So farewell to Harry Kewell who joins Galatasaray after being released by us earlier in the summer. I can’t remember who said this but in terms of his Liverpool career it was, sadly, “over before it began”.
Kewell was signed in 2003 however only 93 appearances and 12 goals tell the story. An average of roughly 18 games and 2 goals per season. “Injury prone” isn’t the phrase perhaps “cursed” is more appropriate? The longer his time at the club went on and the more knocks, strains and tears he picked up the more inevitable his departure became.
I guess it’s a testament to Kewell’s potential and talent that we preserved with him for so long. Nursing him through to recovery on more than one occasion in the hope that he could produce the excellent form he produced for Leeds. Sadly we only got brief but tantalising glimpses of this before he went onto his next injury. Many have suggested that these were not as serious has he made out and that he was, for what of a better word, “malingering”. I simply cannot believe this. Would you go off in the Champions League final, as he did in Istanbul, because you were faking it or didn’t fancy it? The same applies to the FA Cup Final a year later?
The injury sustained in that game at Cardiff was the beginning of the end. He managed to get back in contention for Athens, coming on as a substitute, but last season his appearances were fleeting. With his contract up in the summer and no real run of injury free form to convince the club to renew on his current or an increased salary, the writing was on the wall?
So he moves on. Many will perhaps welcome this confusing his injuries with doubts about his commitment to Liverpool. However, after Istanbul Kewell vowed to repay Rafa for the faith he had in him went he was injured and right until his departure was putting in extra training with the reserves to get himself fit. Kewell also turned down Manchester United to join us. We were the club he supported as a boy and although he accepted that it was time to move on, had in the past on more than one occasion expressed a desire to see at his footballing days at Anfield.
Of his move Kewell said
“You could say it’s a new chapter, I wanted to move on and this is the best way. I can’t wait to get started, it’s just what I’m looking forward to, a new challenge.”
Hopefully Galatasaray will give Kewell better luck. However, at Liverpool sadly and frustratingly, for fans and player, it will always be as case of what might have been?
Meanwhile, Philipp Degen and Andrea Dossena the two defensive signings which looked to be certain from the moment they were mentioned were confirmed this week. In fact at first sight things on the transfer front appear to be showing some small signs of moving. The press is suggesting that Peter Crouch will also leave very shortly which should presumably give Rafa some of the funds he needs to start investing? However, as always, the main stumbling blocks appear to be Xabi Alonso’s move to Juventus and of course Gareth Barry where the press have suggested that the offer of Steve Finnan as a make weight might finally win over Villa.
So even though we are moving forward some things never change and obstinately refuse to do so!