Today marks the 12th anniversary of Xabi Alonso completing his £30m moves from Liverpool to Real Madrid. The words of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard when reflecting on Xabi Alonso’s 2009 transfer to Real Madrid in his latest autobiography back in 2015. They say time is a great healer but that has never been the case when it comes to the Spaniard, as Gerrard’s words prove.
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“It was a disastrous decision to sell Alonso. I culpability Rafa entirely for the loss of Alonso.”
He is not alone with the Reds fanbase still ruing the playmaker’s exit even now, 12 years on from his move to the Bernabeu, even if Premier League and Champions League beauty under Jurgen Klopp has whole wounds rather in recent years. Yet what makes such ill-feeling even further curious is none of it is meant at the player or their movements taken to conduct such a move.
In difference, Javier Mascherano, Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling, and Philippe Coutinho’s exoduses in the years that tailed were all doused in controversy which would ultimately damage their standing with supporters. But flat though Alonso gave in a transfer appeal to force through his switch to the Bernabeu, he evaded such bitterness when calling time on his Liverpool football club career.
After all, while finishing his move to Real Madrid on August 5, 2009, it was just the finish line at the end of a 17-month saga and one exit that could have simply been so avoidable. The essentials of Alonso’s Anfield exit are well-known. Rafa Benitez required to sign Gareth Barry from Aston Villa football club in the summer of 2008 in a bid to boost the club’s homegrown quota. For more to know About Manchester United Vs Liverpool Tickets.
“Xabi is very clever. He is good with long and short permits. He has more skill than asset. He is intelligent and will play well, Benitez said when signing his national in 2004. He will give us more options in the midfield.”
That was not the case: we need a sure amount, to cover the fee for Barry and give us some funds in standby for other players. We could not afford to sell cheap. We (also) could not agree on a fee that we felt was suitable and it became increasingly clear there was little or no chance that a deal would be completed.
“At almost the same time as we made it plain to Juventus that they would have to meet our valuation if they wanted to sign Alonso, we pulled out of talks with Villa.”
£18m was all Liverpool football club was challenging for Alonso in the summer of 2008, without any success. Yet, that showed to be a consecration in disguise for Liverpool as both Alonso and Barry remained put. Instead, Benitez used the Reds’ available funds to sign Robbie Keane from Tottenham Hotspur as Liverpool went agonizingly close to winning the Premier League, despite the Republic of Ireland international flopping and returning to North London after.
Unavoidably, such form encouraged the interest of Real Madrid and the Spaniard deceased for the Bernabeu. Meanwhile, Barry opted to join Manchester City as Liverpool football club ended up with another expensive flop in the shape of Alberto Aquilani and dropped from second to seventh in the table, important to Benitez losing his job.
“We required an offensive midfielder, somebody who would be able to create more clear-cut chances for our spell, a player who would be able to deliver the penetrating passes that Fernando Torres, in particular, thrived on,” Benitez recalled.
The problem was his (Aquilani) fitness. In fact, he was only within our price range because he had hurt an ankle injury the earlier season and had been forced to undergo an process to fix the problem.
“He is often sacked as a failure at Liverpool but I am poised that, given time, he would have shown his quality, once he had fully improved from his injuries.”
But Benitez had been backed into a angle and was merely playing the hand he had been allocated. After all, weren’t they all just fatalities of Hicks and Gillett’s penny-pinching, backbiting, and incompetence, with the Americans’ worst days at Anfield still to come. For more to know About Liverpool Vs Arsenal Tickets.
Had Liverpool football club been able to call upon more reliable owners, Benitez would not have been forced to wheel-and-deal in the transfer market, sacrificing first-team players and gambling on injured recruits in a desperate bid to keep the Reds afloat in rather challenging circumstances.
Ultimately, Liverpool football club were the only losers from Alonso’s departure, with Benitez paying the biggest price, with the midfielder going on to win La Liga and the Champions League in Madrid, while Barry would lift a Premier League title and FA Cup in Manchester.
Liverpool Football club would spend the next 10 years in the doldrums before Klopp bringing the glory days back to Anfield, but Alonso staying put would not have prevented a decline. Despite Gerrard’s claims, a future exit would have been inevitable as the Reds’ financial problems became increasingly clear, with Mascherano and Torres the next big names to depart the club only further proof of that.
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