21 January ~ Pepe Reina may have to fear for his place at Liverpool. The club are in talks to sign Ajax and Uruguay striker Luis Suárez, most infamous for his deliberate handball on the goal-line during his country's World Cup quarter-final that ultimately eliminated Ghana. Liverpool, admittedly, desire Suárez's skills at the other end of the pitch where he has scored 91 goals in 127 appearances in the Dutch league for Groningen and then Ajax.
However, these skills may be in doubt should he arrive in the Premier League, regardless of the evidence of last summer's World Cup where he netted three goals before Uruguay lost in the semi-finals where they visibly missed the suspended Suárez. Most strikers from Holland, regardless of their nationality, are not highly thought of these days.
Not too long ago, Manchester United brought Ruud van Nistelrooy over from PSV Eindhoven, on the back of 62 goals in 67 Eredivisie games for his former club. At a cost of £19 million, Van Nistelrooy paid back every penny with five seasons of success, becoming the club's all-time top goalscorer in European competitions in the process. But gone are the days of Van Nistelrooy and Dennis Bergkamp.
Chelsea searched for the next Van Nistelrooy and found Mateja Kezman, scorer of 105 goals in 123 games while with PSV. After one disappointing season Chelsea offloaded the Serbian striker, whose four league goals came at a cost of £1.25m each.
Middlesbrough's Afonso Alves underachieved even more spectacularly when becoming the club's £12m record signing. He scored seven goals in one match for AZ Alkmaar once, and was runner-up for the European Golden Boot in 2007. His fate in England? Four goals in 31 games as Boro were relegated. Alves now plays in Qatar where presumably he scores hatfuls of goals again.
Liverpool's Ryan Babel must fall into this category too. He was somewhat of a wonderkid when he was bought for £11.5m from Ajax as a 20-year-old but has failed to adjust to life at Anfield. He is now more famous for his ability on Twitter and it was reported that Hoffenheim had a bid accepted for the player on Tuesday. Suárez is currently on a nine-match barren spell since he last scored, so if that's the case he may be more use to Liverpool helping out Reina between the posts. James Dielhenn