The Merry-go-round 4: Agger, Benteke & more
Latest I’ve ever written this, last weeks have been done by at least Thursday.
Going for something slightly different this week. All rumours, all given my own rating of likelihood. Obviously, my ratings are not even close to gospel, so if I’ve nailed someone on to join the Premiership, expect them to be playing in Qatar come the new season.
Daniel Agger; Liverpool – Barcelona
Barcelona have the best team in the world, the best passers in the world and the best individual in the world. What they don’t have is a battling centre back to replace the ageing Carles Puyol.
I am a huge fan of Daniel Agger, he is my type of defender. He’ll stick a foot or a head in at one end, then charge forwards and smash a rocket in the other.
Not too convinced by these Barca rumours, but he’s been on the exit list in the newspapers for a couple of seasons now so anything could happen.
I don’t see him leaving, primarily due to Jamie Carragher’s retirement after one of his best seasons, and no replacement brought in. Liverpool can’t afford to be another defender light, and so I see Agger staying at Anfield next season.
Obviously if Barcelona come calling with a sizeable deal, the player will struggle to say no to them. However I would have a think about the fates of Alex Song and, to a certain extent, Cesc Fabregas.
Peter Odemwingie; West Brom – QPR
Poor Peter. That drive to London on deadline day must have felt so long once he got there and found out QPR didn’t want him. Not as long as the drive back mind.
I’m constantly surprised by Odemwingie’s age. He’s 31, despite looking about 23, and his best years are certainly behind him. However, he is still an excellent signing for a mid-table Premier League team.
For that reason I can see someone like Cardiff or Fulham coming in and stealing him away from QPR. Odemwingie was clearly keen on joining the R’s, before their relegation of course, and I’m sure they would take him now as they are pretty much nailed on to lose the likes of Remy.
If he did go to QPR I would predict he would finish as top goalscorer in the Championship, but I think he would want to spend as many years as possible in the top leagues.
It’s all but confirmed that Odemwingie is out of the Hawthorns after his ridiculous antics last season. Where he’s going may well be one of the teams coming up though, rather than going down.
Likelihood: QPR 1/10, Crystal Palace 8/10
Javier Saviola; Unattached – Cardiff
This guy. This guy was my LMA Manager 2007 career in a nutshell. Every game I started he was my first signing, and he was unbelievable.
He’s just left Malaga after his contract expired, and at the same age as Odemwingie has played for Barcelona and Real Madrid, as well as Argentina.
For Cardiff it would a massive coup to land him, but at the back end of his career Saviola could easily fancy a crack at the English Premier League before he hangs up the boots.
I have no doubt he would thrive, he is a poacher type of striker in the van Nistelrooy mold of finishing. His age favours Cardiff in terms of bringing the wages down, and price is a non-factor as he is a free agent.
I would love to see Saviola in the Prem, and he could turn out to be a Michu-like signing for the new Welsh team in the top tier. His unattached status increases the chances of him appearing in Cardiff red next season.
Christian Benteke; Aston Villa – Arsenal/Tottenham/Chelsea
Where oh where will this man be plying his trade come August?
Now all of London’s big guns are after him, the only problem being an enormous asking price Villa have put on his head.
Chelsea have Romelu Lukaku coming back from his West Brom loan, and do they really need two big strong Belgian strikers? You can never have too many of those I suppose.
Arsenal have been linked with each and every wantaway striker this summer, but if they’re going to be spending big they should be doing it on a proven top European goalscorer.
Tottenham are soon to be rid of Adebayor, Defoe seems to be on AVB’s periphery and Clint Dempsey isn’t the 25 goal a season man they need leading the line. Benteke can be the foil Bale needs if he settles back into his second striker role again this year.
My best bet for the Belgian would be Spurs, but their neighbours could well take a more serious interest in him as the window goes on. One condition, if the £25m asking price Villa reportedly want doesn’t come down he won’t be going anywhere.
Likelihood: Chelsea 3/10, Arsenal 5/10, Spurs 7/10
The wishlist! Xabi Alonso; Real Madrid – Liverpool
We need him back. As a league and nation we need him back passing Liverpool back towards the top four.
Alonso is magical player to watch. Through all of football, my favourite players to watch have been Pirlo, Scholes, Xavi and this guy. He is that good.
People have said he isn’t what Liverpool need, that they need a more destructive attacking force, but I think he enables the likes of Gerrard to play in the position he plays best, going forward.
It has been rumoured quite a lot this deal, but at the end of the day seeing Alonso back in a Liverpool shirt would be good for everyone who watches this league.
The club obviously has a place in his heart, so if he was going to come back to England it would have to be Anfield. He would risk his place in the Spain team if he did come back, as Del Bosque seems to be unwilling to look outside Barca and Madrid for his first pick XI.
I don’t see him coming back, not this season at least, but I fancy him returning to Liverpool before his career is over.
Likelihood (this season): 6/10