Let’s just get to the point here:
– Chelsea spent 16.5 millions for Jose Bosingwa, a right back. We spent 0 (read: nothing, free) for Philip Degen, a right back. 16.5 million disparity there, one of undoubted quality and one of a more questionable talent. I have not given up on free transfers although the transformation of Voronin from being a decent player at Leverkusen to a total disaster at our club is a good example of how bad it could turn out to be.
– Andrea Dossena, 7 million, left back. I must admit here, Benitez is good with defenders. He has bought bargains into the club: Arbeloa, Agger, Skrtel. Not all of his defensive signings are spot on (Josemi, Krompkamp, Pallegrino to name a few), but he knows how to get good defenders under the radar of other big clubs. However, for 7 million, we certainly can’t expect him to be as fast as Evra or as technical as Daniel Alves, for example.
– Gareth Barry, 15+ million, central midfield. He’s almost certain to join our club as a direct replacement for Xabi Alonso. He will offer more steel and mobility to our midfield. Other than that, I can’t see dramatic improvements can be made by having him in our first XI.
I am not arguing that these 3 players are not up to Liverpool’s standard, they do. Over the past 2-3 years, we have been getting players that’s arguably up to our standards. The problem is, we can’t be satisfied with players who are merely ‘UP TO’ our standards because, let’s face it, we have lower standards than the big 3. We need to get players who can RAISE our standard to the next level. We need more players like Torres. I don’t care about the ongoing situation with our American owners, but a club like Liverpool don’t deserve a mere 20 million spending spree over the summer. We need at least 50 millions every summer in order to keep up with the big guns.
We settled for Crouch where we could have gotten David Villa for 10 million while we was still playing for Zaragoza. We bought Pennant after Benfica raised the fee for Simao from 8 to 10 million. We decided against Daniel Alves’ purchase after Sevilla put a 11 million tag on the player 2 years ago. It’s DEFINITELY not Benitez’s fault.
I can understand if the players I mentioned above are totally our of range. The fact is, they weren’t worth 20+ million at that time. One might argue that even at that price, the money wasn’t there for us to get them. Well, a club like Liverpool ought to be able to spend 10-15 millions easily on quality targets. If we can’t even spend that kind of money on players, there must be something wrong with the way this club is being run.
We are Liverpool FC. We do not strive to be good, we strive to be the best.