RUSH `BARMBY IS AN EXPENSIVE RESERVE`

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THE controversy surrounding Nick Barmby's transfer to Liverpool from Everton has taken a new turn - with Reds legend Ian Rush dubbing the England international an overpriced substitute.

Rush, who is still the Anfield club's record goalscorer, launched a surprising attack on the 26-year-old, and questioned whether he would even get into manager Gerard Houllier's starting line-up.

"Six million seems like a lot of money to pay for someone who might not be a first team regular," said Rush. "For me Barmby will only be a squad player at Anfield.

"I can't see him playing every week for Liverpool unless there are injuries. There is a huge question if he will get the chance to play in what I believe is his best position.

"I see him as a Peter Beardsley type who does his best work playing off a striker or behind the front two. But Gerard Houllier has a lot of strength up front and I can't see Barmby getting much of a chance in that role.

"I think it will be very tough. Although he doesn't live in Liverpool, he still has to come to work in the city every day."

Barmby on the other hand has reiterated his desire to prove his detractors wrong and rise above the inevitable criticism.

Barmby said: "I know that tensions are high here and I know all about the rivalry between the two clubs.

"But I've never ducked anything in my life and I am a professional footballer - it's what I am paid to do. I keep hearing people say that this was a money-motivated move, but it wasn't.

"Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm not motivated my money. If I was, I could have seen out the final year of my contract and then got a free transfer and a big signing-on fee.

"It was a footballing decision and that's all. I'm 26 and I felt I needed a new challenge.

"I'm just like any other football fan who dreams of playing for the club he supported as a boy. That's what I have decided to do.

"I still hold the Everton fans in high regard. I can understand why they are upset with me and I'm realistic enough to know the situation."

Meanwhile, Houllier admits he must begin to sell some of his squad to recoup the massive outlay on new players.

"We will have to trim the squad, let some players go. Some of the will not get a chance here now becase of the competition," said the Frenchman.