Why Liverpool Will Be Better Off Without Clint Dempsey

For as many transfer windows as I can remember, Fulham have always had to endure negative speculation regarding the departure of key players. Brede Hangeland and Mark Schwarzer have often been linked with the more illustrious sides in the league, whereas this summer attention has shifted towards Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele. The Craven Cottage outfit have remained stubborn as vultures circled around their star men however, and resultantly held on to most of their sought after players with very minimal fuss.

That is of course until this summer and the circus that has arisen surrounding the transfer of Clint Dempsey. With the US international having apparently had his head turned by interest from Liverpool this summer, he refused to play in Fulham’s opening day game in an attempt to try and push through a move to the Merseyside club. Now, after complaints to the FA, slanging matches between the two clubs and a complete isolation of the player by Fulham, it seems Liverpool’s interest may no longer be as pertinent as it once was. Dempsey now looks to miss out on his dream move, and faces a transfer to Sunderland as his only potential escape route out of Craven Cottage, with his position at Craven Cottage seemingly untenable.

It is difficult to feel sympathy for Clint Dempsey, as he now faces what looks to be a sideways move in his career. By going on strike, he has betrayed the club which took a punt on him six years ago and have since paid him handsomely. Fulham, ultimately, have provided a foundation for him to establish himself as one of the most recognizable figures in the Premier League. Whereas the aforementioned players have shown a great deal of respect to a club despite speculation from some of Europe’s elite sides, Dempsey had already decided he was off to Liverpool despite the Anfield club never actually registering an official bid.

Whilst Dempsey has made himself look very silly in the wake of this debacle, it begs the question as to whether or not Liverpool need him anyway. After watching the Reds performance against Champions Manchester City on Sunday, I think it would be difficult to find a place for the American in the first eleven.

The enigmatic Luis Suarez looks set to lead the line for Liverpool this season, whilst new signing Fabio Borini and teenage sensation Raheem Sterling have both impressed on the flanks. If Dempsey was to operate in midfield, he would have to replace the impressive Joe Allen or legendary midfielder Steven Gerrard as one of the systems two attacking midfielders. With new signings Nuri Sahin and Oussama Assaidi, Dempsey would face quite the task to nail down a regular first team place. Of course, a side like Liverpool who are looking to challenge on all fronts would require a lot of squad depth, and Dempsey would definitely improve the overall squad. That is without question.

But Brendan Rodgers looks to be trying to build a young, hungry Liverpool side. In the wake of Dempsey’s recent conduct, coupled with the fact he is approaching thirty years of age, you have to wonder if the new Liverpool manager is having second thoughts about how the American would fit into his plan. Plus, for a club that has undoubtedly overspent on transfers in recent years, you have to wonder if there are some concerns surrounding the £10m asking price Fulham have placed on the player.

The club seems to be crying out for another out-and-out striker to take some of the pressure off Suarez. Whilst Dempsey would no doubt add some goals, he could be deprived of the freedom in the Rodgers system that he received at Fulham, which could in turn hamper his ability to get into goal scoring positions. For that reason, I can’t help but feel that Liverpool’s time, focus and money could be better utilized elsewhere.

26 thoughts on “Why Liverpool Will Be Better Off Without Clint Dempsey”

  1. I’m a Texan and an Everton supporter, and I’m greatly relieved that I won’t have to root against Deuce 38 times each year.

  2. I think a deal will be done on deadline day for a knockdown price. Dempsey would be an outstanding addition to a squad that is extremely thin on attacking options. Dempsey would probably play as many games at Liverpool as he would have at Fulham without Europe League action. AIMO.

    1. I think he would definitely improve the squad, I just feel the way in which Liverpool are looking to go, they should explore other avenues other than a 29 year old who might have a bit of an attitude problem.

  3. So you’re basing your assessment of their squad off of what? One decent game against City? It’s a little myopic to say that Liverpool’s midfield is too well stocked for Dempsey to break in to after one draw against City. I seem to remember Liverpool not being able to get off the mark against West Brom just a week ago. Seems to me the adding a player to the squad that has a goal scoring record like Clint wouldn’t be too a bad move…

    1. Well, let’s be honest, we didn’t play as bad against WB as the score indicated. An offsides call that wasn’t offsides that would have released Suarez alone against the keeper, a couple dubious PK’s and a red card just might have contributed to the lopsided score, you know. That said, I actually agree 100% that Liverpool ARE in desperate need at some positions and need more depth, and Dempsey has shown he at least can finish opportunities when they present themselves, unlike most of Liverpool today.

