Re-signing Alonso makes no sense for LFC

“Liverpool plan to bring Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso back in £8.5m deal” – you can’t avoid the speculation, and according to reports there is genuine interest from Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers to re-sign the silky Spaniard this summer.

alonsoAlonso departed Liverpool four years ago, after Rafa Benitez‘s pursuit of Gareth Barry a year earlier had left the player unsettled.

Alonso left Liverpool after his best season for the club, during the memorable 2008/09 campaign that resulted in the club’s best Premier League finish. That side, featuring Alonso, Mascherano, Gerrard and Torres in the form of their lives, should have gone on to enjoy much more success.

But off-field events ultimately cut the team apart and just four years on from the 4-0 thrashing of Real Madrid at Anfield, only Gerrard, Carragher (set to retire), Skrtel (expected to be sold) and Pepe Reina remain.

Alonso is revered on Merseyside, rightly so. He was a player fans liked, admired and felt an affinity to. Had he never been sold he would sit alongside adopted Scousers like Sami Hyypia and Didi Hamann.

As much as a return to Liverpool would be welcomed, it would also seem at odds with everything that is being built in the new era under new manager and new owners. Much has changed.

Rodgers and FSG have a clear vision to sign young players, who can develop at the club, and retain a high re-sale value. It’s a sensible vision in order to bridge the gap between the mass of wealth other competitors have at their disposal. Coutinho appears to perfectly represent this policy.

While Ian Ayre and Rodgers have previously said they would be willing to go against the policy and sign older players if there was a strong enough argument, I’m not so sure Alonso fits the criteria.

As much as we love him, Xabi is 31, would still cost around £8m and would require high wages.

Not to mention that he plays in the same role Steven Gerrard has now adapted to in midfield and has benefitted from as he enters the twilight years of his career.

Quite clearly, the signing makes little financial sense, but also makes little footballing sense too – given the Gerrard position within the side, but also when you factor in the need for other areas and abilities to be added to the squad is much greater.

Alonso’s strengths are as a passing midfielder, yes he is one of the best in the world, but it’s hardly an area Liverpool are short of; Gerrard, Allen, Henderson, Lucas.

Meanwhile, a strong, combative but productive defensive midfielder is becoming a huge requirement.

Victor Wanyama is another linked with a move to Liverpool. The Celtic midfielder has different qualities to Xabi but would be available for a similar price.

Wanyama is 21. He would require less wages. He can play at centre back too – another area of more need – and can develop further at Liverpool.

As much as re-signing Alonso is a romantic and emotive thought, it makes no sense in terms of football or business. Therefore, with regret, Liverpool should pass up the opportunity and focus their targets elsewhere.

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Co-founder of This Is Anfield. Writer for Bleacher Report and Metro newspaper.
All posts are reactively-moderated and must obey the comment policy.
  • http://twitter.com/stephen_ks Stephen Kurniawan

    It’s a little bit gamble if we’re going to re-sign Alonso… He’s almost 32 and definitely already passed his best plus his salary will become a burden. I would prefer a more cheap options for the position of Defensive Midfield to cover for Lucas. If we can go for Manuel Iturra of Malaga (contract expiring on 30 June 2013), it would be a more sensible signing than Alonso. Better spend the budget on another young prospect such as Christian Eriksen or Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Imagine our trio in midfield: Lucas-Gerrard-Eriksen/Mkhitaryan. Plus we need a lot of reinforcement in defense as Carragher retired, Skrtel outperformed and Coates seems to have no future at LFC. At least 2 more signings in Center Back (Stefan de Vrij? Ashley Williams? Mamadou Sakho? Dede?) and 1 signing in Left Back (to give competition for Enrique; Aly Cissokho?) and probably we also need 1 backup for Reina (Michel Vorm?) and 1 backup for striking position (Moussa Sow? Kevin Gameiro?)
    I believe we’re in a right track. YNWA!

  • Butragenio

    Steps for Success. Step 1. Sack Brenda. Step 2. Bring in Rafa Step 3. Bring back Alonso Step 4. Qualify for CL Step 5. Win something next season

  • Emil Lilja

    buy alonso one of the worlds best DMs and passer/crosser, sell Carroll buy Ben Arfa and sell skrtel and buy Sakho, Dede or Ogbonna! then focus on getting young future players in we want a top 4 team next season!

