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Cuenca Spurns Liverpool for Ajax

Liverpool's attempts to complete a third and final transfer of the January window may have ended when Barcelona's Isaac Cuenca chose to head Ajax on loan instead, but that choice will have little impact on Liverpool's season.

David Ramos

With only hours left in the January transfer window, Spanish-based journalist Graham Hunter has reported that Liverpool approached Barcelona about the possibility of taking Isaac Cuenca on loan but could not convince the player of their merits as a short-term destination. Instead, Cuenca has chosen to move to Dutch side Ajax, preferring the Eredivisie to England.

One wonders, though, just how much Liverpool have really missed out on with Cuenca. There's no question he is a prodigiously talented youngster, but given Liverpool's attacking depth and that the 21-year-old winger has yet to fully recover from a serious knee injury that kept him on the sidelines for eight months last year, Liverpool hardly seems an ideal fit—at least on a short-term loan deal.

Few would have turned their noses up at the thought of Cuenca arriving on a permanent transfer, but with Barcelona confident he will remain part of their future plans once he is fully recovered that option was never on the table. And the option that was on the table hardly seems as though it would have boosted Liverpool's chances of a top four finish.

In fact, given Liverpool's increasing depth in attack, there's a high liklihood such a loan move would have ended similarly to Nuri Sahin's ill-fated journey north from Spain. As good as a fit and on form Cuenca might be, and as good as he might one day become, the Cuenca that would have arrived in Liverpool would have been neither fit nor on form—as well as being far from the finished product Barcelona hope he will one day become.

Cuenca's arrival would have added some intriguing depth to Brendan Rodgers' squad, but the reality is that missing out on a loan deal for him is highly unlikely to impact Liverpool's chances this season.

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