Djibril Cisse scored his first goal for Marseille last night as they beat a team who are a big part of Liverpool's history, St Etienne.
With coach Albert Emon's job the subject of speculation as being about to go to Sven Goran Ericksson, despite reassurances from Jose Anigo, Cisse has to perform well to make sure the planned deal set up between Marseille and Liverpool goes ahead. Cisse is on loan at Marseille, with Marseille agreeing to buy him on a permanent deal if all goes well. He'd have already joined on a permanent deal had he not broken his leg in the summer and his ninth-minute goal should be of help in getting the permanent deal rubber-stamped.
St Etienne levelled at half-time but Marseille's Mickael Pagis got what turned out to be winner on 64 minutes.
Also out on loan but without a permanent deal already lined up is Cisse's fellow striker Florent Sinama-Pongolle. Flo made a big mistake last season when on loan at Blackburn by claiming that the city of Liverpool was populated mainly by Everton fans. These comments were made at a time when Flo had been linked with Everton, and with that statement being not only wrong but also a big part of Everton's "People's Club" propaganda (despite being unable to even come close to filling their stadium) his popularity took a huge dive amongst Reds fans. No matter how well he does on his travels now he'll find it hard to play in a Liverpool shirt again.
This is a pity really, Flo is doing ok in Spain, scoring his sixth goal on Wednesday night when Recreativo beat giant Real Madrid 3-0 in Madrid. Rafa said that he and his backroom staff are keeping an eye on all the loan players, to ensure that they get the right price in any permanent deals, or to see if the players should come back to Anfield at the end of the loan.
"We have scouts watching all our loan players and we know Sinama is playing very well in Spain," said Rafa on Thursday. "We are analysing every game our loan players are involved in and know exactly what each is doing. Djibril Cisse is also back playing again, and we are monitoring all of them closely because we realise they are still our players."
He says that he can't really predict yet where Flo's future lies: "It's far too early to say what's going to happen in the future. We have a loan deal which keeps Sinama at Recreativo for the season. After this, they will either use an option to sign the player or he will come back."
And it seems that funding may be an issue for Recreativo: "It's not clear at this moment whether they would have enough money to be able to buy the player."