Friday 18 January 2019

Ronnie Whelan: Good riddance to Torres - but huge fee well spent on new Dalglish era

I’M DELIGHTED that Fernando Torres and his bad attitude have departed Anfield. For too long now he has been a brooding ball of negativity, which has had an adverse affect on the rest of the squad.

I also think that we are taking a huge gamble on Andy – but what a statement of intent by the Liverpool owners.

And there’s nothing like a flood of cash to cheer up everyone involved in Liverpool and I have to say, I’m not a bit sorry to see much money was flying around the place last night.

Some time ago I thought that it would take a funding injection on a massive scale to bring Anfield back into some sort of competitive shape.

I reckoned that the squad was as bad as I have ever seen at Anfield and nothing short of a root and branch overhaul was required.

I also believed that Fernando Torres (pictured above) would almost certainly have to be sold to generate at least part of the money.

Liverpool fans should shed no tears that he’s gone. If they are honest, Torres has been a brooding and it must be said, negative presence in the squad for some time now.

I’d take Luis Suarez plus £30m over a player who told the club he wanted to leave and I have to say, if the deal had not been done at the last minute last night, I would have played the Uruguayan up front on his own and left Torres to kick his heels with the reserves.

That’s the game and no matter how much potential a player has, he’s no good to anyone if he can’t or won’t play to his potential.

I have to say, I didn’t think there was any real prospect of such an enormous amount being made available all at once and so soon after FSG took over the club.

But fair play to John Henry and of course Roman Abramovich, who has signed a fantastic young player but handed Kenny Dalglish a route toward renewal.

What impresses me most about Henry and the FSG commitment to the club is that it went much further than simply replacing Torres with Luis Suarez.

The outlay on Andy Carroll is both a gamble and a big statement of intent but in some way, the players who were not signed yesterday gave an even better indication of the way forward.

Serious offers for Charlie Adam and Ashley Young represented something more than just marking time while Henry and his backers figure out exactly what they bought into when they took over from Hicks and Gillett.

These are players who would have added quality and depth of the right age to the squad and I hope Kenny will be able to go back in for them and others in the summer.

It won’t get any easier or indeed cheaper for Henry and his pals because however impressive and significant the spend is in this window, it could take the same again in the next two to build the squad up to the required level.

There is also the question of raised expectations but I always felt that Dalglish could handle that once there was clear signs that FSG were prepared to back him.

I don’t think there can be any doubt about that now. He may be the caretaker manager but he was centrally involved in this little shopping spree and it must be patently obvious to Henry now that Dalglish is indeed the perfect solution to his long term problems.

Of course it is still possible that Henry will eventually decide that while Kenny has done a great job of rallying Anfield during desperate times, another man might be better placed to take things to another level but I don’t think that’s very likely now.

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