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Torres & Carroll lead frenzy

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Phil McNulty | 07:48 UK time, Tuesday, 1 February 2011

If January's transfer deadline day was football acting in a deep recession, the mind boggles at what will unfold should the good times roll once more.

Two British record transfer fees within minutes in a blur of aircraft and fast cars travelling between Tyneside, Merseyside and London as Liverpool and Chelsea sent the markets into a frenzy.

And the catalyst for it all was the conversation Fernando Torres conducted with Liverpool late last week which culminated in a written transfer request only three days before the transfer window closed.

Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres cost a combined £85m on transfer deadline day

Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres cost a combined £85m on transfer deadline day

Once Liverpool accepted the inevitability of Torres' departure, a chain of events was set in motion that ended with his £50m arrival at Stamford Bridge and - arguably even more remarkably - the £35m arrival of Newcastle United's Andy Carroll at Anfield.

When Liverpool rejected Chelsea's initial £35m offer for Torres on Thursday, I suggested subsequent events would reveal much about the hunger of Roman Abramovich and his Anfield counterparts, the Fenway Sports Group.

The developments throughout Monday delivered the answer spectacularly - although the sceptics might also suggest insanely. Indeed Chelsea's £70m outlay on Torres and Benfica defender David Luiz, two players of huge pedigree admittedly, came on the day the club announced losses of £70.9m for the financial year ending June 2010.

For all the parsimony preached by Chelsea this was a return to old habits, bustling rivals out of the way in the desire to claim their prize assets. For Liverpool's owners, it was at odds with the claims that their transfer policy would be fashioned around Sabermetrics, a statistical analysis to make acquisitions used in baseball.

And yet, amid what many would regard as financial madness in the current austere climate within and without British football, these £134m deals bring genuine excitement and intrigue complete with sub-plots.

So what are we to make of the deals for Torres and Carroll? Value for money or wild gambles at odds with the stated recent transfer policies of both Chelsea and Liverpool?

For Chelsea owner Abramovich, the last 24 hours have been a dramatic reinstatement of the lavish funding of old and a confirmation that claims he had lost interest in Stamford Bridge were wildly inaccurate.

Torres has the capacity to be a spectacular purchase for coach Carlo Ancelotti if he can weave him successfully into an attacking set-up that currently includes Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka.

Just 18 months ago, Torres was coveted throughout the world as a magnificent piece of football work. He had the pace, power and finishing ability to grace any side and the idea of capturing him for £50m, post-Cristiano Ronaldo's £80m move to Real Madrid, might have been regarded as fanciful.

The gamble for Chelsea is whether their money buys them that player or the disaffected, injury-prone figure that has hovered over Liverpool like a dark cloud this season, flickering briefly and only rarely brilliantly, ironically when scoring twice against Carlo Ancelotti's side at Anfield.

Torres' demeanour of discontent has been obvious almost from the start of the season. One of the more memorable images of his final days at Liverpool will be his reaction to a verbal blast from Jamie Carragher after a lame contribution early in the Merseyside derby at Everton - a finger to the lips "shush" gesture that was almost arrogantly dismissive of his colleague.

And the manner and timing of his departure has wrecked his iconic status among Liverpool fans, who will no doubt get the chance to vent their feelings publicly when they visit Chelsea on Sunday.

He created instability at a key point, with Liverpool starting to stir again under Kenny Dalglish, who could not have been more sympathetic tactically or emotionally to the Spaniard.

Roy Hodgson's thoughts will also be worth more than a penny. Torres' lame contribution during his ill-fated reign can now be framed in what many regard as a sulk with life at Liverpool, his lack of impact contributing to the manager's downfall.

Chelsea will not spare a moment on these concerns. Ancelotti will be confident he can reignite Torres and in signing a genuine world star they have signalled loud and clear they are back in business, to their rivals, supporters and any other players they will pursue in the summer.

For Dalglish, as well as John W. Henry and his FSG cohorts, this was also a defining day and one that fashions a new era at Liverpool.

Dalglish may currently be in charge in a caretaker capacity, but Henry's willingness to allow the Scot to preside over such landmark developments suggests his appointment on a permanent basis, short of a calamity, will be a formality.

Damien Comolli may be Liverpool's transfer strategist, but Dalglish's hand was all over Monday's dealings. A swift glance through Anfield history will also have told Henry he is a man used to undertaking such extensive renovations.

When Ian Rush left Anfield for Juventus in 1987, amid similarly pessimistic forecasts, Dalglish shrewdly rebuilt his side without the brilliant striker to come up with something different - and better.

John Aldridge arrived from Oxford United before Rush left, John Barnes and Peter Beardsley came in the summer and Ray Houghton was the final flourish in the early days of the folllowing season. The result was some of the most thrilling attacking football ever witnessed at Anfield.

No-one in their right mind would suggest there will be a similar outcome now, but the arrival of Luis Suarez (almost overshadowed by later events) and the blockbusting £35m capture of Carroll demonstrates that a big club mentality has returned to Liverpool.

The easy route for FSG would have been caution and to sit on the money until summer, but on Monday they were left in a position no amount of Moneyball theories or Sabermetrics can account for. They had a mountain of cash, a Fernando Torres-sized hole in their team and little time left to address the problem.

The answer was Andy Carroll, a 22-year-old wild card of undoubted talent but questionable temperament with only 41 Premier League appearances and 72 minutes of England action to his name.

For all the hurt demonstrated by Liverpool fans towards Torres, it is worth a reminder that they have only done to Newcastle what Chelsea did to them. An idol has been unceremoniously stripped away.

In the real world, if such a phrase can even come within a million miles of the Premier League after Monday, £35m is an almost ludicrous figure for Carroll given his lack of experience at elite level. When passions cool among the Toon Army, most realists will surely realise this was an offer owner Mike Ashley could not refuse.

The problems will come should he fail to spend at least the same amount on replacing the lost footballing symbol of Tyneside in the summer.

Placing the fee for Carroll in context, it suggests Aston Villa may have landed a bargain by claiming a proven Premier League goalscorer like Darren Bent at £24m, a cost widely derided when sanctioned by owner Randy Lerner and manager Gerard Houllier.

Dalglish has stated he will be careful with FSG's money. He has a sure touch for talent and a gut instinct for what Liverpool and their supporters need and want - so it is certain he believes he has captured a special talent in Carroll.

Some Liverpool players had already earmarked Carroll as the man they should sign if Torres left, an opinion formed after he scored and gave Liverpool a harrowing time in Newcastle's 3-1 win at St. James' Park earlier this season.

Powerful in the air and adept on the ground, although with plenty of room for improvement, it is easy to see how Dalglish feels his partnership with Suarez can flourish. The giant will make his own goal contribution and unsettle defences with obvious physical presence while the Uruguayan poacher can operate on the margins to fill the gaps left by Torres. It will be a different approach but, as stated previously, Dalglish has form for perfecting it.

Time will tell who has got the better end of the deals, starting at what is sure to be a highly-charged meeting between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

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Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    Liverpool will save in the region of 18 million pounds in wages between carroll and torres over 5 years. shrewd move by the reds as torres wanted out and was not performing

  • Comment number 2.

