability or say that he's irreplaceable, but rather a necessary component of strengthening the squad rather than trying to make a profit off someone who makes the squad better with than without.
Moving right along, there's suddenly some sort of talk about Milan and Andy Carroll, with Piersilvio Berlusconi mentioning that, with the club reportedly looking to youthanize (WINK), he grew fond of the Liverpool forward. I have no idea if Football Italia is a reliable source, or if there's anything in this, but it is surprising that this is the first real link that I've read regarding a move for Carroll given the number of folks that instantly assumed that there was no place in Brendan Rodgers' squad for a player like him.
That might be dramatizing reactions a little bit, but most of the discussion has focused on how challenging it will be for Carroll to work his way into a system that rewards incisive movement and a short passing game when he's not necessarily known for either. I really do think there's a spot for him with Rodgers, whether that's as someone with something slightly different in the starting eleven, or as a different option off the bench if they need to be more direct. No telling how that would sit with Andy Carroll, but after the way he finished the season, I'd hope he gets a shot.
Lastly, and hopefully an indicator of something positive, today Maxi headed back to Liverpool after spending the summer not moving to Newell's Old Boys, which was a main point of concern back before the Euros started. That doesn't mean he's there to stay for good, but based on his travel time we can at least say that he's committed to making his way back to the club.
Just arrived in Liverpool after a thousand hours of travel— Maxi Rodríguez (@MR11ok) July 3, 2012
As for his fit with Rodgers and Liverpool's shift in philosophy, it's pretty much a no-brainer. Of last season's squad, he was the one player who could be consistently relied upon to open space with intelligent runs, and regardless of his age, that's something that the squad is going to be in need of whether or not they bring anyone else in.