  • Larry Murphy

    This article is hilarious. I laughed goodo when i saw allen lucas and hendo mentioned in the same bracket as alonso. That was the best bit, but overall i feel the writer of this would have a good spot as a football comedy writer on talksport, because undoubtedly this man is taking the michael in a big way. Sign Alonso. Immediately. And let the writer of this article forever hang his head in shame that he dared write an article of such absolute rubbish. Let me drop out xabis name from the title and replace it with a title more befitting of his skill and stature in world football and we see how it looks “Re-signing one of the top 3 playmakers in the world makes no sense for LFC”. Writer – have a serious word with thy self.

  • tommygun

    This team needs experience, it needs players who have the ability to improve us in the here and now – not the potential to develop that ability and experience 2-3 years down the line…..we need it now. Not to say there are no young players who could improve us, but experience only comes with time. Ayre said the drive to sign under 23’s wasn’t set in stone, I hope we see some evidence of that this summer. BR has stated again and again that it’s important to look to the future and to bring in young players, but that this summer we need players for NOW, players of character, players of experience.

    I truly hope the owners understand the importance of that too, that they have learned enough to know that a balanced approach is the best approach. It shouldn’t be a case of ‘one or the other’ when it comes to recruitment. The benefits of getting players young & developing them is clear and we especially like to see young lads stepping up from the academy and proving themselves of value to the first team…..but the value of signing proven quality and experience is self evident also, especially given the position the club finds itself in now.

    Most supporters amend expectations when a new manager comes to the club, we understand that they want to apply their own ideas, and that takes time. We understand they may need to bring in players to help those ideas work, and that takes time. But people will expect more from this team next season, they will have had a year to implement and adapt to BR’s ideas, he’s had the chance to bring in players he wants. The sooner we regain CL football the better off we will be. The longer we are outside the competition the more likely it will be that the patience of some of our best talents will finally run out and they will stop believing that Liverpool is a team where they can fulfill their ambitions. It’s self explanatory that if you are serious about improving and competing at the top – then you need to hold on to your best players, losing them just makes the task at hand that much more difficult.

    This summer the main aim should simply be – to bring in players who can improve this team NOW. And if when making a decision on a player the answer to that question is…yes, and we can afford them, and they want to be here, then that should be all that matters. Alonso is an excellent player, he’s experienced, proven in the prem, and seems to have genuine affection for the club and the city. But only time will tell whether the interest is genuine on the part of the club, or whether a deal can be done even if the club would like to make it happen.

  • Tremor

    Playing Lucas makes no sense either.

  • ash

    this is outrageous!!
    how can we possibly turn down the opportunity of having a midfield of Lucas Alonso and Gerrard?
    our midfield is not crowded even though a lot of people think that, Jonjo seems to be going and Allen is not good enough (at least not yet) and if we’re to get champions league football next or the season after we need more than 2 people in each position. Alonso is a player that will be able to carry on for years to come because of his sense of positioning like Pierlo and also is a very much needed experienced head in our team with class. a proven player with EPL experience.
    don’t give me any of that “he doesn’t fit FSG’s criteria nonsense” please.

  • Evan

    but the realism of alonso is that he is one of the best CDM is the world and is currently playing at the highest of levels at a madrid squad full of top notch players. and if what i read is true that madrid offered him a 2 year extension on top of the yr he has left on his deal then i would see it as being a positive in bringing him back. Provides great stability and depth to an LFC squad that only has lucas for that holding role in the middle of midfield. If we can get three solid years out of alonso while the younger players come into there own, then i would say bringing alonso back is a no brainer move…

  • http://twitter.com/DiscoverFinland Discovering Finland

    “”Alonso’s strengths are as a passing midfielder, yes he is one of the
    best in the world, but it’s hardly an area Liverpool are short of;
    Gerrard, Allen, Henderson, Lucas.”

    Seriously? You’re going to put Allen, Hendo and Lucas in the same sentence as Alonso? Hendo might develop into a great passer, might, but that’s definitely not one of Lucas’ strengths. And Joe Allen? Behave.