It may be a matter of days, may be even hours before Liverpool announce the acquisition of their long-term target, Charlie Adam from Blackpool. The Scotland international was the subject of a bid from the Merseysiders in the January transfer window which failed as the Tangerines managed to hold on to their inspirational captain in their tooth and nail relegation dogfight.
However, they lost the fight and with that, their captain. It now looks certain that the 25-year-old will move to Anfield and become part of the King Kenny Dalglish revolution which began in earnest with his appointment as Liverpool manager back in January.
Unfortunately, the arrival of the Dundee-born playmaker might also suggest an end to one of Liverpool’s standout performers last season. Raul José Trindade Meireles.
The Portuguese midfielder was and still is regarded as one of the brightest things that came out of Roy Hodgson’s short, embarrassing and utterly disastrous reign at Anfield. Merieles scored five goals, including a winner against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and racked in five assists in 41 games for the club after a €13 million move from Porto and was even named the 2011 PFA Fans' Player of the Year.
However, with Liverpool having already signed Jordan Henderson to join the likes of the irreplaceable Steven Gerard, the much-improved Lucas Leiva and academy graduate Jay Spearing in the midfield, Meireles has been identified as the player who could give way for Adam and even Scott Parker to come in.
Adam’s passing range and precocious ability to read the game has been likened to one player who faced the Meireles conundrum back in 2009; Xabi Alonso. Alonso was one of the, if not THE, most central players in the Liverpool squad that pushed Manchester United to the wire during the 2008-09 season. But Rafael Benitez’s obsession with Gareth Barry saw the Basque player hand in a transfer request, eventually making a £30 million move to Real Madrid on 5 August 2009.
History has it that ever since, Liverpool has always been missing someone of Alonso’s caliber to do what he only knew how to do best.
History seems to be repeating itself at Anfield with the Raul Meireles debacle. Perhaps the only difference is, unlike Gareth Barry who Liverpool never succeeded to sign, Adam looks more than less like a cat in the bag.
Whether the 25-year-old, he with a dream of a left foot and corners worth buying, is the man to finally fit in the boots of the departed Alonso is open to debate. And so is Raul Meireles' likely impact, if any, should he leave the club (Inter Milan are reportedly interested). A bid of around £14m might be too tempting for Liverpool, but if the phrase ‘squad depth’ rings the bell at Anfield, they should hold on to him. Kenny Dalglish highly rates him but Alonso was never underrated back then.
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