Peter Crouch’s move to Anfield has gone through today after the player passed his medical. He has signed a four-year deal with the Reds. Liverpool also announced that Crouch will be wearing number 15 for the Reds next season, the vacant number 11 shirt seemingly being saved for someone else.
Crouch said he was extremely happy to be joining the European Champions, saying today: "I am thrilled to be joining a club as prestigious and successful as Liverpool. Once I heard of their interest in me it was hard not to think about what it would be like to pull on the famous red shirt and play in front of the Kop, but I was also very aware of my responsibilities towards Southampton."
Crouch’s attitude toward Southampton during the summer of speculation about his future, following on from the club’s relegation into the Championship, has already drawn praise from Harry Redknapp. He said that leaving Southampton was difficult, but the chance of a move to Anfield was just too good to reject: "After a lot of thought I requested the permission of the Chairman and Board of Directors of the club to talk to Liverpool. Southampton bought me from Aston Villa and allowed me to play regularly in the Premiership, resulting in an appearance for England in the summer. This helped my career tremendously and has now given me the opportunity to move to Liverpool and play on an even bigger stage, something that no-one could realistically expect me to turn down. Under almost any other circumstances I would have committed myself to helping Southampton regain their Premiership status. There is a great group of players at the club and I am sure they will be successful in the coming seasons."
Former Reds captain Jamie Redknapp’s father Harry received praise from the tall striker: "I am also very grateful to Harry Redknapp for everything he has done in my career to date, he made it clear he would not stand in my way over this transfer move. The Chairman hasalso handled the negotiations with both me and the other clubs professionally and fairly and I would like to thank both of them for the way they have conducted themselves during these discussions."
Southampton will receive £7million for the player, quite a profit on the £2million they paid for him last summer. They won’t be given the full amount straight away though – £1million is related to certain performance targets, and only £3million is being paid up-front. How much of this will be handed to Redknapp remains to be seen, but Crouch hopes that it helps his former club to do well: "I would also like to thank all the Southampton fans for their support and wish everyone at the club a successful season."
Crouch was at Melwood today going through the paces for his medical and now flies over to Switzerand to join up with his new team-mates at their training camp. The Reds play another friendly on Saturday, against Olympiakos in Liechtenstein, and Crouch looks likely to make his debut in that game. Rafa Benitez confirmed he should be ready for the game, as well as explaining how pleased he was with the new signing: "
"I’m delighted we have signed Crouch. He is a good player with a lot of good qualities and his arrival will give me more options up front. I think he will be ready for the game against Olympiacos on Saturday night. It depends on his physical condition but he has been training with Southampton so he should be okay."
Crouch is the sixth new signing so far in what has been a busy summer for Benitez and Chief executive Rick Parry.