Legendary Argentine midfielder, Esteban "Cuchu" Cambiasso, has a game slicker than his extravagantly polished head and eyes a person could lose days in. He's also so old for a professional footballer that one of the only legitimate gigs he could scrounge up for himself last season was a one year contract with then-newly promoted Leicester City. And as has been the case throughout the man's career, Cambiasso surpassed any reasonable expectations for a washed up defensive midfielder whose legs had gone a couple season prior. Dude was clutch.
Liverpool Football Club have also exceeded some expectations with the calm, cold excellence that has denoted their transfer business to this point in the off season. Needs have been identified, players have been lined up to fill those needs, and Ian Ayre has wasted a perfectly good summer of motorcycle rides in order to jet set all over the world putting pen to paper. Hats off, bravo - excellent work, gents.
And yet, none of that business has included the signing of a defensive specialist in the midfield areas. Liverpool fans might be familiar with this concept as the most obvious squad need since ever, I'm seriously. You know - a deputy for Lucas Leiva. Murmurs of the club kicking the tires on William Carvalho, or of a bid for "defensive" midfielder Asier Illarramendi have been around all summer.
But the lion's share of Liverpool's summer warchest is now gone, and no player fitting that profile has been brought in. That could be a grave mistake, in particular if Liverpool aren't about to unleash a 100-goal season of offensive fury. We've seen it before: a third game in a little over a week, the tail end of a sterling run of form underscored by cohesion and solidity, and then... Lucas pulls up and signals to the bench.
Wouldn't it be nice to not have that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach next time that happens? It's not asking for much - just an option to keep things ticking over. A professional, experienced head that just knows where to be and what to do. A guy that can pass, shoot, tackle, and overall be counted on. An option that doesn't include a 17 year old or never-before-seen tactical wizardry. Square peg meets square hole.
Because its not that there aren't other creative solutions to Liverpool - Lucas = ??? There definitely are, and they may already be in the squad. It's that, surely, as Brendan Rodgers gazes out over the practice pitch these days and sees Gary McAllister barking his brogue at players, the Scotsman's playing resume comes to mind? You know - the time when he suited up in all red and belied his years by contributing cog-in-the-machine performances for Houllier's boys? Gary Mac Tribute Show! Fowler, we may even get a screamer out of it!
Plenty of time left in the window for one more squad filler move, so why shouldn't it be Cambiasso? Sure, his refusal of Leicester City's offer for more bloodthirsty relegation battling was a bit cold, and may indicate his retirement. But in fairness to wee Esteban, if a drunken Nigel Pearson was sobbing What Does The Fox Say?? while he packed his stuffed ostrich and safety scissors into an empty Roz-wud engraved sandbox, we might reconsider sticking around, as well.
Just reconsider it a lot is all we're saying. Reconsider it all the way to the Mersey, Cuchu.