Liverpool’s former reserve captain John Welsh is set to make his loan move to Hull permanent in the new year.
Welsh was highly-rated during his time in the reserves, showing enough promise to become England’s under-21 captain at one stage, but eventually fell out of the plans of Rafa Benitez. It was still felt that Welsh was only at Hull to get experience before coming back to Anfield, but now it seems Rafa is happy enough with the midfielders he’s already got at his disposal. Welsh has to find a way past Gerrard, Alonso, Sissoko and Hamann to get a place in the centre of midfield
Although many will be disappointed to see Welsh end his Anfield days, the consolation is that Rafa will be bringing a promising youngster back to Anfield in return.
Teenager Paul Anderson was on trial at Anfield earlier in the season, and was impressive enough for Liverpool to try and set up a deal. According to the Sporting Life, behind-the-scenes disagreements at Anfield meant the deal nearly didn’t go ahead. Rafa has made big changes to the reserves at Anfield, letting a lot of youngsters move out and bringing in others from elsewhere. There were already talks of difficulty between the academy and the previous Reds boss Gerard Houllier, and no doubt Rafa’s policy of buying from other club’s youth set-ups won’t go down well with some.
In the end Hull and Liverpool agreed the swap deal and all being well the 17-year-old will be training at Melwood in the new year. Hull’s chairman, Adam Pearson, explained the deal from their point of view: "We don’t want to lose Paul, but neither do we want to be in a situation whereby he moves to Liverpool when his scholarship expires and then we receive pittance for him at a tribunal. The fact is he wants to join Liverpool and will now do so in January in a swap for John Welsh. The ideal scenario would be to keep Paul and sign John permanently as well, but it’s not to be."