Spanish forward Fernando Morientes has left Liverpool after 16 months at the club, having scored a disappointing 12 games in 61 appearances for the club. He has returned to his home country and signed for Valencia for an undisclosed fee, reported to be around Â£3.5 million.
The 30 year old striker was recently left out of the final Spain squad for this summer’s World Cup, and his agent had only two days ago said despite reports he was surplus to requirements at Anfield that he would be staying on Merseyside.
Morientes signed from Real Madrid for Â£6.3 million in January 2005 and made his debut against Man United, his first goal came in the away game at Charlton in February. The three-times European Cup winner had been in fine form for French club Monaco whilst on loan the season before and his arrival was seen as a massive coup for Liverpool.
Unfortunately things didn’t turn out quite how it was hoped, with some niggling injuries and struggling to apadt to the English game.
The striker recently claimed he hadn’t been given enough chances to settle in the team but this season he and Crouch had a long run as the front partnership and he failed to impress. The odd goal against Wigan and Birmingham, and then at home to Villa in the last game of the season, wasn’t enough to win around the fans – nor, seemingly, Rafa Benitez.
Morientes’ departure further cements the fact Benitez is on the look out for forwards this summer, with Dutchman Dirk Kuyt’s name being reported heavily this week.