    Carroll was over priced! If he is worth £35m then Torres must be worth more than £50?

  • Comment number 3.

    here's nothing shrewd about Chelsea's £50m bid. There is no gamble in it either. If things don't work out, Chelsea will just unleash another horrendous sum on another striker and not really be any the worse for it.

    Thanks Roman for the beginning of the end for rationality in football.

  • Comment number 4.


    Kenny still has to find another creative midfielder to feed these two AND at least 2 new defenders.

    But, worst case scenario, this season can be a write-off, and at least his 2 new boys will have half a season to get used to his & the Liverpool way of playing. At least he got money for old rope for Torres, given HIS injury history every season, so being ripped off for Carroll wouldn't hard been quite so painful for a canny Scot.

  • Comment number 5.

    Haven't they got it the wrong way round?

    Surely Carrol would be an ideal Drogba replacement. Where is Torres going to fit into Chelsea's 4-3-3 with Drogba?

  • Comment number 6.

    Rationality and sense finished in football a long time ago. 35 million a what is no more than a promising youngest is madness to the extreme.

  • Comment number 7.

    Carroll is a good player but £35 million is a staggering amount. That's more than Barcelona signed David Villa for.

    On a sidenote, I think the best bit of business (as opposed to monopoly money panic buys) was Bolton signing Daniel Sturridge. He's a great young talent who's career has been blighted by the teams he has been at. Man City and Chelsea - hardly the best clubs for giving talented youngsters a go.

  • Comment number 8.

    Suarez who is lethal and a notch above Torres 26.5m euros (albeit a transfer waiting to happen).

    David Villa to whom Torres can't hold a candle for the past couple of years due to unknown chronic injury 40m euros.

    Pazzini who is at least on par with Torres 19m euros.

    Torres who is even worse than Llorente.

    Who doesn't even fit Chelsea's system in any sense apart from a replacement for Drogba...

    Who is slightly better than Torres.

    No pace and spark upfront whatsoever.

    And still no depth with 3 strikers all 'sulky' and one of them not even out and out.

    And Liverpool who won the lottery go and spend 35 of the 50m on ANDY CAROLL.

    If a player is in the PL (not just English) and is not laughing stock his reputation and valuation if true is between 2x and 3x.

    On Sky an idiot even said Liverpool fans are over the moon that Henry is putting money into the club (he put net £5m that is probably evened out by Torres's wages).

    And Utd-Arsenal who are laughing with the panto are found wanting big time in numerous positions and can't afford anyone.

    Absolute joke.

  • Comment number 9.

    Torres to score a hatrick un Sunday hehehe, that will show them who made the right bet!

  • Comment number 10.

    The transfer fee for Bent would have made Newcastle smile because whatever Bent was "worth" then Carroll would surely have been worth more.

    Unfortunately the issue highlights what a money go round the premier league is, ie Chelsea pay £50m for Torres, Liverpool have £50m to spend. Newcastle see that Liverpool have £50m to spend and therefore can effectively name their price for Carroll. Transfer window closes in hours, therefore Liverpool pay £35m for Carroll. Crazy money for a still unproven and immature footballer?

    Now for Newcastle, everyone knows they have pots of cash from the Carroll sale and therefore will ask for ludicrous prices if Newcastle try and buy, and so on.

    Net effect, Roman's money has had a knock on effect through the league, the ripples will spread wide, same as the effect from Manchester City.

    Unless, Mr Cashley decides that he will pocket the cash and try instead to develop from the Newcastle academy, like Carroll was.

    Surely this highlights the value of developing rather than purchasing, especially when you have multibillionaires involved in the game who will splash out?

  • Comment number 11.

    It's obviously Abramovich's money which has financed the Carroll deal - it wouldn't have happened otherwise, and similar figures won't happen in the summer.

    Liverpool fans will be sad to see Torres go, but also relieved that we now have two first class strikers, that are young and hold the kind of promise that Torres did when he first arrived.

  • Comment number 12.

    No Mr.McNulty, Bent at 24 million £ is still pretty much an insane amount, but the transfer of Carroll at 35 something million £ tells you the sorry and shambolic state the Premier League is in.

    He cost roughly the same amount as David Villa, who actually has a strong pedigree as a striker and front-man in Spain, has established himself as a fine player for his national team and actually helped them win the World Cup (however that may have been).

    And then the same journalists such as you are still wondering why England got their backsides kicked by Germany, well : to begin with you need players who are actually talented, clubs turn to foreign players because they are quite cheaper. Developing academies is not an option since the life-expectancy of a club manager is now around 12-18 months, if not less.


  • Comment number 13.

    Damn iPod lol, what I meant to say was:-

    *Rationality and sense finished in football a long time ago. 35 million for a player who equates to no more than a promising youngster is madness.

  • Comment number 14.

    Has this window caused Premiership clubs to panic buy? Not that the likes of Chelsea, Villa, possibly Man City (typically) and Liverpool have not signed quality, but they are certainly paying over-the-odds to get players in. Also if the rumours are to be believed, Tottenham desired to join in the madness yesterday with massive bids for Carroll, Forlan and Aguero.

    I personally think clubs have realised the days of mega-spending beyond means are coming to and end, especially with these FIFA financial fair-play regulations coming in imminently. For now at least, the outlay is irrelevant since its so important to have the quality in the club before the rules come into play, preferably on long-term contracts.

  • Comment number 15.

    People need to wait and see what happens. In a years time Andy Carroll could be spear heading England's attack and banging in goals for Liverpool. £35m wouldn't look so bad then.

    At the end of the day Liverpool needed to replace Torres and increase the number of British players on their books. If you can name another player who comes close to fitting this criteria then fair enough, but I myself can't.

  • Comment number 16.

    I wonder if the purchase of Suarez was funded with the expected funds of the Torres sale. Liverpool definitely needed quality players to come in and I think that Suarez will deliver. All things considered I think that 50 million for an underperforming Fernando Torres was a good bit of business for 'Pool. but that was matched by the grossly overpriced transfer of Andy Carrol! I also support Newcastle and I think that Andy does not merit that amount of money. Consider that Barca brought in David Villa, a world cup star no-less, for 27 million. I know that Carrol has several years more in him than Villa but he is also still new to the Premier League. Perhaps Liverpool could have made better use of that money.
    On Chelsea's side they are getting quality players in. But for 70 million I think they needed to strenghten their squad a bit better. Will Torres fit in well- and were does that leave Anelka or Drogba? I'm keen on seeing David Luiz in the premiership - he is a special player! again though with Drogba,Anelka,Terry,Lampard on the wrong side of 30 will these introductions be enough? Perhaps there will be new arrivals this Summer...

  • Comment number 17.

    I think liverpool paid a stupid amount for andy carroll by this maths he must be better than Rooner, Berbatov and Robinho.

    I dont think so

  • Comment number 18.

    Torres' transfer vindicates Jamie Redknapp who had suggested as far back as October that Torres no longer wanted to play for the team and received a torrent of abuse from Liverpool fans. Although I did not go that far, I was in sympathy with some of the comments. Sorry Jamie..
    Torres was one of the best but Liverpool has a better player in the one I dubbed 'The Master' - Stephen Gerrard. For years he has carried the team including Torres and Liverpool FC could do no worse than to allow him to become disaffected with the club as well. Chelsea is waiting in the wings.

