Rafael Benítez told the official Liverpool FC website tonight that he felt the return of Robbie Fowler would be another step forward for Liverpool and a boost for the team, the fans and the player himself. Rafa said: “My idea is for Liverpool to take one step forward and I think Robbie can help us make that step. We have signed a player with so much passion for this football club and I think he will act as an example to every player here in how much he loves Liverpool. It is a boost for the team, a boost for the supporters and a boost for Robbie himself. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a player quite so happy to be joining a club before.”
Robbie’s departure from Anfield under the previous regime was a big blow to the player, and his return has undoubtedly been the move of his dreams, not to mention all those who follow the Reds with such passion: “I think it’s a signing that will lift everyone who loves Liverpool Football Club because Robbie is a great finisher who can help us reach a new level.”
Being so passionate about the club he plays for is obviously a good quality in any player, but Rafa makes clear that this isn’t the reason he was brought home: “He hasn’t been signed because he loves the club – he’s been signed because he’s one of the best goal-scorers ever to play in the Premiership. He can score goals for us right now. He’s got a wealth of experience and he gives us more attacking options. He’s a different kind of striker to what we have at the club and that is good for the team.”
Benítez also commented on the bargain Fowler looks so likely to be:
“People can talk about having a lot of money to buy players but we’ve
just signed a player with a passion and a heart for this club that no
amount of money can buy. We are close to a very high level right now
but with Robbie we can go even higher.”
Earlier in the day a more cagy Rafa Benítez did not deny that Robbie
was to return, instead he evaded the question in a similar way to his
Michael Owen comments during the summer: “I cannot say it will never
happen. I cannot say no, I cannot say yes.” By that stage the deal was
almost done, but Benítez wasn’t yet in a position to make that comment.
Yesterday’s denial by Rick Parry, as reported by the Liverpool Echo, of
the Reds having any contact with City over the player was obviously an
attempt to keep the media away from the negotiations.
Fowler left Manchester City with the blessing of their manager Stuart
Pearce. Speaking on the official City website, Pearce said: “Liverpool
are his dream club and he wanted to leave and rejoin them. If I refused
him this opportunity of fulfilling his ambition it would not be good
for him or Manchester City Football Club. We wish him well for the
future and thank him for his efforts.” Fowler was signed for City by
Pearce’s predecessor Kevin Keegan before in 2003 for £6million.