  4. No one is “hungrier” than Dempsey. That’s what he brings to the table – it’s not an overwhelming skill set or loads of pace – he simply wants it more; wants to win, wants to score and wants to succeed more than his opponents. Every Fulham gaffer has benched him and every year he fights his way back into the starting XI. He would undoubtedly start at Liverpool – eventually –

    You’re on Mars if you think spending £35m on Andy Carroll and and £10m for Dempsey is comparable “overspending” – it’s a laughable comparison.

    1. Completely agree!

      Danny Murphy said of Clint last year that he had never had a teammate that worked as hard as Clint on the pitch or in training.

  5. Matt,

    I usually enjoy your posts, but I think this one is a bit unfair. You don’t know what happened between Clint and Fulham, or between Liverpool, Fulham, and Clint. There has been a whole lot of speculation. Comments from Jol, on which he backtracked. And a statement from Dempsey that everyone would hear his side of the story once this is all over.

    I have too much respect for Dempsey to not give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Also, I don’t believe he owes Fulham a debt of gratitude. He has had to prove himself over and over again to a revolving door of managers. He has scored countless important goals, including ones that kept Fulham up and the brilliant one against Juventus in Europa League. He has given everything to Fulham, and yes, he does owe them playing out his contract if he is there this season. He is not obligated to sign a new deal, and it’s foolish for Jol to constantly harp on how he was offered a new deal but didn’t sign.

    I also believe Dempsey would have been successful no matter where he had played. I’m glad Fulham gave him the opportunity, but let’s face it, if he were from the continent he would have been at a club playing in the CL at least a couple of years ago.

    1. Can’t believe so speculative an article was even posted to this site. Few have ANY idea what’s all really going on here. Most probably things/circumstances the media have not even considered. The assumption is automatically that Clint gotten too big fer his breeches and done his club wrong. Maybe… but for the family man, player and champion he’s been for Fulham he deserves the benefit of doubt until the window and closed and some statements are made. Clint and Fulham are best served by keeping quiet until its settled.

  6. What is the nature of FFC complaint to the FA???? LFC asked what price for Dempsey? FFC replied with a ludicrous figure for a 29 year old with months left on his contract. LFC said ‘go fk yourselves’ and walked away. Dempsey then took the hump, and rightly so because FFC were blocking his potential move knowing that the opportunity will not be there in 12 months time when his contract lapses. Thereby attempting to weaken any future bargaining power he’d have in negotiating a new contract with them in 2013.

    LFC did not make an official bid because it was pointless given FFC’s dumb stance with the first enquiry. The sad piece of ‘journalism’ above refers to a slanging match between the clubs…… I cannot find any reference to LFC doing anything other than the initial enquiry. All the subsequent bollix seems to be coming from the M Jackson Temple of Mediocrity.

  7. I thing he will join the squad, but at this point the press and FFC have pretty much soured everyone’s view of him.
    He hasn’t defended himself, although Jol backtracked on the “he refused to play” and now it is ” To say he refused to play is probably a bit harsh but he wanted to move. If you want to move, you don’t want to take risks so you don’t want to play in case you get an injury.”
    I personally don’t think FFC has been forthright in what is going on and hopefully the truth will come out at this point.

  8. I agree with some of the comments regarding what Clint has or hasn’t done… I don’t feel it’s appropriate to cast stones until the saga is over and more or the truth comes out. As far as breaking into the squad, you have some good points, except for the one about Borini… I think he has been rather unimpressive. I think he could be a flop at LFC, and if Dempsey comes in, I would imagine he would quickly take over that spot on the wing. If gerrard or Allen get hurt (likely Gerrard) then Deuce would slide into the middle and borini would be restored to the XI… LFC needs goals, and while Suarez is a true talent, he does lack a clinical finish, something Deuce has. Borini (so far) seems to be yet another LFC player who will struggle to find the back of the net. I think deuce will come in and challenge borini, and borini will end up being the one to be a squad player.

  9. Classic case of overplaying one’s hand. I root for the guy as I like seeing the EPL gain in popularity in the US.

    I can sympathize with him wanting to take a step up into European play. But acting like a prima donna to effectuate a move to LIVERPOOL? If it were United or Chelsea or even Arsenal I could halfway understand the goal (if not the methods) but Liverpool finished 8th last year. With the same point tally as Fulham. One decent game at the Anfield against City doesn’t exactly put LFC back in the Champions League conversation.

