Jerzy Dudek’s agent continues to work hard to fulfil his player’s wishes by trying to engineer him a move away from Anfield. Dudek is now firmly installed in Reds folklore after his display at the Ataturk Stadium in May, but this hasn’t been enough to earn him a place as first-choice keeper at Anfield this season, not even for one match. Dudek’s concern is that if he doesn’t get to play some games this season his dreams of representing Poland in the World Cup this summer will be all but gone.
Although Dudek would prefer to stay a Liverpool player, he wants to play. Pepe Reina’s form has made that highly unlikely, and when the Spanish keeper was rested recently for the FA Cup tie with Luton, it was young Scott Carson that took his place.
Articles in the media shortly after that tie attributed quotes to Dudek where he allegedly made highly critical comments against Rafael Benítez. Dudek later made a denial that he’d ever said those things, saying he had great respect for the manager. No doubt that the quotes came from someone representing Dudek though, but rather than help him to get a move they seemed to hinder his chances. He returned to the bench on Saturday after being demoted to third choice recently, but of course that is not enough of an improvement for the player.
Dudek’s agent has told the press in Germany that his client wants to get back on the field again, and says that FC Cologne want to help him achieve that. Speaking to the Cologne Express, Jan de Zeeuw said: “Jerzy wants to play at the World Cup and just to play football again. Jerzy would be willing to move to Germany and join Cologne, but we need to reach a compromise with Liverpool.” In other words the German side want an undoubtedly good goalkeeper, who has an enhanced reputation after his performance in Istanbul, but they don’t fancy the £4million price tag quoted after the recent press articles. No doubt Liverpool are willing to compromise to some extent, but the days of letting unhappy players leave at cut price are gone. Dudek is an experienced goalkeeper and an injury to Reina would see him chosen ahead of Carson to take over, so Benítez will only accept serious offers.
Dudek’s penalty shoot-out heroics followed on from his wonder save that not only denied AC Milan’s Andriy Shevchenko what would have been a winning goal, but seemed to sap all of the confidence from the striker. Shevchenko saw his shoot-out effort saved and Liverpool won the Champions League. Reina’s signing had already been agreed before the final, meaning Dudek’s days as first-choice keeper were already numbered.