Bony, Remy or someone else?
Remy or Bony? Does it matter? I’m not sure it does. Judging by the focus on acquiring yet more attacking midfielders it seems clear Rodgers will be operating with only one central striker for the vast majority of the time from now on.
Should he stay fit, that striker is Daniel Sturridge. So anyone who comes in is likely to be playing a secondary role and sharing it with Rickie Lambert too.
On paper, Remy or Bony both appear to offer similar upsides. Both are in their mid-twenties prime (27 and 25), both notched well over double figures (14 and 16 respectively) in relatively poor Premier League teams last season, both have achieved similarly impressively prolific strike rates at their previous clubs and both seem to fit in with the Rodgeball philosophy.
Remy would reportedly be available for around £8m to a top four club, which is around half of Bony’s asking price. In that respect, he’d appear to be a lower risk signing. However that for-the-money move to QPR after failing to turn up for talks at Newcastle, the wage demands that reportedly put off Arsenal, plus the recent drink driving ban suggests he’s a bit of a knob (he’s a French footballer, of course he is).
Of course, we’d all prefer a ‘statement' signing like Alexis Sanchez if we’re looking to replace Suarez. It would look good wouldn’t it? But who is out there and, more specifically, who is available? There’s also no such thing as a sure thing in this game. Look at Spurs last summer. They were so desperate to blow that Bale cash they ended up with Paulinho and Soldado. No thanks.
Of course, Remy or Bony aren’t that exciting. The internet might explode if we replaced Suarez with either of them, but then people were underwhelmed by the Sturridge signing too and that worked out pretty damn well.
Rather than take a risk on a striker and pay an inflated post-World Cup transfer fee just for the sake of spending the Suarez cash, I’d prefer us to be prudent and address other areas of the team. If that means Lovren and Moreno (Brendan’s targets, not necessarily mine) come in and we end up getting Bony or Remy, I’ll be more than happy with that. If Origi joins next summer, as seems likely, we’re well stocked for the future up front.
If we’re looking to augment what we have rather than make a big splash, then Remy, Bony or even the big leg Fabio would be alright with me.
I am answering this in the belief that Rodgers is going to be playing a front three wherever possible this season. When we have a lone centre forward – rather than a front two – and I am thinking about potential back-up strikers my thinking is normally along the lines that I would like us to bring in an experienced pro who offers something else and will be happy to be on the bench.
In this instance though pleasingly we have actually already bought a player like that in Lambert. So with that in mind in terms of a choice between Remy and Bony (I'll stick with those two as I don’t know enough about the likely options abroad to judge fairly) I would choose Remy.
The reasons are that whilst I like Bony I feel that he is a player who would be more suited to playing up front on his own and I don’t see him as being able to form a natural partnership with Sturridge or Lambert if needed too. Moreover – and I may well be wrong on this – I see Bony after the season he has just had as expecting to play more often than not.
On the other hand I feel Remy would be more prepared to be rotated and I also feel he has the range of attributes and experience to be able to play as a replacement for Sturridge when needed or as a partner to him / Lambert or if necessity dictates to play on the left hand side of a front three. I feel that this versatility – something most of Rodgers’ targets tend to have – would make him a really useful part of our squad.
The other major reason for him being my preference is that I feel that his price would mean that we are able to improve the squad relatively cheaply – whilst still securing a very good player – leaving more funds available to strengthen the more pressing areas of the team i.e. fullbacks and centre backs.
Ultimately I feel that if we were after a player to play as a lone striker and who we would build around then Bony would be a good choice and probably be worth that fee. However, if we are after a player to be part of a rotation system, or to partner our other strikers on occasion and to help out in other areas when needed then I think Remy with his skillset and price make more sense for us.
Of the two I would prefer Bony. His goal return last season was very impressive considering he was playing for a bang average team. He also had performed well before that in Holland so it isn’t a one off. This lad scores goals. He’s a physical presence and holds the ball up well.
He can come across as a bit lazy occasionally but he puts the ball in the net – and that’s what matters. £19m is a lot for someone not guaranteed to start however, unless we intend to change our formation. We will have more games to cope with next season though - hopefully a lot more!
I have seen a lot less of Remy strangely enough, but he’s another one who seems to stick it in the net no matter who he is playing for. At £8m he would be a good signing so long as he stays out of trouble as he comes across as a bit of a tool to be honest. Stories that have come out about him from QPR, Newcastle and reported wage demands that scared off Arsenal are things that stick in my mind.
The big thing about this debate is linked to how we’re going to play next season. Daniel Sturridge is going to be our main man and the way he has played since he has signed for Liverpool means he completely deserves that. The same history dictates however that he isn’t going to play every game and will miss patches of the season.
We have options in that area because of the way we play as our wide players chip in goals and of course we have signed Lambert. This is all about giving us options, which is where we struggled at times last season – being able to bring match changing quality from the bench.
I do prefer Bony, but £19m is a lot for someone who I don’t think is going to play that much if Sturridge is fit and firing. £8m for Remy is more sensible but I think we need more of what the Swansea man has to offer. Incidentally, Bony was available for £12m last summer. Or if you prefer, Alberto and Aspas plus some change….
At this moment, just after the World Cup has finished and the weather is still warm, I can’t quite concentrate on the transfer window. The endless speculation bores me and I just want the season to start. The only reason that I find myself mildly interested at the moment is that the club has Ted Danson money to throw around, and having a lot of cash to spend is always a little bit exciting.
The slight pitfall is that when you have Ted Danson money, you kind of expect the signings to be top echelon stuff. The club’s back in the Champions League (good luck getting tickets for those games) and we’ve all been told that it’s the key to attracting big names and all that. Now I’m not a name snob by any means, a signing like Rickie Lambert can be just as exciting as picking up an apparent wonder kid like Lizard Markovic, but I can’t shake the feeling that none of the strikers we’ve been linked to are that encouraging, but then I thought, who really is a big name striker these days, aside from the bloke we just sold?
Not that I have a deep, working knowledge of World football and which strikers are the ones to go after. It seems the art of the striker is waning a little bit after the recent experiments with false nines and the like, and players like Higuain and Cavani, supposed superstar strikers, haven’t really impressed me when I’ve seen them play (so obviously my small sample size means I’m utterly right because that’s what most of us do). They’re good, they’re just not £40 million+ good.
So I can’t really sit here and poo-poo the idea that we shouldn’t buy Remy (he's alright, but I don’t trust French strikers) or Bony (I seem to be alone in thinking he was terrible up until late January) but neither of them make me think they’ll help us push on. It’s not that they’re not big enough names, or that their records aren’t setting the world alight, it’s something else.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason for this is that none of them are Luis Suarez. No matter what happens, that’s the conclusion I keep coming back to. He was one of the best in the world, he could make things happen and, on the field, he was worth every penny. So I guess I have to just defer judgement on potential strikers because my opinion of them is filtered through a Luis Suarez lens, and through that everyone looks like crap in comparison. Unless we buy Thomas Muller.
We’re not buying Thomas Muller.