HATCHET MAN: Overpriced and overrated Johnson will be just another Rafa defensive howler - like Doss
If Rafael Benitez pulls off the signing of Glen Johnson from Portsmouth he will probably consider it a major victory. After all, considerably richer clubs than Liverpool - Chelsea and Manchester City - have also been seriously interested in the defender. But if Benitez pays £17 million or more for Johnson it is more likean own goal that should be condemned than a deal which deserves a boutof backslapping at Anfield. No matter how much Liverpool are still owed by Portsmouth for Peter Crouch, the headline figure for Johnson is exorbitant. Any fee would eat in to Benitez's unimpressive transfer budget and it would be money wasted. Liverpool already have defenders who haven't lived up to expectations. Indeed, they are going to have to sell one or two of them to try to balance the books after forking out for Johnson. Benitez is clueless about full-backs - think Alvaro Arbeloa, AndreaDossena and Philipp Degen - and allowing him to sign one of the world's most expensive even though doubts remain about his defending means Liverpool's American owners are even sillier than we thought. Johnson is one of those players who is not quite solid enough as a defender or clever enough in midfield. Managers can make a team work with him in it but Benitez would be better off spending what little money he has ensuring key players such as Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano and Pepe Reina stay than adding to his list of inadequate signings.
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