Liverpool FC’s capture of Jose Enrique from Newcastle United is a real coup says Alan Kennedy
by James Pearce - Aug 12 2011LIVERPOOL legend Alan Kennedy believes Kenny Dalglish has pulled off a major coup with the signing of Jose Enrique from Newcastle United.
The Spanish defender is set to seal a £5.5million move to Anfield when he completes his medical today.
It ends Dalglish’s summer-long pursuit of a left-back and Kennedy, who made that position his own during a glittering seven years with the Reds, believes the manager has got the right man for the job.
"I think Enrique is going to be a very good signing for us," Kennedy said.
"He will strengthen the squad in a position that has been a real problem over the last year or so. Four or five players have tried to make that position their own but haven’t managed to do it. Liverpool have been interested in Enrique for a long time and I remember when we played against Newcastle at Anfield back in May I was very impressed with him. He’s confident on the ball, he’s quick, he’s strong and he likes to get forward.
"I think he’s a steal at that price – the fee really is nothing for a player of his calibre. He was one of the best left-backs in the Premier League last season."
The 25-year-old arrived at Melwood to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical yesterday after Liverpool finally agreed a fee with Newcastle.
The transfer should be completed today but Enrique is unlikely to be considered for tomorrow’s opening Premier League game against Sunderland at Anfield.
Two-time European Cup winner Kennedy, who followed the same path having joined the Reds from Newcastle in 1978, expects Enrique to add another dimension to Liverpool’s attacking play.
"A lot of Andy Carroll’s goals for Newcastle came from the service he got from Enrique," Kennedy said. "They linked up very well there and hopefully Carroll will thrive at Liverpool on the balls Enrique puts into him. I think he will bring good balance to the side.
"The great thing for Kenny is that he now has competition for places. Jack Robinson has done a great job and is certainly one for the future, while if Fabio Aurelio played very well against Valencia last week and if he can stay fit he will really push Enrique for that left-back spot."
Enrique joined Newcastle for £6.3million from Villarreal in August 2007 after starting his career at Levante. He proved to be a big hit in the North East and was instrumental in the Magpies’ promotion back to the Premier League and helped them consolidate their top flight status.
However, he had entered the final year of his contract at St James’ Park and unhappy at the club’s lack of ambition he made it clear he would not sign a new deal.
Enrique will become Dalglish’s fifth signing of the summer following Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson and Alexander Doni to Anfield.
There is likely to be more transfer activity involving the Reds over the coming days with Bolton stepping up their pursuit of striker David Ngog, while Norwich City are expected to beat off competition from Hull City and Swansea City to land defender Daniel Ayala for £850,000.Meanwhile, Liverpool have been left baffled by reports claiming they are set to lose out to Arsenal in the race for Birmingham City’s Scott Dann. The Reds haven’t made an approach for the defender and he is not a transfer target.Liverpool Echo