Kolo Toure, Doni, Craig Bellamy, Milan Jovanović, Joe Cole, Fabio Aurelio, Stephen Sama, Maxi Rodriguez, Philipp Degen, Andrei Voronin, Robbie Fowler, Boudewijn Zenden, Patrice Luzi Bernardi, Alou Diarra, and Jari Litmanen
What do all these players have in common? They were all free transfers in to Liverpool FC. This list goes back to the 2000-2001 season.
This year Liverpool are looking at two free transfer targets – James Milner (Manchester City) and Danny Ings (Burnley). In a season that will most probably be a make-or-break for Brendan Rodgers, he may do well to look at the past record on free transfers before he starts raising his hopes.
However, given the fiasco of last season, Rodgers has to sign more than one proven player who can lift the team when things are not going their way. Neither Milner nor Ings fits that category. The difference between the 2013-14 season and 2014-15 season was simply down to one player – Suarez. Suarez could make the dumbest game plans feasible through sheer determination and application, and when you add his talent to that mix – he was potent. What Rodgers needs is another Suarez and for that he is going to have to shell out good money.
There is another player who has to be mentioned here – Jamie Carragher. Let’s face it, losing Suarez upfront make LFC toothless and losing Carra made us shaky at the back. Bad combination.
FSG’s experiment (they may call it a strategy) to buy young players, groom them and then sell them for a profit sounds great on paper; but it has to been tempered with adding experience to the squad. Without experienced players, the younger players are not going to develop as quickly and consequently are not going to become profitable for the club.
In the end, Rodgers must be hoping that Milner or Ings will be his Cesc Fabergas.