Signing players off the back of a successful World Cup has become an all-too-common theme in football, and Liverpool’s capture of Ukrainian flop Andriy Voronin is a testament to that.
Whether Rafael Benitez was feeling a bit lazy and fancied doing his all-important scouting from the comfort of his armchair or Liverpool were genuinely long-term admirers of the former Bayer Leverkusen man (which carries a little more credence owing to the fact they met in the Champions League in 2005), we don’t know. However, what we are a little surer of is that Voronin was an absolute disaster following his free transfer from Germany in February 2007.
Now, that may sound a little harsh, but come on. People paid good money to watch him play, and he barely did anything. Even a desperately overweight, by-line sniffing 31-year-old Robbie Fowler was much better value, and he was way past his best.
Funnily enough, when Voronin finally did get his chance to shine he actually looked a fairly decent player – which has us wondering, what on earth went wrong? He scored a vital goal in the Champions League qualifiers in Toulouse, and league goals against Sunderland and Derby soon followed. Although this “achievement” should be taken with a pinch of salt for obvious reasons.
The pony-tailed crusader continued his “form” before hitting an injury snag at the beginning of 2008. Happy new year to you, Andriy. Although he made his return at the end of the season and reminded fans that he still existed (we had forgotten ourselves) netting against Blackburn and Tottenham, six goals in 28 league appearances is a pretty poor return.
Rafa Benitez, probably aware that Voronin was making a mockery of his judgement (and scouting techniques *cough* television *cough*), sent the forward on loan to Hertha Berlin for the entirety of the 2000/09 season before allowing him to warm the bench the following year for half a season prior to his exit in January in 2010.
Some say the Ukrainian was reincarnated in the form of Andy Carroll a few years later, and we are inclined to believe that given just how awful the pair of them were. Then again, even the Englishman looked better than our man Voronin.
Liverpool fans, Andriy Voronin…thoughts? Was he the worst signing Rafa Benitez made? Let us know in the comments below…
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