A huge sigh of relief has gone out around Anfield tonight as the deal to exchange Spanish full-back Josemi for Dutch full-back Jan Kromkamp has gone through in full. Josemi had already completed his signing for Villareal, but Kromkamp didn’t complete the formalities of his move until today, when he passed his medical and the paperwork was completed.
Kromkamp has been signed as a full-back and will provide both cover and competition for Irish international Steve Finnan. The Dutch star however is also capable of playing a more advanced role should Rafa feel that he needs to make use of him there.
The deal is effectively one that sees the Reds make a huge profit – Josemi cost the Reds £2million, Kromkamp was signed by Villareal six months ago for £4.8million, and the deal was a straight exchange.
25-year-old Kromkamp struggled to settle in at Villareal, with language difficulties being named as the biggest problem he faced. At Anfield he’ll have his compatriot Bolo Zenden to help him settle in to some extent, although Bolo’s not going to be playing for the Reds again this season thanks to injury. Speaking about the deal last week, Reds boss Rafael Benitez said: “He is a strong full-back, aggressive and offensive. He can play as a full-back or a wing-back.” Kromkamp is hoping to get a decent run in the team for the Reds in advance of the World Cup in Germany.
Kromkamp has been signed in time to be eligible for selection in this Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie at Luton. He won’t however be able to play in the Champions League this season – he’d already played for Villareal earlier in the season.
Liverpool also finalised another exchange deal today – seventeen-year-old Hull City winger Paul Anderson became a Red with midfielder John Welsh moving the other way. Welsh had looked for some time to be set to become the next home-grown player to start making regular first-team appearances. Unfortunately for John the position he plays was already full of quality and so the central midfielder’s loan move to Hull has now become a permanent deal. Anderson will train at Melwood as part of the reserve squad, which has been gradually improved over the course of the season with a host of signings of promising youngsters.
In a busy day for Reds transfer news, Millwall announced that defender Zak Whitbread, on loan from Anfield, will stay with them for the rest of the season. They also announced that they had been given permission by Liverpool to play him in the FA Cup this weekend if they wish.
There’s more to come this January with Darren Potter and Francis Smith both set to leave the Liverpool set-up to become Hearts players. Also looking set for a move before the month is out is right-back David Raven. According to website The Liverpool Way, Raven is finally going to be granted his wish of a loan move after the deal to sign Kromkamp went through and gave Rafa some cover for the right-back position.