What About Adam Johnson?

By , June 6, 2011 2:57 pm

With the summer transfer window open and transfer speculation in full swing, it’s worth taking the time to look at some of the players mentioned in the same breath as Liverpool Football Club. By now we all know the names being bandied about and the level of enthusiasm, anger, and apathy is pretty clear with each one.

Most tend to think that Stewart Downing, now a strong candidate to be a big signing, doesn’t have what it takes to consistently perform in the big games and for a big club. He has his strong points, but most, myself included, feel his weak points may take over when push comes to shove.

There’s also Juan Mata, Charles N’Zogbia, Ashley Young, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, and even radical fantasy possibilities like Alexis Sanchez, Fabio Coentrao, and Eden Hazard. Many of these are examined extremely well and in great detail in Paul Tomkin’s latest subscriber piece “Transfer Views – Creative Midfielders In Focus,” which can be read here. There is also a great piece written by Tony Barret about trusting Kenny Dalglish and Co.’s decision making when it comes to transfers here.

With these and other great articles regarding transfers this summer, my focus is not to rehash much of what’s already been said so well. My question to LFC is: What about Adam Johnson?

Could He Be Headed To Liverpool?

First and foremost, I am a massive fan of Adam Johnson. Having only seen him in Manchester City’s first team this past season and a half, I am already an ardent admirer. The fact that he was excellent against Liverpool back in August really put him on my radar.

In terms of raw ability and pace, Johnson has both in spades. He’s an extremely pacey left-sided winger, with wonderful dribbling skills. He’s confident enough to take defenders on and can score as well. He’s tricky, elusive, and fast. Exactly what LFC have been missing for the last number of years.

Johnson also appears to tick a lot of the new FSG player philosophy boxes. Turning just 24 this summer, he’s young and his peak years are still ahead of him. He has a head start on some other targets by already being settled in the Premier League. And while squad strength will be built this summer with an eye to rotation next season, Johnson would most likely start every game, as long as he stays fit.

According to some of his stats found on Anfield Index, he made 15 starts last season for Man City, while playing a total of 1531 minutes. He scored 4 goals, and had 26 total shots. His goals per game average is not bad with around 3.5 every time he starts. Where he might be lacking is his chance conversion, which is at a mere 15%.

In his first full season with Man City, he put in a total of 108 crosses, with 20 of those being accurate, a cross accuracy of 19%. Again, that’s not a number to get too excited about, but he has five assists for the season. On top of this, Johnson has an average of 2.1 successful dribbles per game. When compared to City’s standout star David Silva who has had the same amount of successful dribbles, but has played 1000 minutes more, you can see Johnson’s potential when getting the chance to play week in and week out.

There are definitely some flaws to Johnson’s game, but he is only 23 and has shown a lot of potential in his one and a half seasons at Man City. With the über rich Sheikh Mansour collecting as many players as possible, Johnson has been edged further out of a starting place. There were some rumblings toward the end of the season that he was becoming frustrated with his lack of first team opportunities and this could be the perfect time to snatch him up.

Johnson is a player that will not only be great for next season, but also, barring injuries, for seasons to come. He has the potential and proven skill to be a brilliant winger, and he may be just what Liverpool needs.

15 Responses to “What About Adam Johnson?”

  1. An article positing the question of whether Adam Johnson would be a good signing for LFC. He was bought for only £8 million in January 2010, but his price would surely be about double that now. Even so, he could be a wonderful addition to the squad if available. Your thoughts?

  2. Darryl Schembri says:

    I think we would all love him here, but would Man City be willing to let him go to us? We are competing for the same places so i think it would be unlikely.

    Remember, they sent Bellamy down to the Championship just so that they wouldn’t give him to another premier league club!

    • Good point, Darryl. It would be interesting to see if they were open to hearing offers. Rumors are he’s not happy, and they seem intent on buying more strikers and wingers, which doesn’t leave much room.

  3. Ben says:

    Gerrard openly campaigned for him to be on the WC squad, as well. Worth mentioning. I’d LOVE to have him but Man City is run by vindictive psychopaths so I’m not confident.

    • I didn’t realize that Gerrard campaigned for him. And I think the consensus is everyone would love to see him at Liverpool, but the question is would Man City sell to us, a rival?

    • Hugh O'Reilly says:

      Gerrard also said Joe Cole was as good as Messi. So having Gerrard campaign for him could be seen as a negative given his obvious lack of ability to judge a player.

  4. Michael Pugh says:

    Would City do business though even if it is in the best interests of the player. Out of this years top 4, Ourselves and Spurs, someone is going to finish 5th and 6th and it could well be City so why would they help the enemy? I have full faith in Kenny and whoever he thinks is fit for the job, but the number of foreign talent I would rather have in the team for the same or lower price generously out weighs the costly English players I’d have.

    • As far as helping the enemy, it happens more often if the price is right and everyone wants the move. I didn’t want Torres to be sold to a rival team at the top, but the money was ridiculous to pass up and made sense for all parties.

      At the end of the day, I too trust Kenny’s decision making. Just throwing out a name I happen to like who has the potential to be signed and would fit into LFC’s new philosophy.

  5. Mike says:

    I doubt that City wants to do business with us. Probably only for a premium price. Then again, if a players wants the move, everything is possible. But I doubt he wants to. Theyll play CL next season

    • He would definitely cost a lot, there’s no doubt about that. And stranger transfers have happened. Man City may be unwilling to sell, but it would be interesting if he decided he didn’t want to stay to play football regularly elsewhere.

  6. David Stopforth says:

    I’d love to have Johnson at LFC but I’m not sure City would let him go given his age and status as a senior “home grown” player in a squad overloaded with recently acquired foreigners.

    As for his potential in our side he would likely need to adapt to a more conventional left sided role given he does most of his work on the right (that’s why his crossing figures are anomalous; he is more prone to advancing infield into the final third) but I think he would offer a lot.

    As a less eye-catching alternative I also think Stuart Downing could be effective. Downing can be played as a conventional outside left and give us some reliable width which we lack with the outside/in options we have had rotating on that side this year (Maxi Rodriguez and to a lesser extent, Joe Cole). We played arguably some of our best football for 10 years when we had a fit and willing Albert Riera wide on the left as he created more space inside while offering pace and quality delivery outside. Suarez and Carroll respectively would have thrived in these circumstances so recreating them (with Johnson, Downing or other) makes good sense.

    Thanks for the post.

    • Riera was great at his best, and that’s definitely an element that’s been lacking before and after him. I think Downing would be decent, but is decent enough to get back into the top four and long term, back to winning the league?

      Johnson is definitely a long shot, but he’s a player I’d love to see at LFC. I said the same thing about Joe Cole, and he arrived a couple years later. Although we all know how well that’s worked out. Of the two Aston Villa players, I’m much more keen on Ashley Young than Downing, but it would seem he desires to go to United. I don’t really understand the transfer considering they have Nani and Valencia, but there you go.

  7. James says:

    Good Article.

    I would like to see him at the club as maybe a squad player, if the price is right. That may be doable as City have so many options and will buy more that any their squad will be so big they will have to sell some of them! It will also depend on if anyone else comes in for him.

    Keep up the good work!

  8. benon/suarez says:

    Let king Kenny rush for Adam to bring back the glorious days of counter attacks at anifeild.

  9. bob says:

    No thanks. He has the game intelligence of a 15 year old :)

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