By Andrew Fanko.
Should They Stay Or Should They Go?
As a few Subscribers mentioned, the first instalment of the series, on goalkeepers and defenders, was pretty straightforward. Now things start to get really interesting …
NB: Bellamy is classified as a forward for the purposes of the final two articles. For the record, I would have advocated selling Kuyt, but obviously his move to Fenerbahce means we don’t need to debate the Dutchman’s future. Also, remember I’m only featuring players who made at least five competitive appearances for the Reds’ first team in 2011/2012.
Age on 1 August 2012: 31 / Contract expires: 2013
Starts: 17 / Sub appearances: 4 / PPG: 2.06 / Win%: 64.7% / PGD: 13 / Goals: 6 / Assists: 4
Reasons to keep: Maxi….oh, Maxi. If only we had another midfielder in the squad with the Argentine’s touch, clever movement and eye for goal. In fact, if only the man himself were 10, or even five, years younger.
The stats come down very heavily in Maxi’s favour. Not only the PPG and win% you can see above, but also the 91% pass completion and 82% final-third pass completion Beez revealed in his stats round-up. The Argentine’s exclusion from the vast majority of first elevens last season is something that I’m sure frustrated a great many of you.
There’s something wonderfully simple about Maxi’s game. It’s tidy, compact and hugely efficient. In a squad of midfielders so lacking in goal threat, his happy knack of arriving at the far post at the right time shines like a beacon. With his age and only a year left on his contract, we won’t get much in the way of a transfer fee, so why not persuade him to stay just one more year and run down the wing for us a few more times?
Reasons to offload: The former Atlético Madrid man made it quite clear when he was substituted in the Chelsea match that he sees his future away from Anfield. If his heart isn’t in it anymore, and it does appear as though his exit this summer has been on the cards for several months, then we should just accept it and move on.
Signed on a free as a senior international for one of the world’s best teams, it’s safe to assume Maxi is on a handsome wage. Given he is unlikely to feature in the starting XI most weeks, that’s precisely the kind of unnecessary expenditure that FSG are (rightly) looking to eradicate.
Verdict: Keep. I know it’s highly unlikely, but the departure of Dalglish (or, perhaps more pertinently, the arrival of a fresh face in the dugout) may just persuade Maxi to see out his contract. I’d love this to happen because I honestly believe he could still make a big contribution next season.