When Djibril Cisse finally leaves Liverpool, both him and the Liverpool fans would agree that Anfield never saw the best of him.
They won’t remember him for his promise. When Cisse came to Liverpool it was slated as a coup – he had been deathly effective in the French League, scoring 70 goals in 128 games for Auxerre before Houllier brought him in. He was to be Liverpool’s answer to their failings on the pitch, and, in certain respects, part of Liverpool’s push to challenge the top 3 in the Premiership and in Europe as well.
Houllier left, Benitez came in and Liverpool were consigned to playing a 4-5-1 system in which Cisse would never fit in. His twin injuries – both as a result of his feet being caught awkwardly in the turf rather than rash tackles – have meant that Cisse has yet to enjoy a decent run since coming to the Premiership.
Benitez has been wanting to sell Cisse for quite some time, and while Lyon were interested for the striker his injury while playing for France put a hold to their pursuit. Marseille though, are still keen to bring the French striker home and Cisse is now tipped to join them on loan in October (when he is supposed to return from injury), with a permanent deal mooted for the January transfer season.
Cisse has maintained that he wants to stay at Liverpool (which of their players, apart from Gerrard perhaps, wouldn’t?), but Benitez is anxious to get rid of him, to the point where Benitez’s reaction to Cisse’s injury was something like – “Damn, we were going to sell him and now we won’t have any money for transfers.”
Cisse is just 25, and the injuries he’s suffered have not only hampered his international career (he missed the 2006 World Cup) but may have put his club career in doubt.
Which major club would buy a player who has broken both his legs in freak accidents on the pitch? Regardless of his talent, pace and ability, Cisse’s health (or his legs, rather), will not be trusted again.