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi all,

    Great piece as ever Phil. You sum it up perfectly in that, however much we like to pontificate, only time will tell who has got the better of the deals.

    Please check out my piece assessing the economics of the deals in comparison to the historic £30 million + signings.

    For those that are interested in a rationale and informed look at the numbers behind the madness I would hope you would enjoy it.

    @_MikKar_ - David Villa, whilst a world class player, is a rapidly depreciating asset likely to hold little to know resale value. When looking at players as an investment being 21 not 28 is a huge factor.

    I have to agree with @makar that Roman and Chelsea are likely the biggest losers financially on this one. But they are playing on a total different playing field so it doesn't matter to them.



  • Comment number 20.

    From Liverpool's perspective, this can be seen as "Carroll + £15m for Torres", which, given Carroll’s prolific goal scoring form vs. Torres' mediocre (at best) season, is a pretty decent bit of business. Of course, should Torres hit his peak at Chelsea whereas Carroll becomes a flop at Liverpool then the world will see this as one of the worst sequences of transfers ever.

  • Comment number 21.

    Winner of the day Arsene Wenger. Had a day off and saw the value of the likes of Casc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie, and Sami Nasri raise ten fold.

    Loser of the day, Preesident of Barcelona. Just seen the 'new' value of Cesc Fabregas.

    Thanks Roman.

  • Comment number 22.

    Love how people think that Torres is going to have to be weaved into an attack containing Drogba and Anelka. Don't question how Torres will fit in with them two, question how Drogba and Anelka will fit in with Torres. One of them will be packing their bags, if not both, come the summer.
    People who question his class are undoubtedly blind, the service he will receive at Chelsea will far exceed anything he's received at Liverpool any time of late. We'll see a return of the Torres of old very soon, that's if you don't believe we've seen flickers of his old hunger and skill recently under Kenny anyway. I back the £50m spent in a big way, hamstrings permitting. With two rapidly ailing and aging strikers to lead the charge in the Champions league and Premier League, who, quite frankly, have far from cut it this season how can you not? Too late for the Premier League for Chelsea now, but watch out Europe. We all no who should have won last time Chelsea and Barca met in the Champs League, with Torres in the ranks, could it be their year?

  • Comment number 23.

    I wonder if sabermetrics did indeed play a role in the Carroll signing (I'd be suprised if NESV were just taking a punt). I reckon his "hidden stats" would rack up to a far more substantial whole than many of the names being mentioned on here. The guy gets through a phenomenal amount of work, he is very young, he can be improved, and he has undoubted skills. Sure, it's a lot of money, but with the Suarez deal already sanctioned, Liverpool are essentially just reinvesting a proportion of the Torres money.

    It's nonesensical to say "so and so cost less than that and he's much better." Just take the money out of it for a second, which is justified because, as I've said, Carroll essentially cost -£15 million, or whatever. Then what you need to consider is have Liverpool got a player who is better or worse than Torres? Don't laugh just yet!

    Sabermetrics would probably tell you that there isn't much in it (based on this season, at least). If anything, it would probably tell you that Liverpool have a younger and more complete (if unproven) player. This is what NESV is all about. And add into the equation the fact that Suarez has been added at a net cost of a few million and you could argue that Liverpool have got one hell of a good deal out of these moves.

    Of course, only time will tell, but it will be very interesting to see how this one pans out.

  • Comment number 24.

    I have nothing against what Roman Abramovich has done (and what the current owners of Man City are doing). It takes a huge injection of cash to compete with the likes of Man Utd and Arsenal and in my opinion is good for the league. I think it shakes up the premier league and brings in exciting new talent. As long as this is done alongside investment in infrastructure who are FIFA (and us) to tell them what they can and can't do with there money.

    As a Portsmouth fan, I feel for how some of the fans of these clubs worry about the long term future of their clubs and what will happen when their sugar daddy leaves, but in the end these investors have their money on the line and are not looking to run the club into the ground. What happened at Portsmouth was true as investment in players was not matched by investment in infrastructure surrounding the club.

    Fair play to the big spenders, and long may it continue. It makes the premier league better for it...

  • Comment number 25.

    10. At 10:55am on 01 Feb 2011, EazilyGrizly wrote:
    The transfer fee for Bent would have made Newcastle smile because whatever Bent was "worth" then Carroll would surely have been worth more.


    I disagree with half of that sentence. I'm happy that both Newcastle and Sunderland got a lot of money for their prize assets but as a rational football fan (albeit a Newcastle one!), Bent is the better player at the moment. He is proven over the last 5 seasons with different teams which is why is stock has risen. Carroll needs to prove that with Liverpool he can play as well as he did for Newcastle for seasons to come to justify that price tag.

    Obviously neither Newcastle or Sunderland fans wanted to see these players leave but which club got the better deal? Undoubtedly Newcastle.

  • Comment number 26.

    As a Chelsea fan, I fear we have another Sheva on our hands.

    He has only struck 20+ league goals once in his career - hardly prolific. His reputation has always been slightly inflated by the British media (touting as him as the world's best striker in 2008, when he wasn't even the best striker in Spain). That with his injury record makes a payment of £50m astonishing. We could have used that money to buy Luiz, Lukaku and a creative midfielder which we are in desperate need of. Obviously, I welcome him into the team and hope he proves me wrong but a careful look at his past record suggests he will not be worth a £50m +wages investment.

    On a separate note, am I the only one more excited about the arrival of David Luiz? Seen him play a few times including once in the flesh - absolute class act. Had a stunning season for Benfica last year although has been off the boil somewhat this season but that could be due to head being turned with the attention of the big boys in the summer.

  • Comment number 27.

    Liverpool fan. Absolutely gutted with the days transfer dealings. To sell Torres was hard enough to take (although if he wanted to go it was the right thing to do), but then to waste a huge chunk of the money on the latest English 10 minute wonder has left me sickened. It smacks of a desperate panic buy (which it is). Carroll is, was and never will be World Class, and the only consolation is that in a couple of years time some other English club will be daft enough to waste millions in buying him off us.

    However, on the bright side I'm happy to see Suarez who looks a very talented player.

    Also regarding Torres demeanour, It has been strongly suggested that there has been a split in the Liverpool camp, In particular between Carragher/Gerrard and Torres. Sadly the Carragher/Gerrard camp has won and that's why there has been a influx of mediocre English players into the club (Konchesky, Cole and now Carroll.) Sadly having players (Carragher and Gerrard) with such a huge influence in club matters is always a bad thing for any club, In particular at Liverpool it is worse because these two players footballing ability has been on the wane for the last two years.

    Never in all my years of supporting Liverpool have I been more pessimistic about the clubs future. We are top heavy with mediocre players, we have wasted a huge sum of money on a hugely overrated striker, we have Gerrard who will now surely be played in centre midfield meaning that poor Lucas will now have to do the defensive work of two men, we have Glen Johnson (another hugely overpriced English player) who can't defend playing at left back!, we have Carragher and Joe Cole (both past it) retiring on huge pension contracts, In the summer we are been linked with Ashley Young and Charlie Adam (two more hugely overrated/over priced flavours of the month), I really can't see Reina staying (Our one true world class player left) and to top it all Poulson is still at the club!

