Maynor Figueroa, the Wigan Athletic full back, is being strongly linked with a move to Liverpool this summer. Despite the number of players being linked with the club over the past week or so, something tells me that there is more substance to this particular link.
The Honduran certainly captured fans attention last season, scoring a fantastic goal in the game against Stoke City. Having made 75 league appearances for Wigan since joining initially on loan in 2008, Figueroa has been one of their stand out players. Now there is a big difference between performing for Wigan Athletic and performing for Liverpool. Would Figueroa be able to make the step up?
He certainly has qualities that will appeal to the Reds, particularly his strong left foot, a valued strength in football these days with a shortage of left-footers. With Glen Johnson on the opposite side, he could help to bring balance to the defence. The Honduran is also athletic and powerful, in contrast to Emiliano Insua whose small stature and lack of strength has been targeted by opposing teams. The left back area is without doubt one of the positions which needs to be strengthened.
I think Figueroa would be an improvement on Insua but only for the right price. If ,as is being reported, Insua does leave the club for £5 million and if Figueroa can be bought for around the same price then this I feel would be good business. Is Figueroa what Liverpool fans would normally hope for? The answer would be no. But whilst new owners are still to be found and money is unfortunately just not there then the club need to make the most of what they have at their disposal. The best full backs now cost big money, even Glen Johnson cost £17 million.
I thought Liverpool didn’t have any money? Johnson, it’s now known, was paid for by the £10 million that Portsmouth still owed the club for Peter Crouch and the other £7 million added on, in all likihood, in desperation to acquire the British players needed for UEFA’s new quota system. Many fans argue that the decision to spend this amount of money on a full back was one of Rafael Benitez’s last major errors as Liverpool manager. It would therefore be foolish to have a repeat this summer when supporters want to see the majority of the transfer budget spent on attacking players, the area where the team is most lacking. Figueroa may not be every supporters choice to add to the squad but.. he is better than Insua. Despite straining to see it, that is progress, however small. If, as we all hope, new owners arrive quickly and with cash to spend then we can shop in a different price bracket but until then we need to try and spot the potential in certain players and hope they can realise it.