Top six Rafa Benitez right-back flops
With Liverpool tipped to make a bid for Portsmouth’s Glen Johnson, OTP looks at Rafa’s problem position
1. Jan Kromkamp
Plucked from Villarreal where he was struggling to come to terms with the Spanish language, the Dutchman came to Liverpool where he struggled to come to terms with English football. Spent around six months watching Steve Finnan play before returning to Holland.
His brief stint at Anfield came to an abrupt halt when he was exchanged with Kromkamp and returned to sunny Spain due to
being completely crap language difficulties. He is still fondly remembered on Merseyside as Benitez’s worst signing to date and happily quoted by rival fans taking a pop at Benitez’s transfer dealings.
3. Philipp Degen
The Swiss international signed last summer but you could be forgiven for forgetting that. He has endured an injury-ravaged first season in the Premier League (or out of the Premier League, to be more precise), including a broken metatarsal for which he blamed both Gareth Bale and sins committed in a previous life.
4. Steve Finnan
Not a Benitez signing, but a regular throughout his tenure. As competitors came and went, Finnan remained most Liverpool fans preferred right-back. Rafa always seemed to have a bit of a problem with him though and he was allowed to join Espanyol last summer.
5. Álvaro Arbeloa
Has fared better than some of Rafa’s other right-backs, but the fact that he seems to be in the market again confirms what most Liverpool fans are saying: Arbeloa is good, but not good enough to be first-choice right-back.
6. Antonio Barragan
One of the earliest exhibits in Rafa’s Young Footballer Collection. Barragan became the youngest foreigner to play for Liverpool in 2005. He was shipped back to Spain shortly afterwards with a buy-back clause that is unlikely to ever be activated.
Is Glen Johnson next?