  • Comment number 28.

    The thing not one mentions is that Carroll didn't want this transfer.
    He was a happy bunny in his home town: the star player, his friends in the team, playing for the team he wanted to play.

    "He was forced to move on" they wrote yesterday.
    And not one picture showed a smiling Ashley, pocketing the cash. Will he invest in the summer? I doubt it. He'll probably sack the manager again and get a new one.

  • Comment number 29.

    Looking at it from a business point of view I would not call it madness.

    1. Global commercial revenue is a key growth area for Chelsea especially as their stadium is relatively small. This will sell more shirts and sponsorship - Torres sells the most Liverpool shirts I believe.
    2. Winning and staying in top 4 is crucial to keeping momentum going aqnd growing commercial revenue.
    3. This will allow youngsters time to mature.
    4. Uefa will bend rules to keep Abramovich on side.

    As someone who lived through the dot com boom there were many mad deals in the early days that were proven inspired.

    The problem is that inspired deals promote imitation and the following deals were indeed mad and any many companies went bust. Chelsea is in the top 2 and if this keeps them there it will not be mad.
    It is mad for anyone else to imitate it though unless they have very deep pockets like Mansour.

    What will it take for fans to wake up and see that football is a huge con and that actually in the Premier League, when push comes to shove there is a top 2 who consistently win everything and whose fans grow in arrogance and lack of respect.

  • Comment number 30.

    Not many positive comments about the sums of money on the blog are there. The great working class game has been replaced by corporate greed (also see corporate boxes), showbiz with plenty of farce and pathetic drama thrown in. Watching Sky Sports news I first thought I was on the wrong channel and Liverpool had been invaded by aliens. It's not helped by the sycophantic sports journalism. I actually felt sorry for 'arry having to field ridiculous questions while he was sitting in his car.
    Perhaps if we ignored them they might just get on with playing football.

  • Comment number 31.

    I cannot wait for 2013. Thats when Man City and Chelsea are going to have to look at their youth development, and start finding bargain buys to write off their seasonal losses.

    Certain players will wish they'd never joined Man City OR Chelsea, and if they wanted European success as well as premier league success, they'd have to take a wage dip, and then suddenly, Man Utd and Arsenal will finally be able to challenge Chelsea and Man City to the signing of top players.

    I thoroughly believe that this transfer window will be one of, if not THE last big spending windows we see in English Football (excluding of course the certainty that Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City's last chance to spend big is in the summer, and therefore I expect them to follow suit) and maybe thats why Carroll, Torres and Bent all costed more than their true worth.

    Greed is ignorance, and with it comes your downfall Chelski.

  • Comment number 32.


    You have got to be kidding. That might well be the most ridiculous comment of all time. How does it shake up league in any positive way? How can you say it's positive if Blackpool can spend as much money in a transfer period as Yaya Toure earns in a week? Toure could buy Blackpool. How disgusting is that?
    And how about it being positive for English football? It's just all about foreign players and is destroying English players' perspective. Do you really think Carroll is worth 35m? It's stupid, ridiculous and wrong.

  • Comment number 33.

    Should United or Arsenal win the league and Chelski end up with nothing (incl Champs League) who will be laughing then? Man City are good for a champs league place.

    Liverpool have the better long term view with their purchases.

    Chelski still need Roman to fund a new midfield.

    As a United fan I expect Roony to go to Europe (for circ £50m) in the summer (+ a few others sales totalling £15m) to fund a new midfield playmaker & goalie).

  • Comment number 34.


    How does it give youngster time to mature exactly? Do you mean by sitting on the bench and not getting any match practice at all? Really good that.

  • Comment number 35.

    The spending has been ridiculous in this window. £24M on Bent, £50M on Torres, £35M on Carroll is crazy money, but is shows how important staying in the PL and CL is for these clubs. It's only a matter of time until the next Leeds or Pompey rears it's ugly head. Still, it's entertaining! And you do still get the odd bargain like VDV, Adam Johnson and Bosko Balaban.

  • Comment number 36.


    "Of course, should Torres hit his peak at Chelsea whereas Carroll becomes a flop at Liverpool then the world will see this as one of the worst sequences of transfers ever."

    But not 'the' worse ever. Surely that ceremonial bestowal remains entirely with those who spent millions on the services of Juan Sebastian Veron.

  • Comment number 37.

    @28 Carroll put a transfer request in. That means he wanted to leave as he has REQUESTED A TRANSFER AWAY.
    These reports saying that he didnt want to go is to make ashley look bad as the media have a dislike of him

  • Comment number 38.

    Deep depression tinged with humour and irony, fantastic JamTay1.

  • Comment number 39.

    Stayed up watching SSN last night with an 8 month old baby who wouldn't sleep and could not believe the numbers that were being talked about. Suarez is an exciting prospect and may yet prove to be good value but he's unproven in English football and I hope that Liverpool have not signed another Afonso Alves (Boro fans will enlighten you on his record in Dutch and English football). As for the two big deals that went through I feel that although they have payed more for an older player Chelsea may have done the better deal, yes Carroll was great last season (in the Championship) and has played well so far this season but I can recall Marlon Harewood doing the same when West Ham last got promoted and I certainly would never have valued him anywhere above £10m at his peak.
    For once I have to admit that I am pleased with the way the owners of my club have conducted our activity in this transfer window, some shrewd and economically viable signings who I think will keep us up this season. Of all the teams in the bottom half of the league we have made the best deals this month.

  • Comment number 40.

    That must have hurt Liverpool fans. Torres saying he wants to join Chelsea who are succesful & always fight for the top trophies.

  • Comment number 41.

    well they paid over the odd few years ago for a young english striker who were having a good season at leicester:Heskey.
    Well ,hope for liverpool is isnt the new heskey.Because 35 M for 6 good month in the EPL is well over the odd.And some still surprise Wenger stay away from buying english (exept quiet young)and go for outside england.

  • Comment number 42.

    Have to agree with most of the comments on here - £50mil is a huge amount of money for a player who has displayed poor form and fitness for the last 18 months. Will be very interested to see how he fits into the Chelsea side, both Torres and Drogba seem like natural lone strikers. Also, what does this transfer mean for Mr Anelka? Newcastle in the summer...?
    The Van Der Vaart deal is getting better with each passing day!

  • Comment number 43.

    Just another quick thought, £35mil is a lot for Newcastle to make on Carroll, but what is the financial cost of relegation?

  • Comment number 44.

    @ 37, ZimmerBear,

    I wasn't aware that Carroll had placed a transfer request. Apologies.
    There is an issue with Mike Ashley, though. Newcastle came back to the premiership and he invested nothing in the team that failed to make the grade two seasons ago. I doubt he'll invest in the summer too. For Newcastle's fans sake, I hope I'm proven wrong.

  • Comment number 45.

