According to two reliable sources of Liverpool information, it looks like Liverpool midfielder Darren Potter’s days as a Red are now numbered as we move closer to the transfer window.
Potter started the season off being used by Rafael Benitez as a right-sided midfielder, but failed to make enough of an impression on the manager to keep himself as part of the regular squad. He’s spent the rest of the season stuck in limbo between the reserves and the first team, getting little playing time in the process. The early exit from the Carling Cup hasn’t helped the situation for the player and now he’s got a decision to make.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Scottish side Hearts are prepared to pay £750,000 for the player as they look to increase their push for the Scottish league title. This season has seen a big change in Scottish football with Celtic and Hearts the two sides moving further away from the rest.
The website of the Liverpool FC fanzine “The Liverpool Way” has now added more to the story with their own confirmation of how unhappy Potter has become at Anfield. He accepts that the Reds midfield is so strong that it’s going to be hard to get himself established in the side, yet in his heart he doesn’t feel ready to leave the European Champions just yet.
As for Liverpool, TLW say that the club will be happy to accept the offer, but are letting the player make the decision on whether to go for the move or not. Potter’s out injured at the moment and alternative moves could yet come up for the player before the month is out.
TLW also reports unhappiness for another Reds reserve player and product of the Academy, David Raven. When the Reds named their 23-man squad for Japan they included Raven, but then left the player at home along with the injured Potter. Raven was already down about not getting near enough to a first team place but the change of heart on taking him to Japan seems to have added to his unhappiness. It seems Raven isn’t even getting a chance of a loan move because he’s considered to be required as cover for Steve Finnan at right-back. The other club right back, Josemi, is not likely to be a Liverpool player by the end of January.
Raven’s unhappy more than anything because he’s desperate to play football at a higher level than that played by the reserves so that he can develop. If Rafael Benitez wants to keep the player happy then he needs to start showing him some signs that he’s considered part of his future plans, and perhaps a start to that would be to include him in the squad for league games ahead of Josemi. Rafa’s great work at improving morale with the main part of the squad has brought all the benefits of the recent unbeaten run, but the discontent amongst some of the fringe players does need to be addressed, if only to offer hope to the youngsters still at the academy.