Mascherano departure represents a blow for Liverpool

By Michael Owen
javier mascherano(Photo: Ryu Voelkel)

javier mascherano

Javier Mascherano’s imminent departure from Anfield represents a major blow to Liverpool, regardless of the transfer fee.

Whilst many saw the Argentine midfielder as the most dispensable of the Liverpool’s dynamic trio—made up of Mascherano, Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard—there is little doubt that the 26-year-old has become one of the best defensive midfielders in world football, an achievement that will probably be evidenced in the player’s eventual transfer fee.

It is hard to imagine that when Liverpool originally signed Mascherano, he was unable to break in to West Ham’s first team, instead spending large amounts of time with the East London club’s reserve set-up. It was a world away from what he was set to experience during his time at Anfield.

During his first season on Merseyside the Argentina captain was a part of a Champions League campaign in which the Reds saw off Barcelona, PSV Eindhoven and Chelsea before being beaten by just one goal at the hands of 2005 rivals AC Milan in the final in Athens.

Mascherano also partook in Liverpool’s best League campaign in nearly two decades in 2008-09 when Rafael Benítez’s side battled with eventual winners Manchester United up until the penultimate game of the season, with the Merseyside club falling just short of clinching the title, accumulating 86 points to United’s 90.

The very fact Liverpool have continually fallen short of winning major honours during his time at the club will have clearly been a major factor in the midfielder’s decision to head for pastures new. Last season’s disappointing campaign will have merely acted as a final nail in the coffin of Mascherano’s Anfield career.

And this is what should worry the Anfield faithful. Regardless of how dispensable Mascherano may be, his departure is a clear indicator of the problems Liverpool are faced with when trying to both attract and keep hold of world class players in future.

Whilst money may be playing an increasingly important part, success is just as integral to securing top class talent.

Liverpool have endured four years without a major trophy, with three of those being under the financial uncertainty that Tom Hicks and George Gillett have brought to the club.

A lack of funds has undoubtedly hampered the historic club’s chances of glory and the situation must change if the Reds are to challenge for major honours again.

A boardroom revolution is what is needed at Anfield. A change to ensure a stable football environment in which quality players can flourish and achieve success.

Until then, we could see more quality players snubbing the five-time European champions, and that will only lead to more disappointment for the fans of England’s most successful club.

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