There is talk that Liverpool may be planning a bid to resign Xabi Alonso from Real Madrid. The Spanish midfielder is out of contract this summer and could leave Madrid for free or they may even sell him this January for a small fee. Either way, it looks like Alonso’s time is up at Real as they are not likely to offer him a new contract.
Two possible destinations have emerged for Alonso, Liverpool and Chelsea. Now at Liverpool we have a policy of not buying players over 30-years old but Alonso may be an exception if Brendan Rodgers really wants him. The question would then be, “where does Alonso fit in, in the current Liverpool side?”
If Liverpool continue to play 3-5-2 with the two central midfielders, Alonso would have to displace either Gerrard or Lucas in that setup. And we all know Rodgers will not drop Gerrard!
Currently, the Gerrard and Lucas partnership has not been all that impressive as Gerrard’s legs start to age. Lucas is not known for his raking passes or ability to attack, that is what Gerrard has to do in the partnership. Now let’s say Alonso does sign and we stick to 3-5-2 then Lucas may be the player to fall out and we can see a Gerrard and Alonso partnership again. In its day, this partnership matched any in the world but now both players have clocked up the mileage on their bodies and we would not expect all-action displays from them. What you would get though is a lot of control of the ball in the midfield as both are great passers and would not give the ball away cheaply. One thing that partnership would be though is slow and against teams who play three in the middle, we would be overrun! Both do not have the legs anymore to go up and down the field so they would simply be sitting back and just pinging the passes all over the field.
On the other hand if Liverpool do revert back to 4-3-3 and field three central defenders we may have better luck in accommodating Alonso. With Gerrard and Alonso in that setup, we could then have another more athletic midfielder like Henderson or even Lucas to make the trio. That would be a more balanced central midfield that could match any other in the league right now.
Then again, if Alonso does join the Reds, he may not be an automatic starter and the side would remain as is i.e. Lucas and Gerrard and then Alonso would come in when either of those two are injured, suspended or not in form.
Alonso was a great player for Liverpool and went on to do a fine job at Madrid. We have not had the best of luck with players returning to the club i.e. Robbie Fowler as we still remember then for what they did in their prime and we expect them to do the same on their return which is never the case. Fans would have to accept that we may not get a brilliant Alonso back but we would have a quality player who can still do a decent job for at least a year or two.
How would you like to see Liverpool set up if Alonso does make a return to Anfield?