Liverpool Message Board
Xabi's replacement will not be David Silva.
Why would Benitez go after Silva when Riera plays a very similar role? Some argue that Silva could fit into the formation by shuffling around the current formation. Rafa is very unlikely to do that.
Roma's Alberto Aquilani is a more natural replacement for Xabi. As a matter of fact, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Liverpool has made an offer of 18M Euros for the player. Aquilani himself has already approved his move to Anfield.
I can't think of a more similar player to Alonso.
Alberto Aquilani is seriously being looked at to replace Xabi whilst Alvaro Negredo and Wesley Sneijder will possibly be part of the Alonso swap (i know its paper talk but I might as well pt it on here) with Silva being bought with the remaining cash.
Doesn't look too bad when you put it like that. ;oD
Huntelaar + cash would be good business for us. Use whats left to buy Aquilani and get rid of Veronin. It would be good to get Silva too but i dont think we can afford too. We could then drop Stevie G back to midfield for some games to supply 2 quality strikers rather than just Torres. I think Gerrard would be wasted as a second striker when he can do so much from midfield and also it would give us more cover if these 2 got injured again.
It's a conundrum! Can you afford to slightly weaken one position, if it means serious improvements in three other positions, as well as the team on the whole?
Is the difference between Cambiasso (for example) so great that it does not justify improving both wide(r) players, as well as providing much more flexibility and cover throughout the whole team?
I guess it comes down to how good you think Xabi is?
According to Frank Lampard on Chelsea TV, back in the CL semi-final one and a bit seasons ago when Lampard was preparing to take the extra-time penalty, Alonso said to him "Reina knows where you're going to put it." At that moment Lampard had been expecting to put it in his usual corner to the keeper's right hand. So instead he ran up and put it in the other side and scored.
Who knows, if Alonso hadn't said that, Lampard might have hit it to his usual position, Reina saved it and Liverpool gone through...
As many on here will know, I have been boring you all to death for quite some time now with my opinion that Xabi exchanged for any number of players from Roben, Sneijder, Van der Vaart etc would be very good business. Of course the Sneijder exchange will probably not happen and so I will be denied the opportunity to gloat about how I called this one early - but hey, such is life.
I would also love to see Silva with us, but NOT if it means that we end up with Sneijder and Silva and no central replacement for Xabi. Put simply if we got Wesley in exchange plus cash, and spent all that cash on Silva, we would have to threats down each wing which would terrify the opposition, but would be left lacking in the middle of the field. I don't want to see Gerrard dropped deeper to make up the loss, as you do not meddle with two players (Gerrard and Torres) who have forged that sort of understanding.
In an ideal world, we get Sneijder and Silva, and have enough left over for a decent midfielder to replace Xabi. That player does not have to be as good as Xabi - just not miles behind. Just for the sake of it lets say Cambiasso was signed, we could line up in any form from below:
AMR - Winger: Sneijder/Kuyt/Yossi
AML - Winger: Silva/Riera/Babel
Young Spearing could be used as midfield cover, as could Plessis. The beauty of this is that we would require no real change of shape or system, but we give ourselves such fantastic options. There are so many potential lineups from that squad, with so many of the players being able to cover other positions, and to do so well. It also gives us fantastic options in terms of changing the approach - we could easily move quite seamlessly from the more central three ATM sytem we often see, normally Gerrard plus Kuyt just to the right and Riera to the left, to a genuine 442 with quality wingers. The amount of creativity in the squad would be amazing with Silv, Sneijder, Yossi, Gerrard, although admittedly you lose some of the steel that our midfield has normally shown.
There is no obvious injury (barring Torres) which would seriously trouble us - in every position you have at least two other players who can do a job - actually losing two central defenders could land us in the sh*t but I assume Rafa has already anticipated that with the departure of Sami. We are three players away from having a SQUAD that I believe can rival Chelsea's, and which all in puts forward a first team as good or better than anyone else in the PL could put out.
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