  10. i think Dempsey miss played his hand.if he would have come to camp and practiced and played the preseason and honored his contract he would not be getting knocked.even if he gets a transfer he won’t be in match shape and could be open to a pull or strain because he will try to hard without having the fitness.a good chance this could all be traced back to his agent.

  11. So Fulham should just accept so idiotic low price because it is Liverpool asking? Even at his age and with a year left of his contract, Fulham won’t get a replacement as good for a couple of million. So no, we won’t doff our caps at the”great” Liverpool acting as the big bully boy cherry picking our best players. If we did that then Liverpool should be selling Gerrard to Man Utd for say 8 million because they are the bigger club and Liverpool should know their place and become a feeder club for Utd…like them apples?

  12. 1. Fulham has made back its investment on Demsey, and then some.

    2. Only Suarez and Gerrard are not replacebale at Liverpool at the moment.


    Liverpool seemed good in the beginning of July, but the way Brendan Rodgers has been stringing Clint Dempsey along during this transfer saga shows that he has NO respect for his players. So why would we want Dempsey to transfer to a team whose manager destroyed the American’s reputation in England!?

    [True – Dempsey did not play for Fulham, but its pretty obvious that something was said to Dempsey to feel that secure that he would be picked up by LFC.]

    Rogers states interest, does not follow up with an offer, and still names new transfer targets up until today.

    [And to rebut the counter argument, even if Rogers that Duece was a good player and just thought the price tag was too high, just say not interested because price is too high. Don’t talk about “we don’t talk about other teams.” You only don’t talk about other teams if there is interest.]

    Rogers is a crappy guy. He is killing the reputation of Dempsey without regard for the player, and for that reason Dempsey should not go to LiverStool!!!

    1. Not to mention Rogers is a nut case by his own accord “Brendan Rodgers has said he would “need to be nutcase” in order to let £35 million striker Andy Carroll leave Liverpool on loan.”

  14. I have to say I disagree with this entire article. To start, Fabio Borini doesn’t impress me. He’s not doing anything Andy Carroll can’t. He may run around aimlessly a bit more, but outside of that I don’t see what makes him special, whereas with Raheem it’s plain for the world to see. And I have to agree with some of the comments above, I wouldn’t say Deuce can’t break into this midfield, particularly when you consider we’re playing in four competitions this year. I hope this deal gets done. We’ve got youth in the squad, a little experience isn’t gonna hurt, especially when that experience is putting the ball in the net. Suarez is incredibly talented, but incredibly wasteful with his chances and Borini isn’t showing that he’s any better about that. Downing out, Dempsey in. I’d be happy with that. As for his reputation and attitude, he’s solid. I’ve covered the U.S. national team as a member of the media several times and had the pleasure of watching the guy work. He works as hard as anyone in the team. He hasn’t responded yet to all that is being said, so wait to judge til you hear his thoughts. God knows what has been said to the player or what kind of promises have been broken or how Fulham played this thing behind closed doors. He doesn’t owe them anything, he’s given them five great years, the prime years of his life in return for the investment. I think the player has a right to want grander things for the final few. And just cause we played better against City than we did in the opener doesn’t mean we’re good to go. Still a lot of work to be done on this squad. Cole, Adam, Downing all need to go this window.

  15. I’d prefer a more accurate description than “pushing 30”, especially considering he’s had the best year of his career end only a few months ago. The article is rather harsh on Dempsey, who is just playing the negotiating game like any other professional athlete.

  16. Some good points, but I disagree Matt. LFC need a proven goal scorer now like Clint, regardless of his age.
    Borini may turn out to be a great addition, but so far looks like he needs time to settle in and Sterling, though incredibly impressive for his age is still obviously very young. Assaidi has yet to play a game in the PL, so it’s unknown he will settle. I think Clint would slot right in with Suarez in the front 3 and could also move back for Gerrard as someone else mentioned. Stevie will inveitably be hurt at some point this year – happens every year now unfortunately. If Adam and Cole and/or Spearing can be moved on to help fund then
    Clint would be a good buy and provide 3-4 years of service to the club. Even if he scored only half the goals this year than he did last year and he cost £10M, I think most supporters would say it would be worth it.

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