Not so long ago, most fans south of the border would not even have been aware of the talismanic midfielder who’s name is now on everyone’s lips: Charlie Adam. In 2009, the 25 year-old Scot, after a few years playing for Rangers had slipped down the pecking order at Ibrox and was packed off on loan to lowly Championship strugglers, Blackpool.
Having signed for the Tangerines for just £500,000 that summer, Adam set about making a name for himself, playing a key role in Blackpool’s amazing run to promotion from the Championship. Fast forward to January 2011 and Adam has become a red-hot property in the Premier League, to the extent that a beleagured Ian Holloway is having to bat away bids from the likes of Aston Villa, Tottenham and Liverpool.
So what do these clubs see in the tenacious midfielder and will they be back in for him in June? To put it simply, what is all the fuss about Charlie Adam?
Why is he so highly-rated?
Anyone following Blackpool’s unlikely rise over the last year and a half could not fail to see the impact Adam has had on the club who paid out a record fee for the Scotsman in August 2009. The tireless midfielder managed to bag a very impressive 16 league goals for Blackpool in 2009/10 and his scintillating form has continued into the top flight. The Tangerines have surprised everyone with their blockbusting debut in the Premier League, and it has been due, in no small part, to the drive and determination of their captain. Adam has attempted and completed more passes in the Premier League than any other player, an astounding fact, when you consider the calibre of the team he plays for. From midfield, Adam displays his pumped-up, committed style which incorporates tough tackling, sweet passing and accurate shooting; he also takes responsibility for corners, free kicks and penalties – all in all a versatile and dynamic central midfielder who brings an extra edge to his team.
Will Spurs and Liverpool come back for him in the summer?
Difficult to say. Spurs’ bid for Adam was a desperate lunge at the last minute. The signing would almost have been a token gesture; Harry Redknapp explained the conversation with his Chairman, Daniel Levy, as follows:
“Daniel rang me late on and asked if I like Charlie Adam. I said ‘yes, he’s a fantastic footballer’. He said do you want him, I said ‘can we get him?’ .
Surely if the manager had his heart set on bringing the player in, this conversation would have happened a long way before 10.40pm on transfer deadline day? Spurs midfield is over-flowing with midfielders as it is, there are currently ten in the squad to squeeze into 4 or 5 positions.
If we accept the Tottenham midfield, at full strength, to be: Bale, Modric, Van der Vaart, Huddlestone & Lennon – it is difficult to see who Adam would replace. The only possibility really is Huddlestone, yet Redknapp has placed a lot of faith in the former Derby midfielder, especially in the wake of the dip in form of Palacios, and the big man’s technique and range of passing suits Tottenham’s style of play.
His all-action performances for Blackpool have been impressive, but would Adam fit in with the fast-paced, slick, attacking tactics of Tottenham? Maybe, maybe not; either way he would be battling to get into the first team and would be likely to spend a lot of time warming the bench – a situation that benefits neither player nor club.
As for Liverpool, it’s possible that, with time now both to consider who’ll be available and to send scouts on missions across Europe, Kenny’s gaze will be drawn by other, more experienced and, dare I say it, better value players. Equally, if you try and think of a dynamic midfielder who has, as Hansen would say, ‘got the lot’, then you’ll probably end up thinking of Steven Gerrard; Adam is perhaps too similar in style to the Liverpool captain to warrant a place in the team – see Lampard at international level. Having said that, maybe Adam merely needs the opportunity to shine at a higher level, who knows, maybe he could take over from Gerrard when the England midfielder begins to slow?
Unfortunately for Adam, even if he did secure what would be a big money move to Anfield or White Hart Lane, it’s quite possible he’d end up like certain other central midfielders, such as Steve Sidwell, Scott Parker and Danny Murphy, who made a step-up to a bigger club, found chances at a premium and were forced to move back down a notch just for the opportunity to play.
The brief window of opportunity to play for a big club may have passed for Adam, for now; but even if Spurs and Liverpool decide not to re-register their interest, there are plenty of other Premier League clubs who could do with a player with the undoubted qualities of Charlie Adam.
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