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Well let me be absolutely honest about this from a Liverpool fan’s point of view. Tonight I am feeling absolutely gutted and have a deep feeling of enragement engulfing me.
When Henrikh Mkhitaryan snubbed Liverpool for Borussia Dotrmund, it was understandable. When Diego Costa decided to use the interest from Liverpool as a negotiating tool for a better contract from Atletico, it was a bitter pill to swallow, but still acceptable. But when Willian opted (almost as various sources are suggesting and BBC reports that the Brazilian attacking midfielder has undergone a medical ahead of his proposed £30m move to Tottenham) for White Hart Lane instead of Anfield, it was surely the biggest blow that the fans have had to suffer.
While Dortmund were the runners up of the Champions League and a dominant force in their own league, despite Bayern Munich, Atletico could also ensure Champions League football to the Brazilian Costa. By now the Liverpool fans have got pretty used to the fact that club would miss on premier targets without European football and would only attract the marquee signings once they enter they qualify for Champions League football.
And this exactly where Willian signing for the Spurs has irked the Anfield faithful the most. Spurs are undoubtedly in a better position than the Merseyside club, but precisely even they cannot offer Willian CL action. The only thing that Spurs can guarantee to the talented Brazilian is Europa league, which many top players consider as a waste of energy. But still the Anzhi player has decided to snub Liverpool and instead join the London outfit.
This incident of Willian staying indifferent to the interests from Liverpool and going for a team which is only marginally better than them in terms of results, highlights the fact that most players believe that Liverpool have far less chance than Spurs to qualify for Champions League football in the foreseeable future (a bitter truth? I’m afraid so). The failure to bring in the player comes with a sense of hopelessness and a reality check for all the over enthusiastic fans who assumed that breaking into the top four would be as easy as Brendan Rodgers saying in every other press conference.
With Liverpool’s early activity into the transfer market this season, everybody acquired a feeling that the days are over when Liverpool would leave it too late for the transfer window only to bite the dust on 2nd September. The management had certainly done a fair job at the beginning of the season bring in players such as Kolo Toure, Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto and Simon Mignolet. The actual fact that was missed by many was that all these players were at the most decent and would increase the depth of the side to a great extent, but not go on to uplift the current quality of the team.
The first blow came when Armenian midfielder Mkhitaryan chose Dortmund, after presumably agreeing a deal with the Premier League side and mentioned that although Liverpool are a club with a great history, Dortmund are the club with a brighter future. The fans were disillusioned for the first time in the new season, tipped to be the season of the great aspirations seeing the light of the day. The fans were no doubt disappointed but took it in their stride.
Diego Costa was never close to a move to Liverpool and the very interests from them opened the scope of shrewdly engineered contract extension with more lucrative terms. Thus Brendan’s search for the marquee signing continued and brought him to Willian, a player high on class capable of running through any team’s defence on a given day.
What may be more frustrating for the fans is the fact that Willian was the only player among the trio who actually welcomed a move to English Premier League and preferably to Liverpool. His exact words were as follows:
“I’m waiting for a new bid to arrive in the next days from a few clubs, like Liverpool. If it’s really Liverpool, then it is surely a great club. I’m hopeful and very calm, just waiting for the best. England is my goal. The English championship is the dream of many players, and I’m no different. I like the Premier League very much. I enjoy the English football and certainly, if that happens, it will be very good for me and for my image.”
But at the moment Spurs were not in the race for signing Willian and the situation changed drastically once they decided to throw their expertise in negotiations and newly found wealth ( most probably from the £93m Bale deal, which is yet to be official). In no time, Spurs became the favourites and are set to hijack the player under Liverpool’s nose.
It will certainly remain a debate whether a player who is regular member of the bench of a young and as many would put it, mediocre Brazilian side is worth a king’s ransom of £30m, but it cannot be overlooked that Liverpool’s failure to bring the player would leave a deep hole in the hearts of the club management and the supporters alike.
So once again it looks like the same old story. A player who tried all the tricks in the book to get his way out of the club would be Liverpool’s go-to man. A 21 year old new found hero would be asked to be their messiah in times of needs. And a veteran soldier would again give his optimum for the club that he idolizes, only be let down by the inferior men around him.
Meanwhile Rodgers’ search of that one significant signing continues.