Should an English club take a punt on the 34-year-old Soccerroo legend? Or is his injury record too big a stumbling block?
I was doing the usual rounds on Twitter the other day and saw that a familiar name was trending on the site. As familiar as it may be, the name was still a surprise pop-up as the man in question has certainly fell from public perception in recent years; but Harry Kewell’s name is still one that resonates with English football fans.
I realised it was therefore likely he had moved to another club, and with gleeful anticipation I clicked on his name to find out who had finally taken a chance on the Aussie legend.
To my surprise, it must have been a quiet day in the Twitter-verse, he was simply trending as it was his birthday. Honestly I can say it is the first time I have seen somebody trend on Twitter for that reason with thousands of well-wishers from Australia, the UK, Turkey and worldwide. The love from his former clubs Galatasaray and Liverpool in particular took me by palpable surprise.
So why is somebody so popular that his birthday conjures up a general feeling of good worldwide still searching for a new club?
Harry had a bit of a boo-boo moment with his extended transfer saga to Melbourne Victory and eventually short-lived stay in Australia when he decided for personal reasons that he wished to return to the UK to finish his career. His links with the country are of course extensive; his father is English, he moved to Leeds as a 15-year-old and didn’t move to Turkey till many years later after stints in Yorkshire and on Merseyside. Not to mention the fact his wife is English.
Reportedly Kewell is not asking for gigantic wages, a testament to the amount he previously commanded and the many endorsement packages he once invited yet potential deals to Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and even Swindon Town have all fell at the wayside, if there was ever any clout to those rumours at all.
He even suffered the indignity of turning up at Stoke City’s training ground expecting to have talks over a career resurrecting deal only to be told that the visit was news to the club; Tony Pulis had a friendly five minute chat with him with no intention of signing the recently turned 34-year-old, sent him home with his tail between his legs before signing a similarly aged and injury-prone former superstar in Michael Owen.
His injury record is of course sketchy but while that remains true so does his talent and at the moment he seems quite determined to tie up a deal in the UK and a step down the ladder doesn’t seem to be out of the question.
In that case surely somebody could offer him a pay-as-you-play deal and welcome a naturally gifted player to their team?
Would you want your club to sign Harry Kewell?
image: © esmerr