    AS a Liverpool fan losing Torres is a huge loss not only to the team but to the fans who thought he truly was one of us:(
    So in the best interests of the club/team we had little choice but to sell him to Chelsea. And to be fair 50 mil for a player who this season and last has not looked interested and has not even played 75% of games in fact his best season was only 75% of Prem games maybe it will turn out to be good business. Regarding the two strikers we have brought in we first have to say that these players want to play for Liverpool which in turn makes them good signings and with youth on there side and a manager who will make them feel invicible they will hopefully become the players Kenny believe's they can be. 35 mil for Carrol is a huge amount of money for a player just finding his feet but our number nines in the past and touch wood future have never let his team or fans down. So only time will tell if the money banded about this window was well spent or as a lot of people see it wasted I for one on wed's night will be giving our team and new players my full support the prince (Torres) may well have left but long live the King.

  • Comment number 46.

    not my money, hope it goes well, sad to see liverpool fans being sore instead of looking forward to the best strike partnership of the modern era.

    i for one wish liverpool all the best, the £50 mill couldnt have gone to be better club.

  • Comment number 47.

    liverpool fan by any chance phil? very romantic version of events

  • Comment number 48.

    "David Villa, whilst a world class player, is a rapidly depreciating asset likely to hold little to know resale value. When looking at players as an investment being 21 not 28 is a huge factor."

    Well hes still borderline a goal a game for Barca at the moment so hes not depreciating that much. Ok hes 29 but hes at his peak. With his natural pace he can stay at the top for another 3/4 years. If Barca win league titles and CL titles in that time itll be money well spent.

    Id pay Barca 50 Mil for Villa at this point with what hed bring to the team, I wouldnt go over 15 for Carroll however as he hasnt proved anything

  • Comment number 49.

    Why didn't Liverpool just follow Arsenals policy and reject any transfer request, thats what Wenger said and Fabregas is still winning us games, we know he'll go at the end of the season but originally that price was about £45m, he aint going for nothing less than £60m. Again, Cheers Chelsea for ridiculously inflating the market, again!

  • Comment number 50.

    No 47

    Note sure about that. Seems a fairly balanced view of things. Can you justify that comment?

  • Comment number 51.

    @29 - Torres sold the most shirts out of anyone last year, not just Liverpool players.

  • Comment number 52.

    Yesterday was the day my interest in football died completely. These people now have no concept of reality.

    How the media can comment on the Andy Carroll transfer fee is beyond me, after all they caused it in the first place. Every so often a player's ability is blown out of all proportion by commentators and in a story reminiscent of "The Emperor' New Clothes" some poor sucker ends up parting with a huge wad of cash for a player who then can't produce the goods.

    Well, it's been a fun-filled 40 years since I went to my first game - but now no more. Have fun everyone and goodbye.

  • Comment number 53.


    From a premier league neutral,

    Bent is much older and has much less general appeal. Carroll for his flaws is a much more recognisable, marketable and commodifiable player, as long as he keeps his nose out of trouble. Young people for example would identify more readily with a Carroll type figure than a Bent type one.

    He has much more of a presence than Bent and will sell a hell of a lot more shirts, appear on a hell of a lot more posters, etc.

    Which in this short period of crazy money means that Carroll is greater than Bent. I'm not saying it is right, or makes sense or is rational, it's the way the market works.

  • Comment number 54.

    Like no.27, also a Liverpool fan. But a little less pessimistic shall we say. First off, of course £35m is too much, no point denying it. But so is £50m for Torres and the £24m for Bent - this has been a crazy window and relativity between transfers has gone out of the window.

    The question for Liverpool is can Suarez and Carroll (plus our attacking midfielders) combine to form a fluid, attacking front line - with real penetration. I think they can, of course this a leap of faith, but based on both the past record of Dalglish in forming attacking partnerships, combined with the better flow to LFC since his arrival - the guy clearly has a clear plan and he see's these two fitting right into it.

    He also seems to immediately understand we need genuine pace out wide (seems obvious doesn't it), hence some of the other moves in the transfer market. If he adds this element in the summer, plus a defender (and it does look like FSG are serious about providing funds), i think Liverpool will have a balance not seen for a few years now.

    Fair do's Chelsea on getting Torres. He'll do a good job to say the least (his remarks since leaving make me think he's rather more suited to the plastic flag brigade than i originally thought possible). But also, good work Kenny, Comolli and FSG - LFC are definitely on the right track again.

  • Comment number 55.

    Over 200 million spent in this transfer window.. I will hazard a guess that it will be considerably less next transfer window. It doesn't take a genius to work out who spent the big money and why. Arsenal, Man U and Man City conspicuous by their absence in this window.. Next window money spent by PL clubs will be taken into consideration for the FFP legislation which comes into effect in 2014. So in my opinion this was the last opportunity for clubs to spend far in excess of their turnover/income. Will be interesting to see what happens in the summer transfer window..

  • Comment number 56.

    @Ben Mayer

    The kids are being loaned out and will be used more next season...they assume, as part of a winning team.

    @51...Yeah thanks...Commercial revenue is a huge part of their strategy...Torres will be their biggest global star if he replicates his previous success.

  • Comment number 57.

    27. At 11:13am on 01 Feb 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    Carroll is, was and never will be World Class

  • Comment number 58.

    Yes the monies involved are obscene. under the current freedoms then business is business and you have to pay the 'going rate' even if that rate is vastly overinflated. If and when the UEFA fair play rule comes in (ie transfer spending is dependent on revenues generated) then one of two things will happen. Player prices will come down dramatically to a more 'realistic' level (whatever that is) or ticket prices will rise dramatically especially at clubs with smaller stadia (Liverpool take note!!!). This transfer window could well be the last hurrah for last minute transfer madness. clubs will have to be far more astute and forward thinking than they currently need to be.

  • Comment number 59.

    I'm going to explore avenues as to how I can short sell football, the sport has gone mad and I fear it will all end in tears. What is Chelsea's cumulative profit/loss under Abramovich, have vague memories of the club's top brass claiming they aimed to be profitable 3-5yrs after his arrival. How can these clubs continue to haemorrhage money and still be in business, guess the rich owners see them as more of a plaything than an investment. What is the point in blowing £70m when everyone will get stuffed by Barca in the CL anyway?

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    The game has gone mad. Too much money for both players, especially considering the amount paid for Suarez.

    I'd be very annoyed if I was a Liverpool fan.

    More importantly, it just shows the gulf between the top league and those below. It's madness when 1 club can spend the same amount as the 72 league clubs many times over. It's obscene.

  • Comment number 62.

    i cant wait to see Fernando up and running at the bridge.50 mil is a lot so a lot is expected same as Dave luiz.see ya at the bridge why are we worried about this money.if my ticket prizes dont get higher as they are then am not worried about the money.period

  • Comment number 63.

    I am sceptical about the fair play rules...can anyone see Uefa kicking Chelsea out?

  • Comment number 64.

    I wake up this morning pinching myself just to make sure what happened yesterday wasn't a dream. As a liverpool fan i know my word will be tarnished somewhat by bias views, but i believe Liverpool did good business yesterday. Torres leaving is gut wrenching even if he only gave 70% in most games over the past year. Chelsea have a great player and i believe he will do fantastic for them ... Whether him and Drogba can play together is another question. Lets remember that Drogba didn't exactly compliment Shevchenko when he arrived and at the time he has the best striker in the world. You could argue that Torres has premier league experience that makes him a better buy, only time will tell.

