His Liverpool departure looks increasingly likely with every passing day, but Glen Johnson is poised to end his Reds career as a first-team staple.
In yet another tactical facelift, their three-man backline blueprint has been discarded for a more conventional four, necessitating the inclusion of one of the Premier League’s most dependable full-backs.
Johnson’s selection in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea last time was the seventh match in 11 he started and their results are markedly better with him in the team.
Just three goals have been shipped with the 30-year-old in from the off, as opposed to eight leaked in the four he missed across this period.
Figures such as these go a long way to dispelling the widely-accepted myth that the England international’s ability is in decline and with understudy Jon Flanagan sidelined for the foreseeable future with an ACL injury recurrence, replacing the soon-to-be free agent will be a challenge that’ll cost plenty to complete.
It would appear financial reasons are behind Liverpool’s willingness to release Johnson, with his wage and deal-length demands deemed too lofty for a player north of the 30 threshold.
Yet any replacement of similar quality won’t accept a smaller salary to sign for a club not playing Champions League football, plus he’s likely to cost several millions too.
With one high-class practitioner already on board, looking elsewhere would be foolish, especially if financial concerns are prevalent.
Offering Johnson a new deal not only makes sense for Liverpool, it’s the best case scenario for the player too.
He’s not going to get a better club than the Merseysiders, with West Ham and Crystal Palace the two Premier League clubs said to be most interested in his services.
A potential move to Roma has also been mooted, but as former international colleague Ashley Cole found out, the risk of bench warming in Serie A dwarfs the exoticism of such a switch.
Clearly, Johnson extending his Reds tenure is a move that benefits all parties and should a compromise be reached, the 13/10 about him being on the Anfield club’s books beyond the close of the summer transfer window, as opposed to the 1/2 saying he’ll be based elsewhere, could prove a shrewd investment.