Arsenal Midfielder a Clever Signing for the Reds?
As the January transfer window limps to a rather disappointing end, the initial month of the year has been spent analysing the clubs which have overspent in recent seasons, which has perhaps scared off those that were set for a new year’s recruitment spree. Everton and Nottingham Forest face newly announced sanctions, with the reds noisy neighbours already having had a ten-point deduction put upon them this season. Manchester City look set to have their inevitable fate confirmed to them after this season, a decision that could unfortunately be prolonged into 2025. The sports washing enterprise are almost certain to have their relevant Premier League titles stripped, before multiple relegations and transfer bans, follow, given the severity of their charges. All this will befall the Etihad defendants, before a further investigation brings their continued wrong doings up to date
All these cleaning house endeavours have finally altered the way in which clubs can operate, with renewed clarity in the punishment that will be handed out. Newcastle have slowed their spending, as they prepare to off load at least one asset (after the seasons close) to level out their accounts. It is clear that warnings have been delivered and the Geordies are playing it safe with their progression, so not to fall foul of the oversight authorities. Financial fair play and profit and sustainability mandates have clearly slowed transfer activity this winter, which may well suit the top of the table reds. As February rapidly approaches the Anfield giants, so does the return of several key squad members (for varying reasons), something that can bolster a limited group in the run up to spring.
Which Players Can Boost the Latter Season Charge for Glory?
The players that are due to return are listed below.
Andy Robertson – Shoulder injury
Kostas Tsimikas – Shoulder injury
Trent Alexander Arnold – Knee injury
Wataru Endō – Asia Cup participation
Thiago Alcântara – Hip and various injuries
Stefan Bajčetić – Various injuries
Dominik Szoboszlai – Hamstring injury
Mohamed Salah – AFCON participation
There will be a drip feed of players returning over the next four weeks, however, it will not halt to continuing regeneration in the forthcoming summer window. Above is the name of one legendary midfielder, who has won just about everything the game has to offer. Thiago Alcântara is due back in a few weeks’ time and I imagine the eventual roar (when he finally enters the Anfield turf), will create a driving force that carries Jürgen Klopp to a new flurry of success. Some footballing talents can offer such magnificent rejuvenation, that their mere presence will lift an entire squad to another level. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich man is exactly that specimen of player, one who is now entering the final half season of his Liverpool stay. Though it possible that a strong final half season could see his contract extended, the £200k per week wages will no doubt be redistributed to other renegotiated contracts.
How to Replace the Spanish Master in the Summer?
To attempt to unearth a Thiago Alcântara replica, is not dissimilar from trying to source the next Zinedine Zidane. Liverpool already tried that once before, as former red, Bruno Cheyrou, failed to live up to the superlatives that his then manager, the late Gérard Houllier, put on the Frenchman’s shoulders. What is required instead, is a gifted young performer that can be moulded into what is needed within Liverpool v2.0. I would say that Curtis Jones and Alexis Mac Allister can offer varying degrees of energy and guile, yet only the latter will consistently unlock a defence with those line splitting passes. Trent Alexander Arnold is a clear controlling entity that can occupy the deeper areas of the pitch; however, you sense that the inner Steven Gerrard is merely waiting to be released. There is one undervalued player that may represent the perfect summer addition, someone that would not break the FSG bank, whilst having the hunger to get his career back on track. This is a player with a wonderful skillset and ability, that has failed to be fully recognised at his current home, despite the obvious ability. Emile Smith Rowe is that underappreciated talent that was once gifted a long-term contract and the famous Arsenal number ten shirt, however, the trajectory of his career has stalled somewhat. A smattering of injuries and outside recruitment, has seen the former England under-21-star drift away from Mikel Arteta’s first team plans. As a home-grown entity and versatile operator, he could become a valued member of Jürgen Klopp’s new venture, which is why I would champion a move for the 23-year-old.
Emile Smith Rowe
Club – Arsenal
Nationality – English
Age – 23-years-old DOB – 28/07/2000
Positions – ACM / LW / LCM / RCM / RW
Height – 6ft 0inch
Weight – 79kg
Senior Appearances – 134 games
Goals / Assists – 21 goals / 16 assists
Senior Minutes Played – 7,111 minutes
Contract Expiry – June 30 2026
Transfermarkt Value – €25m
Projected Cost of Deal – €35m
England Caps – 3
As all the transfer experts are out
I’d like Liverpool to sign Emile Smith-Rowe
— SimonBrundish (@SimonBrundish) December 31, 2023
The right footed playmaker and forward-thinking player, will have two years left on his deal in the coming summer. The signing of their club captain, Martin Ødegaard and more recently, Kai Havertz, have created a block in the first team pathway for Smith Rowe. There have been recent moments of success in the first team, yet it will be hard to see the Gunner’s manager drop one of his expensive additions in favour of the three-cap England man. The early hype surrounding the Arsenal academy product was well deserved, yet repetitive issues have always delayed his true emergence in the Etihad side. Given the huge monies that have been laid out by the north London side (in the era of Arteta and Edu), profit and sustainability may restrict their ability to add to their squad after this season, which may mean they are forced to cash in on some undesirable assets.
Unpopular opinion: A fully fit Emile Smith Rowe can challenge any of the attacking midfielders in the premier league for a starting spot in any team. pic.twitter.com/MQbXIOf1uB
— 🥤𝑩𝒂𝒏𝒌𝒔 (@AfcBanks_) January 19, 2024
In terms of how such a player could transition in Liverpool’s current regeneration, I believe he would be an immediate upgrade on Ryan Gravenberch and Harvey Elliott, by having the ability to offer wonderful opportunities against deep block enterprises. Though he may not match up with Thiago as a controlling midfielder, he would offer new options and perhaps increased dynamism, which could enable those aggressive forwards ahead of him. This is a transfer that would be very difficult to achieve, though if West Ham were to test the waters and find that there is a deal to be done, my hope if that the reds Sporting Director, Jörg Schmadtke, would immediately make Liverpool an option for the young man.