Benitez spends big, but does Johnson fit the bill?

June 23, 2009

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez fought long and hard for greater control of the Anfield club’s transfer funds and first through the door since he agreed his new contract is Portsmouth’s Glen Johnson. He didn’t come cheap, either.

At a reported 17 million pounds, Johnson is an expensive acquisition for a player who never quite made it at Chelsea, and has only recently found success in the England team after raiding down Portsmouth’s right hand side last season.

There may be a lot of rebuilding work still to come from Benitez if Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa are allowed to leave to join the Real Madrid party (and who knows, perhaps Javier Mascherano along with them).

Johnson is not at all a bad player. His general attacking play is more appealing than his defensive talents, but they can be coached. It is not his capabilities that are in question, it’s his price tag.

Another striker must be high on the priority list, but having always openly admired Barcelona’s Dani Alves and then settling for Johnson, Liverpool fans could expect links with Samuel Eto’o or David Villa and end up with Carlton Cole.

PHOTO: England’s Glen Johnson outjumps Kazakhstan’s Tanat Nuserbayev (R) and Zhambyl Kukeyev during the World Cup 2010 qualifier against Kazakhstan at the Central Stadium in Almaty June 6, 2009. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

9 comments

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I happen to think Carlton Cole is a very good player

Posted by Laura Maidment | Report as abusive

Benitez may have been better using some of that £17m retaining Mascherano in the event that he goes to Spain.

http://www.realfootballargentina.blogspo t.com/

fair point but remember a lot of the johnson money comes from the sale of Crouch. Portsmouth haven’t paid a lot of it yet so the transfer isn’t costing Liverpool quite as much cash as you might think.

Posted by jamesy | Report as abusive

Johnson is a good player and a good adition to the squad and I agree that a massive part of the fee has come from the crouch deal (but we still would have got the money at some stage), however i feel a 5m Mica Richards who can play RB,RWB,CB and 12m towards a world class striker (e.g Villa) may have been a better deal giving Liverpool’s financial state. Also bring back Owen he’s free and he has a point to prove!

Posted by Jim Crowe | Report as abusive

Johnson is a good player and a good adition to the squad and agree that a massive part of the fee has come from the crouch deal(but we still would have got the money at some stage), however i feel a 5m Mica Richards who can play RB,RWB,CB and 12m towards a world class striker (e.g Villa) may have been a better deal giving Liverpool’s financial state. Also bring back Owen he’s free and has a point to prove!

Posted by Jim Crowe | Report as abusive

Jamesy, it has been reported that Portsmouth still owe Liverpool money for Peter Crouch so that does reduce the fee slightly.

However, anything in double figures for Glen Johnson, who is still largely unproven at the top level, amounts to overspending. Benitez himself has suggested as much.

Perhaps he is just a victim of the overpriced English transfer market?

Liverpool could well save a few bob by bringing Owen back to Anfield for free as Jim said.

Posted by Neil | Report as abusive

These amounts are insane, why not upgrade the contracts of Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa. I can only think of one reason why a player would leave an iconic club like Liverpool and thats money. If an upgraded contract would make them stay at Liverpool, why not, its still cheaper than buying new players and having to start all over again.

Johnson is a good player i would argue though that there are better players that would cost you less money. I don’t think owen is the answer up front. His form has been poor even when he was fully fit. i think the money would of been better spent on a quality partner for torres.

Posted by melv | Report as abusive

yes, Johnson is a good player, and liverpool badly need a partner for torres , so i think bentiez spent so much on him(even though it was little too much), anyway benitez had a good season ,so lets wait till mid season and comment on this transfer.

Posted by siva(liverpool fan) | Report as abusive