Classy Cavani and Alberto Moreno on Reds’ Radar
Liverpool, 5/1 shots with Coral for next season’s title, are preparing for life without star striker Luis Suarez, though fans should not be at all worried. If the Uruguayan is tempted by the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, not many could blame him for deciding to leave, after his record over the past campaign.
A lot will depend on Brendan Rodgers’ ability to persuade him to stay at Anfield as he did last summer, following a controversial period that ended in Suarez receiving a 10-match ban, eight of which carried over to the start of this season.
However, should Suarez leave; his international teammate Edinson Cavani has been lined up as replacement. His club, PSG are rumoured to want to recoup what they paid for him – in excess of at least £53m.
This recent news comes just after Rodger’s released a statement saying the club are looking for ‘multi-dimensional’ signings to strengthen further: “Our criteria that we look for is players with strong technique and football intelligence,” said the Reds boss after their 4-0 friendly victory over Shamrock Rovers in Dublin on Wednesday.
“They need to mentally have the attitude and the capacity to learn and they have to be so hungry to fight for every ball on every day in training and in the game.”
The hierarchy at Liverpool will have observed how Daniel Levy squeezed as much out of the Gareth Bale deal last summer, albeit on the last day of the season. Any fee for Suarez will more than cover the cost of Cavani.
There is a gamble, however. Any deals done before the World Cup may keep costs lower, though doesn’t guarantee players won’t get injured. It is all about risk mitigation, and this summer will be a test of how well the rainmakers at Liverpool can forecast events.
Cavani has an impressive scoring record in France (16 league goals), since his move from Napoli, despite being played out of position. In Laurent Blanc’s attacking 4-3-3 system, he has been deployed to the right of an advanced three; a role he can play, though doesn’t enjoy.
Since Zlatan Ibrahimovic got injured towards the end of the Ligue 1 season, the Uruguayan has enjoyed the main centre forward role, and has flourished.
Rodgers currently applies flexibility in a 4-3-3 cum 4-1-2-1-2, more commonly known as the ‘diamond’. Where Blanc prefers Cavani to operate in a disciplined position on the right, the striker may prefer Rodger’s flexible approach to attacking. If in a three, to the side of Daniel Sturridge he will have license to drift and rotate at will. When the Liverpool boss feels the need to set up in a diamond, Cavani can link up with Sturridge in a two man attack with Raheem Sterling installed just behind. Forget the front two however; the diamond could turn out to be the actual jewel in Liverpool’s crown if they win the title next year. They will be the supply for the front duo’s demand – especially if they complete a move for Adam Lallana.
The Merseyside club are also reportedly flirting with Sevilla left back Alberto Moreno who has just won the Europa League for the Spanish side. Although Alberto’s have historically flopped at Liverpool; taking into account last summer’s forgotten man Luis Alberto, and Italian Alberto Aquilani, this player looks the real deal.
At £15m, it may not be cheap for a left back though he is only 21 and has a lot of potential. Under Rodgers, he can become one of the best full backs in the Premier League – Jon Flanagan is a chief example of a similar player living up to his potential.
Reds fans shouldn’t be discouraged by their failure to win the Premier League. If recent news coming out of the club is anything to go by, they are in a very satisfying state. Rodgers: get to work.