Pearce: Fowler will be Reds success

Stuart Pearce has spoken of his belief that Robbie Fowler could become a big success for Liverpool on his return home. Fowler started his second stint as a Red after signing on a free transfer on Friday, and Pearce said his natural instincts will allow him to do well for the European Champions: “Robbie is a predator and a finisher and I have no doubt he will prove to be a success. Liverpool tend to have the lion’s share of possession in matches and Rafael Benitez has said they do not have a natural finisher, which is exactly what he is.”

Opinion on whether Fowler will be a hit or miss second time round is divided amongst neutrals, many feeling he’s past his best. Others are even suggesting that a successful partnership with Peter Crouch over the next few months could see him back in the England squad. What is certain though is that Fowler will have all of the enthusiasm he’d started to lose under Gerard Houllier, as Pearce pointed out: “You could see he was 10 feet tall when he walked through the door and from his point of view it is a fantastic move.”

Last summer the striker and his agent, George Scott, first found out that Rafael Benítez was an admirer of Fowler, and would not rule out a return for the striker. If anything would get in the way of a Fowler return it would be his wages, his fitness and his form. Added to that would be the fact that at the start of the season the striker would still command a transfer fee from City. Six months on and the form and fitness had been proven with his displays in the FA Cup for City along with his clincher against Manchester United and wages were not a concern for Robbie – he was prepared to take a wage cut to play for the Reds. Liverpool let Scott know they wanted to bring Fowler on board, and Liverpool made the official approach to City last week. Rick Parry denied Liverpool had spoken about a loan deal, which was true because the deal was for a free transfer.

Other clubs had been in touch about a move for Fowler. His agent
fielded enquiries from Wigan amongst others. Fowler laughed off the
idea of joining Everton too, but at the end of the day if he knew
Liverpool were interested then there was no way he was going to fancy
joining any other club. For Fowler to move now, it was down to City.
Fowler could of course hang on until the summer when it was entirely
his own choice, but Stuart Pearce knew that Fowler’s heart was set on a
move back to Anfield.

Fowler was the highest paid member of the City squad and would have
cost the club around £1million if he’d stayed for the rest of the
season. Pearce felt that in the end the saving in wages for a player
that he may only use as a substitute justified letting him go without a
fee. Added to that was the emotional side of the move, which wasn’t
lost on Pearce, and in the end the decision was fairly straightforward
for the manager: “I could either let him go or keep him, tell him to
carry on doing what he has been, and then put him on the bench. I
wouldn’t say it was a no-brainer but it has worked well for both
parties. In truth, given Robbie’s history, I could not look him in the
eye and deny him the opportunity he had been given while the deal also
freed up some cash for me to bring players in.”

City have now almost completed their move for a new striker to replace
Fowler, Heerenveen’s Georgios Samaras. He’s expected to sign a
four-and-a-half-year deal with City if their £6million bid is