    Onto Liverpool and our new £35 million pound striker. At first i, like everyone else, think that the price is over the top but you have got to look at all the facts that contribute to the price.

    1) Liverpool bid for Carroll with only hours left to do the deal and with no real time for Newcastle to replace him = Price goes up

    2)Carroll is a young, english talent = Price goes up (Just look at Rooney to Utd, Milner to City, Wright Phillips to Chelsea)

    3)Newcastle know that Liverpool have £50 Million burning a hole in their pocket = Price goes up

    4)Newcastle know that loosing Carroll means they could get relegated = Price goes up

    I think you get my point. If you just say that all those points add £5 Mill each to the original price then Carroll goes from a £15 mill buy to a £35 mill buy.

    Finally i keep seeing people comparing Carroll's price to Villa at Barcelona who cost £34 million or round about that amount. To compare these prices would be idiotic and who does clearly hasnt looked at all the facts. Villa may have cost Barcelona £34 million but that is clearly not what Barcelona value him at as he has a release clause of .... wait for it .... £170 Million !! The only reason Barcelona got him for that much was because Valencia were desperate for cash and Villa wanted to leave for Barca. Would Villa hav ome to Liverpool for £35 mill ... i very much doubt it.

    One final comment - On Liverpool saving on wages from Torres. I keep hearing £18 million pounds ... no idea what maths these people are doing. If reports are to be believed then Carroll is on £80k a week so thats £40k less than Torres' £110k he used to get. £40K over 52 weeks is about £2 million. Over 5 years thats £10 million.

    Liverpool did what they needed to do to progress our club. At the end of the day we have swapped a 26 year old for a 22 and a 23 year old. If we can keep them both for years to come then Liverpool should be right up there again

  • Comment number 65.

    It's crazy to think that a striker who has played half a season as a premier league regular is now the most expensive British player in football history!

    This would have been a great piece of business for Newcastle, but only if they had brought in a striker to replace Carroll. The result is a woefully threadbare squad which is in real danger of being sucked into the relegation battle.

    Just as the club seem to be getting back on their feet - Ashley strikes again! This is a massive gamble to take.

  • Comment number 66.

    I don't really care who signs who for how much as long as Arsenal keep playing delicious football on a relative shoestring. What a success story both football wise and financially they really are.

  • Comment number 67.

    Carroll and Houghton symbolised the potential renaissance of Newcastle United. A season spent regrouping and restoring belief in the Championship, a manager with the backing of the fans who created a strong unity amongst the squad, and a new Shearer around which to build a team for the next decade. Now, all we have is Pardew and money we can't spend and I doubt we'll ever see again. Any sense of momentum we'd build up has come to a shuddering, bone-shattering halt.

    Dark day to be a Magpie. Of course Ashley could have refused it, Phil - but only if he had an eye on the long game. As someone aptly put it on 606 yesterday: Carroll might not be worth £35m to Liverpool, but to us he was priceless.

  • Comment number 68.

    A day that edges football ever closer to the precipice. I'm not sure anyone within football knows what the real world is all about anymore.

    On the football side, I think Liverpool have a strike force of devastating proportions, a Toshack/Keegan esque feel about it.

    On the point regarding over-inflated prices for English players, totally agree, its madness, Caroll is worth no more than £12 - 15 million tops and if he was going abroad that may have been about all he could command.

    But as Newcastle are effectively strengthening one of their rivals and potentially risking Premier League status, the cost has to acknowledge that, its almost like additional compensation.

    Additionally, and someone may help me be more accurate on this, if Liverpool hadn't spent the £50 million, would it not have contributed to their operating profit and then have been taxed heavily on? So therefore spending it and adding to the team made sense (even if very extravagantly)?

  • Comment number 69.

    And yet, amid what many would regard as financial madness in the current austere climate within and without British football

    Sorry Phil but when did English PL clubs start being austere? Sympathise with the comment from #52.

    Torres and Suarez: super players, good technique, good box finishers, proven at club and international level.

    Carroll? A geordie version of Duncan Ferguson (minus the injuries right now) but £35m for a player only really tested in the Championship. I would have thought that the price was about £20m too high for a high risk player but super piece of business Kenny!!

    Well done to Man U and Arsenal keeping their purses shut to this madness.

    Felt sorry for Charlie Adam not getting his move.

  • Comment number 70.

    No 66

    How have Arsenal been a footballing success story over the past five years? No matter what you say about their brand of football, they've won nowt. A financial success, yes; a footballing success, no.

  • Comment number 71.

    Hilarious ..................

    All the Liverpool fans on 606 & this blog having to change their user profile names that had TORRES in them

    and ................

    all the Chelsea fans starting to put TORRES in their user profile names

  • Comment number 72.

    Once again, one person has single handedly inflated the transfer market to ridiculous proportions. For the last few years it has been the City owner, this week it is the Chelsea owner.

    I can't wait for the financial fair play rules to kick in...

  • Comment number 73.

    64. At 11:46am on 01 Feb 2011, James Hankin wrote:

    no idea what maths these people are doing. If reports are to be believed then Carroll is on £80k a week so thats £40k less than Torres' £110k he used to get.

    No idea what maths you're doing either to be honest.

  • Comment number 74.

    take the pic of Torres wearing that shirt off!

    people are making too much about the money, just enjoy the excitment that transfers bring and let the clubs worry about the finances

  • Comment number 75.

    I think you got the idea that Sabermetrics was thrown out the window on the purchase of Carroll there Phil.

    The stats will show his performance this year, his age and a bunch of other measurements that boggle the mind.

    Yes you can buy a Bent or David Villa at similar or lower prices, but as they are in their late 20's they will have no reasle value which is another measure in Sabermetrics.

    Overall it compares favourably with the purchase of Rooney in 2004 which is another example of how Sabermetrics can give clues to a good deal.

    Carroll IF he continues to progress will be worth a lot more than laid out and if he changes his name to Adriano Carrollo he will be appreciated a lot more as said on The Tomkins Times award winning website.

  • Comment number 76.

    @ 37, rumours on 5 live last night were that Andy Carrol had been asked to submit a transfer request by the cluib, so as to make them look better. This usually means forfeiting the signing on fee, but I reckon he may have kept it.

    I think Cashley likes his windows, and didn't want this move to make him more unpopular than it had to...

    Were I a Geordie (thankfully I'm a lower league fan...) I'd trust that bucket o'lard as far as I could throw him....

    Expect no big names at Newcastle in the summer....

  • Comment number 77.

    Maybe try and look at it a different way and split the transfer price into two parts, footballing sense and commercial sense.

    Bent - maybe 75% football, 25% commercial (ie Villa need goals, they are not a global commodity club, but he will sell Villa shirts to Villa fans)

    Torres - 85% football, 15% commercial (Abramovich logic, ie buy trophies, sell a few shirts but what's a few million in losses)

    Carroll - 55% football, 45% commercial (potentially the next Rooney in terms of marketing, when Rooney was born the last thing the midwife would have said was "Poster boy" yet look at the value of his commercial rights)

    Whereas buying someone like a Charlie Adam would be pretty much a 100% footballing buy, unless you count Pukka Pie sponsorships... imagine the Blackpool calendar with Adam and Taylor Fletcher.

