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Boxing Day, Holidazed and the Crouch/Villa rumor

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Blackburn and Liverpool's inability to score took all the fun out of Boxing Day, and then my own personal crowded Christmas fixture schedule took all the fun out of me. But the sickness has mostly left and now I must deal with Crouch to Newcastle and David Villa to Liverpool.

Previously, I had dismissed the Crouch to Newcastle move as a harmless rumor printed to keep a writer busy while Newcastle struggled to provide other excitement. However, now The Independent is in on the act and has taken things a step further, saying LFC want £12 million for Crouch so the team can help fund a £25 million move for Valencia's David Villa.

Not that The Independent is somehow above printing rubbish, but the rumor is gaining steam. I'd like to retain some idealism and think these guys aren't making this stuff up completely, so that means somewhere at Anfield, somebody is thinking (or hoping) this could be done. I think it comes down to this: The one thing Liverpool is missing among the big four is an outright world-class striker.

Arsenal: Henry
Man U: Rooney
Chelsea: Drogba
Liverpool: ???

Is David Villa in that class? I doubt it, but is his quality close enough to make a partnership with Dirk Kuyt basically equivalent to what the other superpowers have? I'm not sure, and unless someone at Liverpool is completely sure a Villa/Kuyt partnership would give the team a strike force equivalent to the class at those other clubs, don't spend the money for Villa. The next big striker move should be an unequivocal purchase of true, world-class talent on par with the others. Otherwise, I fear what would happen after that.