8 Mar 2015

Transfer Battle: Liverpool fighting to sign 'incredible' £29m playmaker but face huge challenge from Man Utd

Liverpool continue to be be linked with a summer move for Roma star Radja Nainggolan, but new reports suggest that the Reds are falling behind in the race for the Belgian midfielder.

In February, reports claimed that Anfield scout Barry Hunter had 'brought Nainggolan to the attention' of Brendan Rodgers, and according to The Mirror today:

* Liverpool and Man Utd remain interested in signing Nainggolan.

* United are preparing a £29m bid for the midfielder.

Some info about Nainggolan nicknamed 'the Ninja' in Italy:

* Box-to-box midfielder who can play as a DM.
* 5 goals/8 assists in 50 apps for Roma.
* Goal/assist every 3.8 games.
* Rarely injured; only one (minor) injury in the last 5 years.
* 8 appearances for the Belgium national team.
* Current contract expires in 2018.

* Models his game on several top-class midfielders. In a recent interview, he explained: "I liked Gattuso's determination; Xavi's technical ability and Vidal's timing in the tackle. My team-mate Keita is spectacular as well"

* Is also a fan of Brazilian legend Ronaldinho: "As a youngster I played as an attacking midfielder and I watched a lot of Ronaldinho, who was a really decisive player back then"

* On his role in the Roma team: "You can't play football without self-confidence. I like my role because it allows me to do everything - defend, create and finish off moves".

Roma boss Rudi Garcia will be loathe to lose Nnaingolan, and in a recent interview, he outlined exactly what the midfielder brings to his team. He told reporters:

"Nainggolan knows how to do everything. He has technique, plays the long ball, can push forward and shoot for goal [and brings] balance to the team. He’s incredible"

With Steven Gerrard leaving, and Lucas/Allen increasingly injury prone, reinforcements are clearly needed in the middle of the field.

Also, unlike some, I don't believe that Emre Can is the answer. So far, he's been distinctly average in midfield for Liverpool, an as today's FA Cup game with Blackburn showed (yet again), he rarely effects the game in the middle of the field.

Rodgers should convert Can to a full-time central defender, and bring in some more effective central midfielders in the summer.

Is Nainggolan a viable option?

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14 comments:

  1. I've noticed Can's disappearance in the middle too. It happened against Besiktas too. I've actually been a fan of Nainggolan for awhile now, but the time seems to be right for a transfer. He would be great next to Hendo as a tough tackling high energy midfielder. 29M is a bit high, but if we get an offer accepted before City bids, it will be down to personal preference will it not? And I think we can hold our own there. We're clearly on the up, while City seems to have stalled a bit. Also, he'll be a starter here, while at City he has a bit of a battle.

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  2. I've noticed Can's disappearance in the middle too. It happened against Besiktas as well. A permanent move to the defense would solve many of our problems. He has so many good attributes for a good combative CM, but if he doesn't perform, then it will only hurt the team.


    I've actually been a fan of Nainggolan for awhile now, but the time seems to be right for a transfer to LFC. He would be great next to Hendo as a tough tackling high energy midfielder. 29M is a bit high, but if we get an offer accepted before City bids, it will be down to personal preference will it not? And I think we can hold our own there. We're clearly on the up, while City seems to have stalled a bit. Also, he'll be a starter here, while at City he has a bit of a battle.

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  3. Geez. I think you should be a bit more patient with Can before you slag him off as a midfield player. Yes, he wasnt good but none of the players stood out for me. And in the besiktas game, sterling and sturridge were shit aswell. The man is only 20/21

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  4. Yeah Can's last two outings in midfield have not been all that good. Means nothing about what could be in the future though. He has a lot of great attributes and some more time getting used to teammates, that position in a team like ours and he can do well. I just don't think we can experiment too much with what is left with the season if we have a choice. He is behind Henderson, Lucas and Allen right now for me for sure. Probably behind Gerrard too. But next season? After a proper preseason?

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  5. Agreed, I feel he's ahead of Toure and Lovren at centre half though

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  6. Liverpool fans almost universally panned Lucas and Henderson for a solid two seasons before they turned around their careers. Lucas earned himself the club player of the year while Henderson is showing great promise as a long term captain. Can meanwhile is just 21 and has played most of his games at Liverpool "out of position". Considering the number of times you've used that term in arguments (including in the specific case of Can himself) it is quite surprising that it is currently nowhere to be seen.


    Every single player at this club has struggled when tactics have been switched. The entire team was in disarray at the start of the year when last year's formations were no longer working. Let's be a little bit gracious and afford Can a bit of time to adjust to whatever long term role he might play for the club. He's young, still in his first year at the club and probably even the manager himself isn't quite sure how best to use him.

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  7. Good points, but as of late, he's been performing spectacularly at CB. If we were to convert him there permanently, he could really grow into the position and make it his own. There is currently a severe shortage of class young CBs in World Football right now, and an abundance of blossoming CMs. Can has the potential to be great at either position, but if I had a choice, I would think keeping him at CB and solving one of our biggest problem positions and chasing another CM (keep in mind we have some good ones in the academy right now too) would be a pretty good route to take.


    But again like you said, he has time on his hands to prove himself in whatever position he's destined to make his own, so no use arguing over it now.

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  8. I am really hoping they get a buyer for Lovren but replace him and Toure Can needs to play in midfield i dont think he is much value in a back 4.

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  9. After last night's draw and the loss to Besiktas highlights,
    Clearly Liverpools biggest problem is up front and needs URGENT ATTENTION
    as Jose Mourinho said last year with Chelsea you cannot win without strikers maybe BR needs to take note and get 3 new strikers just as he did!

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  10. Just sort out Hendo's contract first.

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  11. Spot again. In fairness I seem to agree with most of your posts.

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  12. Maybe it's just the name people like, as his football doesn't match up.

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