    By all means argue with these as off top of head.

  • Comment number 78.

    #5 spot on. Chelsea fan here. not sure how torres is going to link up with the other girls we got up front. Would rather have paid the 50m to get Carroll. Over a 8 or 10 year period 35m is gonna look like peanuts for that boy. Probably get 20 goals a season plus assists, plus great team play, plus 100% effort every game, plus no diving or sulking. We get 50m worth of injuries, diving and sulking and drama. Great. i just hope there are a fair few goals inamongst it all. I thought that Roman would have learnt by now that its not fantasy football and that you actually have to build a team rather than buy one. Delighted with the Luiz signing though. He could be a good player for us for the next 10 years. I think Liverpool have had one of the best transfer windows a club has ever had

  • Comment number 79.

    Good blog as usual Phil. Just hope now that Torres does make an appearance on Sunday; I'm sure he'll get a 'warm' reception from the Liverpool faithful.

    Also, check out the latest article in my FourFiveOne blog, 'The Game's Gone Mad', which discusses an unbelievable day at the office. Anyway, why is deadline day not a national holiday? David Cameron, have a word. Feel free to comment, follow or share...

  • Comment number 80.

    You question the temperament of Carroll, which is fair weight given his behaviour off the field. But I must say, on the field his aggression and determination is very well placed. I can't say i've seen him getting involved in verbal or physical confrontations with anybody, and his bustling styles has lead to fouls, not crude, dirty and purposefully late tackles.

    A bit like Marlon King, you wonder how such a character can behave so well and fair on a field full of aggression and physical contact.

    Still at 35 million, Liverpool have paid well over the odds on what appears to be a rebound buy. It is an arrogant statement by the club, and a huge gamble. It is an act of defiance "yes you can leave us, but we'll bring someone in who's is going to be better than you"

    I think Liverpool's ego has been hurt with Torres moving to what he sees as a bigger club. His motive may lie in the fact that since joining in 2007, Liverpool have been beaten in Champions League Knock-outs by Chelsea twice, failed to qualify from the group and then failed to qualify at all. If he stayed, he could be waiting until 2012/2013 for champions league football again. At Chelsea he will play within the next couple of months.

    The way he looks at it? He will have only ever have had 2 real goes at the CL before the age of 30 if he stays with Liverpool 2008 and 2009, where Liverpool where beaten by Chelsea.

    I guess his definition of a big team is a contemporary one also. In that they are current title holders, have won the title 3 times since 2004, have always qualified for the champions league, have always reached the knock out stages of the CL, have won FA Cups, League Cups and with one more world class addition (Torres) will finally lift the CL trophy. The record book also tells him that the odds are, he'll probably be playing in at least a CL Semi-Final this season

  • Comment number 81.

    Fans of Liverpool have become the worst supporters in football, hounding Roy Hodgson out and burning Fernando Torres Liverpool shirts in public in the space of a few weeks.

    Pure class you are

  • Comment number 82.

    On the day they announce losses of tens of millions Chelsea go and throw another 70 odd million into the well. Has anyone spotted Peter Kenyon of late? Wasn't this the year Chelsea were to break even?
    Now Liverpool have joined the madness with a record fee for an English player. A player who has only played 70 odd games for the team. Madness, madness and madness again.
    The problens with the UEFA guidelines are that they are not in place already and are not strict enough.

  • Comment number 83.

    @76 Rumour, like i said these all start in the media who seem to have a vendeta against Ashley. I am no Newcastle fan but i find it comical some of the stories that are made up about the club.
    Why should he buy a big name??? Big names mean nothing he should be using that money to buy afew good players.
    Remember United buying Veron he was a big name and cost heaps (using him as sure he cost near £30mil)but he did nothing in the league.

    Teams of newcastles standard should be looking to gradually improve not buying 1 or 2 big names and thinking they'll win the league or make the champs league

  • Comment number 84.

    52 Cirrus

    Yes I know what you mean. I too was gutted that Harry was unable to obtain the services of Phil Neville. Anyway, there's always next year and Phil will be a year older then with even more experience, so cheer up!

    "Well, it's been a fun-filled 40 years since I went to my first game"

    Don't tell me...Phil lined up along side he's brother Gary, remember it well, they won 2-1, with the Neville's netting one each.

    "but now no more. Have fun everyone and goodbye."

    Yes, see you at the away game on Saturday and don't forget MoTD is on a little later than usual this week.

  • Comment number 85.

    I think both Chelsea and Liverpool were the winners of the transfer window.

    Chelsea had a clearly aging team and it was showing big time. Furthermore, Abramovich was looking not interesting in parting with cash to save the ascendancy of the team. Yesterday, he showed with facts that he still means business.

    This season, Chelsea have Ramires, Torres and Luiz: three young players, reducing the average age of the team, allowing for positive expectations. At the same time, if these players are in the first team, automatically, it indicates that the bench will look strong again.
    A positive side effect is that they can introduce youth to games, now, without expecting them to save the day for the team, but to gain experience while playing in safer looking matches.
    Finally, it's a real vote of confidence and justice for a very good manager who, on his first year in England, he gave them the double, while creating a goals scored record. Not to mention the added power for Chelsea in the latter stages of Champions League.

    Liverpool fans will have mixed feelings, but would they really prefer an unsettled, world class striker instead of a vibrant Suarez playing with the hottest English prospect up front?

    Liverpool are at the beginning of reorganisation. It's non of my business, but I feel they are going to sort out their defense in the summer. Perhaps they'll find a creative midfielder and a winger. And after that it's the matter in building the squad and the bench. They have some mighty task ahead, to become the Liverpool team seeking trophies again.

    The positive is that they seem to have the man they wanted on their helm, with all the experience of the 'Liverpool way' and the trophies won in the past, both as a player and as a manager to support his C.V.
    Perhaps, a good definition for them is 'a project in process', taken from Manchester City.

    Carroll and Suarez will help Liverpool move up the table. At the same time, has anyone noticed that yesterday nobody mentioned Chelsea being in danger of dropping out of the top four while 606 was being flooded by messages on the transfer deadline blog?

    If there's an indicator on the aftermath of yesterday's transfer activities it has to be that, next season, we're heading for a cracker of a premiership campaign. And such expectations are in the middle of the season where nobody knows who will win the premiership and nobody knows who will fail to secure premiership status.

  • Comment number 86.

    This is the end. Chelsea are going to destroy football. What kind of business is it that relies on a sugar daddy spending money you havent got for you, whilst announcing £70m loss in a year they won the worlds richest league??

    Im gonna stick to my NFL from now on. At least a sense of rationality and prudence exists there.

    Foootball is literally gonna drown in money it hasnt got

  • Comment number 87.

    These prices make investment bankers bonus look better value for money as the times go by. Is it not about time a special tax is proposed for footballers and PL teams? Where is Ed Milliband & Ed Balls, and Mr Bob Crow when we need them? Have they forgotten their values?

