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Paul Konchesky Looks South


With news coming out that Paul Konchesky's move back to his former club Fulham is all but assured, it looks as though Liverpool will be saying goodbye to one more reminder of the short-lived Roy Hodgson era at anfield. This is, at least on the surface, good news, though it has been in the works in some form or another for a while now. When the window first opened there were a number of rumours floating around as to possible destinations for the underperforming fullback, but in the end they came to nothing with the revelation of FIFA rules stating that a player could only play for two clubs in the course of any given season.

This wouldn't be an issue with a player like Christian Poulsen or Joe Cole, if a suitable buyer appeared and they were judged surplus to requirements, as they didn't actually play in any competitive matches in league or cup competitions for their former clubs. However, Konchesky is in a similar position to a player like Javier Mascherano, who played in Liverpool's opening day fixture against Arsenal before moving on to Barcelona. In a case like that, the rules state that the player must remain with his new club for the rest of the season--or at least that he cannot go on to play for a third team, which is where the loophole, and Konchesky's potential escape route, lie as he looks to head back home.

One expects, though, that whatever the final details of the deal are they will not be favourable to Liverpool. This was already, taken as a whole, one of the worst transfer deals in the history of Liverpool football club. Not so much for the particular player involved, as the club has bought many who didn't work out or simply weren't up to the task before, but for the way in which Christian Purslow and Roy Hodgson managed to send £4M pounds along with youngsters Alex Kacaniklic and Lauri Dalla Valle to Fulham while also shipping English-trained 21-year old Emiliano Insua to Galatasary on loan when he had twelve months left on his contract.

Even if Dalla Valle looks as though he may go down as one of those who didn't quite pan out in the end, he was rated as highly as £3M pounds last January when Fulham first came sniffing around for him. Meanwhile, the act of loaning out a player on a non-recallable loan for a year when he only has a year left on his contract is an act so bizarre it still boggles the mind six months later. And all of that was done to bring in the new manager's favourite underwhelming English fullback and remind people that hey, at least Insua could get forward effectively and was young enough that one could hope for further development.

Whatever Liverpool gets back when Konchesky heads south--and given an understandable desire on his part to do so and both sides willing to deal, it seems fairly inevitable--it won't be anywhere near what Liverpool paid to bring him north, even if one only considers the cash involved while ignoring the likely permanent loss of three prospects for absolutely nothing. That isn't to say Liverpool should hold onto Konchesky as a matter of principle, of course, as that wouldn't do any good for anybody involved in this whole mess, and in the end Konchesky probably even deserves this escape--he's even likely to willingly take a pay cut for it. After all, it's not his fault he got offered the move, and even if he clearly was never up to the task he didn't sulk or complain. His mother does deserve ire for her "Scouse scum" comment, but at that point the relationship between the fans and the player was already untenable, seen as he was as an underperforming representation of the unpalatable Hodgson era. He still applauded to the stands when he was subbed off to unfortunate boos and catcalls, and meanwhile he, his agent, and the club all just buckled down and looked for a way out.

After an initial set back, it looks like that way has been found, and one more reminder of that awful summer when Christian Purslow somehow got himself the job of real life Football Manager will soon be heading back home. The club will take a hit on the whole exchange, but past mistakes aren't improved by a stubborn refusal to deal with them, and this seems clearly a situation where cutting any losses is the best course of action. Whether the likely arrival of Stephen Warnock on loan to replace him will be all that much on an improvement on Konchesky, even if he's fairly guaranteed to start with a less toxic relationship with the fans, is another question entirely.

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