Liverpool have had arguably the most frantic deadline day since transfer windows were first introduced with a fallen her making way for two new ones.
Fernando Torres abandoned Liverpool at a moment of need but in doing so opened the eyes of fans who’d stood by him for perhaps too long. Lack of form and lack of enthusiasm were forgiven, often put down to the injuries he was increasingly beginning to suffer from.
He’s understood to have met Chelsea long before this transfer window, but with no firm offers forthcoming after he’d been suffering from injury he left fans thinking he was staying out of loyalty to them. They’d have understood had he left anytime after the summer of 2009, when Liverpool became a club that had to sell players to buy more. They’d have understood had he said he’d had enough of Roy Hodgson’s awful brand of football.
But now that Hicks, Gillett, Purslow and Hodgson were out of the way he no longer had any excuse.
He signed for Chelsea for £50m. There was said to be a tricky moment during negotiations of personal terms, his demands over image rights taking some time to be met.
In his place comes Andy Carroll. Just 22 years of age, this is a player who will serve Liverpool for years to come. His fee might seem high, but by the time his five-and-a-half year contract is up he’ll still have years left to play. He takes the Liverpool number nine shirt.
He also makes a huge emotional sacrifice in joining the Reds. He’s swapped the pride of playing for the hometown club he supported all his life for joining the Reds at the beginning of their effort to get back to where they should be.
The fee hasn’t been disclosed, but is believed to be £35m. It’s a record for an English player moving to another English club and we look forward to seeing him in the shirt worn by legends like Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler.
We also look forward to the first match for Luis Suarez. He also signed a five-and-a-half year deal, signing from Ajax for a fee that was, briefly, Liverpool’s record transfer fee. The Uruguayan international will cost the Reds up to €26.5m.
Suarez will wear King Kenny’s old number, 7, as also worn by Peter Beardsley and Kevin Keegan.
A youngster also arrived on loan on the last day of the window. 17-year-old Conor Thomas was brought in from Coventry City until the end of the season, when the Reds will consider making it a permanent deal. He’ll join the reserves squad.
Daniel Ayala was set to join Derby County on loan, but the two clubs later agreed that Ayala should continue his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury at Melwood. Another former no 7 for Liverpool, Nigel Clough, is now Derby’s manager and he confirmed that all being well the defender would still be joining up with The Rams: “We still want Daniel to join us and we are pretty confident that will happen, albeit later in February.
“We have had him checked over and the advice we are getting is that he won’t be ready to play for a number of weeks yet It makes sense for everyone involved that Daniel continues his rehabilitation with Liverpool at Melwood.”
Clough praised the club and its staff, as well as the player: “Liverpool have been tremendous to deal with throughout this process and I would like to thank Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli for their help and willingness to allow Daniel to come to Derby County.
“The player himself is a great character and the time we have spent with him today showed us he is the right type of person and player we want to bring to Derby County.”
One player who did leave the club on loan today was Paul Konchesky, who will spend the rest of the season on emergency loan at Nottingham Forest.
Moves for Ashley Young, Charlie Adam and Stephen Warnock didn’t come off.