    Sorry for Newcastle fans though, Cos i can see Mr Ashley laughing all the way to the bank (or should i say the casino?).
    L'pool ans though will have to wait till next season to reap any fruits of their purchase, as they still have to replace the likes of Carragher over the summer, and purchase at least 2 mid-fielders who will fill the void left by Alonso & Benayoun (Joe Cole should find himself in the championship unless a newly promoted team have money to waste on him)

  • Comment number 88.

    Great Blog Phil!

    I think a lot of people on here are missing the point. There is a difference between price and value. Prices can be overvalued or undervalued. both the transfers were overvalued. But given the market conditions at the time...i.e. less supply and more demand both teams had no choice but to cough out the amounts they did. Arsenal fans thinking their players are now worth ten fold because of this are highly deluded. In the summer noone with sense will pay for overvalued prices because there will be more supply.

  • Comment number 89.

    In what other industry in the world would allow a company to purchase over £70million worth of assets, this doesn't even include wages for the 2 players, on the same day as posting a £68million loss? This is despite winning the Premier League last year, which should've brought in high revenue!

    It's absurd, it's not good business! The new financial rules will benefit football no end.

  • Comment number 90.

    Lots of people getting way too hysterical on here.

    For Liverpool - they've spent 2 million this summer, if you count the money that came in for Babel and Torres.

    A hugely modest spend, and they've lost a fringe player and a world class player who just simply didn't want to be there. They've replaced them with two hugely promising players, albeit both needing to prove their worth, and spent a tiny amount of money compared to their annual turnover.

    There is only one way to look at that - great business.

    Chelsea - true, the big spending Abromovich and Man City are making the league crazy. But EUFA are bringing in smart ideas to combat that, it's only a couple of years away. Perhaps those two clubs in particular do need to spend big now - as the rules will soon prevent them.

    Congratulations Liverpool. Very well handled. Great new ownership.

    Now everyone calm down!!!

  • Comment number 91.

    Andy Carroll the top net buster in the Championship last season. Liverpool just getting ready for life in a lower league next season.

  • Comment number 92.

    Clearly torres didnt want to play for lfc anymore. if he had turned up for any of the league matches under roy hodgson and played with some commitment then we wouldnt be in 7th place right now. the chances are we would have several more points on the board. When torres wants to play he is very impressive and is still the best striker in the world but the way he has been playing for us means he wouldnt get into a local sunday side. Roy wasnt brave enough to drop him so he could continue his sulk on the side lines. I would still have torres in my side if he was motivated but lfc have done well out of his sale with 2 strong replacements at a cost of nothing really. the owners of lfc havent really spent any money yesterday. all they did was use chelsea's money. a pat on the back for benitez as he brought in players that liverpool have sold for a good profit. lets hope that suarez and carroll can become the new icons for lfc.

  • Comment number 93.

    oh and im sad to see torres go :( i went through the 5 stages of grief all day yesterday. I must say the capture of suarez and carroll did soften the blow.


  • Comment number 94.


    Hear hear. Said the same thing. If I ran my like that that I would be homeless, hungry and miserable, and rightly so

  • Comment number 95.

    Carrol over priced but not a bad window for liverpool

  • Comment number 96.

    Hi Phil,

    As you rightly pointed out the chain of events was started by Fernando Torres's desire to leave Liverpool FC. There are two points to note here:

    1. Why did he decide to leave?? Well, he says that it was to further his career and to win things. What trophies can Chelsea REALISTICALLY win this year. I think the only one is the FA Cup. They wont win the PL because they are 10 points behind United who are bang in form. They wont win the CL because of a certain Barca still in the draw. He probably wont win a thing this year. So why leave now?

    2. Why so close to the transfer window shutting?? This is an answer only Torres can answer. None of the fans would begrudge him leaving in the summer, and he still would've had the hero status amongst us. Even if he left in early January, leaving the club enough time to find a suitable replacement, we would still be ok with that. But suddenly from a player coming back into form and loooking like he really wanted to play for Kenny he slaps a transfer request on the day we agree a deal for Luis Suarez. That is unforgivable.

    That sent LFC back into the market. Clearly their prefered replacement was Andy Carroll. So they went after him, however with Newcastle knowing exactly how much MONEY LFC had, they waited until a MIND BOGGLING £35m sum was offered for a player that LFC would've been able to buy for £20m + a player in the summer, a full £15m less.

    As an LFC fan I am gutted to lose Torres as I truly thought he was a RED, but I guess I was wrong. But I also believe that the Suarez/Carroll partnership can propel us up the table.

    Just imagine LFC finishing above Chelsea this year. There are only 9 points in it and it could happen. That would put a smile on my face again.

  • Comment number 97.

    Sometimes the transfer window can bring hysteria into things, where people are signed for a vastly inflated sum due to that whole auction house bartering atmosphere.

    I think in both Carroll and Torres's case, that happened here.

    Those are some awfully large amounts of money being spent to take gambles like that. A potential crushing millstone around their necks as well, particularly Carroll.

  • Comment number 98.

    I cant understand the problem with £35m for Carroll?

    30 years ago the record transfer was £1m. Then just under 20 years ago one Alan Shearer moved for a British record of £3.3m and 4 years later for a world record of £15m!! Come to more recent times an 18 year old Wayne Rooney moved for £25m in 2004.

    The progression in transfer fees has rapily increased over the last couple of decades and teams are buying players at younger ages. It's coming to a stage where they are paying for potential ability rather than current.. Everyone could see Rooney's potential and it's just as obvious for Caroll.

    Yes, Carroll is 4 years older than what Rooney was but he's still young! The reason for a higher fee also is 'cause Newcastle didn't need to sell him, they aren't struggling financially, whereas Everton back then were.

    My last point is that it was Kenny Dalglish that signed Shearer to Blackburn and managed him again at Newcastle, so was a major influenze on his development.. Gets you thinking if he can do the same with the similar Carroll?..

  • Comment number 99.

    Liverpool should be proud of their new strike force .............."I want that one"

    Lou & Andy .................from Little Britain

  • Comment number 100.

    The real winner out of all these comings and goings could be Andy Carroll, IF he is prepared to change his ways and learn from the likes of Kenny, Stevie G. and Carra (and others). Unfortunately, he has had some good role models at Newcastle but failed to follow their example so, as Phil has said, it's a 'wait and see' period that won't be completed this season - even if he does get fit enough to play.

    £35 million doesn't make him the best British forward (Man. City would, almost certainly, have paid more than that for Rooney), Only Andy can do that and it will take a great deal more character than he has shown so far. Luckily, if he realises it, Kenny and LFC itself can make it happen for him, but he's going to have to want it and work hard 24/7/365.

    I'm impressed, as an LFC fan, at Kenny, Comolli and FSG's (who 'stepped up to the plate' - sorry about that!) quite remarkable reaction to a situation they didn't ask for and could have well done without in the light of recent improvements. Very bad timing for them all of course, especially as Suarez has a few similar question marks as Andy, Kenny is on a short time scale and we haven't really got anyone naturally gifted at getting to and crossing from the by line.

    Fingers crossed for everyone involved, at least Y.N.W.A.!


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