18 February 2007


So Liverpool have supposedly signing Andrey Voronin from Bayer Leverkusen on a pre-contract agreement. 4-year deal, and given his contract will be up, he should be coming on a free in the summer.

Many Liverpool fans are questioning the deal. Whether it’s because they expect (wrongly, I might add) a big name like David Villa to bolster the front-line following the takeover, whether they’re questioning Voronin’s goal return for Bayer (27 in 69 games), or they don’t see where he’ll fit into and what he brings to the striker corps.

Seeing as how I’ve seen Voronin in maybe 4 Bayer games (including the two during Liverpool’s ‘05 CL run) and at the last World Cup, I’m uncomfortable commenting on his ability. And normally, that'd keep me from commenting about it, but seeing the reactions scattered around the internet today, I felt the need to join the chorus. I’m not so opposed to the signing as others seem to be.

It’s fairly obvious that Fowler’s off after this season. I’m pretty sure Voronin won’t be replacing Crouch, Kuyt or Bellamy, and I do think those players are at Liverpool for the long haul, barring any unforeseen problems. And from what I’ve seen and know, his game is different than those players.

It’s become far too easily to blindly state “In Rafa we trust” and expect that to settle an argument, but in this case, it’s where I’m ending it. He’s obviously seen something in the striker making this deal worthwhile. It’s a free transfer, and I highly doubt his wages are going to be prohibitive. It’s seemingly about replacing Robbie, and more importantly, adding another “possibility.”

Wait and see before knee-jerking, please. And don’t slaughter a player before he’s even put on a Liverpool shirt.

Update: Found this, thought it worth a note.
"...Voronin had to be content with a place on the substitutes’ bench for the early qualifiers. By dint of patience and hard work, the Bayer Leverkusen striker has become a key component in Oleg Blokhin’s system. Since his international debut in March 2002, Voronin has frequently been used as a ‘supersub’, fully justifying his coach’s faith in him whenever called upon."
If that's not a key quality in a 4th striker, I don't know what is. Also merits a mention the same article says that he's experienced playing on the left wing.

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