Tuesday, July 03, 2007

"El Nino" stays in the picture

It's official. There's a new kid in town and his name is Fernando. Rafa has sent out the call and "Towers" has answered. I haven't posted a blog entry in a while as I was awaiting some concrete news. It's arrived with a bang, not disimilar to the sound of castanets being snapped.

I'm very excited about our new number 9. Fergie has been chasing him for years so I'd imagine he's pissed off that he spunked £53m of his summer budget already. Jose and Chelsea held talks with his agent last summer. Both Ballague and Hunter have reported the fee as being £20m rather than the £26.5m being quoted in the press. The Echo also quotes the fee at £20m and says he took a pay cut which is a good sign.

Luis Garcia is heading in the other direction for a fee of around £4.5m. I'm sorry to see little Luis go but he wanted to return home and he's only got a year left on his contract. He's off to Spain to drink Sangria, as the song says. Here's my favourite of his many goals which came against Juve. Watch out for the mad music on that clip.

Cisse appears to have gone to Marseille on a permanent deal. This isn't much of a surprise but we still haven't got any confirmation of the price. I'm sure it won't be what we would have hoped had he not broken his leg twice.

Momo has signed a new deal at Anfield. I thought that there was a chance that he'd leave given the signing of Lucas from Gremio. Does this mean that Stevie is going to be playing mainly on the right this year?

The youth recruitment drive shows no sign of letting up and time soon. The latest Spanish (could be Basque) starlet on his way to L4 is Mikel San Jose. He's 18, a centre back and has signed from Atletico Bilbao.

Dani Pacheco is also on his way out of Iberia. Barcelona have lost quite a few young players to the premiership over the years. Now we've poached one for ourselves. Pacheco is a 16 year old striker who is nicknamed the killer. He is half Czech and half Catalan, a Czechalan if you will.

Bulgarian midfielder Mihail Alexandrov will be winging his way here from CSKA Sofia in the near future. I can't say that I know too much about him but he's 18 and another "one for the future".

There is considerable talk that Gabriel Heinze is going to leave Utd for Liverpool. I thought he was a superb player until his injury but hasn't been the same since. He would be more reliable than Riise at left back but I don't think he'd offer us the same going forward. Either way, I can't see Slur Alex letting this happen unless Heinze buys himself out of his contract.



JJ said...

Alright chief, very excited about the torres deal; and if the fee is actually around 20 million then it represents great business.

As for heinze, well I think he'd be a decent buy as not only can he cover at left back but if Sami leaves he can also slot in at centre half. There were no signs last year that Paletta is ready to step up and be counted so Heinze may be invaluable should something happen to carra or agger.

Oh and can you take the feckin word verification thing off the comments section boss. Very annoying.

Mal said...

Hi JJ,

Torres press conference today at 3. Exciting times. If we can get a decent left winger then I fancy our chances to challenge.

I can't see Utd letting Heinze sign for us. He's good but hasn't looked the same since his injury.

I have the word thing as a spam protection. Before that I was getting the viagra drug adverts.


JJ said...

Ah yes, probably a good idea then. Wouldn't want too many posts from african princes looking for you to lodge millions in your account for a nominal fee.

Thomas Kelly said...

Hey Mal, what do you make of Torres? Do you reckon he'll push Liverpool over the edge as I really have my doubts.

Despite being Atletico captain he's incredibly selfish and frequently plays with his head down. I've seen him play alot and I've never been all that impressed. Ala Joaquin he's completely over-rated on the back of a handful of good performances at a very mediocre team. Maybe he'll step up and be amazing but bear in mind that he's never scored more than 19 La Liga gols (and that was three years ago, he's stalled since then) and while he wears the number 9 he's not a man to get on the end of things and bundle crosses over the line from two yards.

Perhaps I'm wrong but I don't see him being all that big an improvement on Bellamy or Kuyt.

linda said...

The kid Liverpool picked up from Barca is apparently quite promising. Sad to see him go.

A bit off-topic, but I just have to say how envious I am that you guys have Mascherano. I'm now convinced he's one of the best holding players in the world, and he's only 23.

Mal said...

I agree with you about Mascherano Linda. He is fantastic and plays a really mature game for one so young. I thought that we might have sold Momo this summer due to the Javiers arrival.

Thomas, I think that Torres has all of the attributes needed to make it in England - pace, strength, intelligence, youth, vision, two good feet and finishing ability. That's why Slur Alex, Jose and Rafa have all tried to sign him. I think he'll improve now as he'll have better service, better players around him, better coaches and stability for the first time in his career, unlike Atletico where the coach changes a few times a season. He won't have to play as a lone striker or on the left wing anymore. I would expect him to get around 12-15 this year as he adapts to the league. He's used to handling pressure from being the Atletico messiah at 17.

From Sid Lowe in the Guardian - "He is blessed with immense talent and the change may be exactly what he needs, not least because - too intelligent, too grounded, too open-minded - he is no José Antonio Reyes. Leaving Spain will not sink him. It may be the making of him. Freed from an underachieving chaotic club where he has had seven managers and no support, where he has been burdened with too much too young, where he has, by his own admission, grown weary, maybe the brilliant player can be released - and the goals will follow."

Downsie said...

Better luck next year ... or the year after, maybe.

At least Norway won Eurovision so most Kopites have sommat to shout about. Hahaha.