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8 Nov 2015

Anfield-bound? Klopp wants 'excellent' €20m attacker as his first Liverpool transfer. 53 goals/assists in 120 games

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is reportedly considering a move for Empoli attacker Riccardo Saponara, who is also being tracked by Serie A giants Juventus.

According to Italian newspaper Tutto Sport:

* Klopp wants to bring Sapponaro to Anfield during the January transfer window.

* Empoli are willing to sell for €20m.

When asked this week about Saponara's future, Empoli President Fabrizio Corsi told reporters:

“We’re not talking about the transfer market wright now - we'd rather talk about it in June. Now is not the best time to touch on certain subjects that could destabilise a team."

Last week, Saponara himself also dismissed the possibility of January move:

"I am honoured by the interest of some great clubs, but I have a task to accomplish with Empoli.

"All the rest depends on this. I don’t think anything will happen in January, I would like to stay until the end of the season”.

Some info about Saponara, described last season as an 'excellent young player' by Filip Inzagi:

* 53 goals/assists in 120 games for Empoli (goal/assist every 2.2 games)

* 26 games for various Italy youth teams, but is yet to play for the senior international team.

* This season: 7 goals/assists in 10 games.

* 5 injuries in the last two seasons (85 days out/12 games missed).

* Jul 2014: Confirmed his favourite position: “As a winger I am very happy. I have the chance to touch the ball more often and play facing our opponents’ goal, which should not be taken for granted. I'm working every day to make this role mine".

* Oct 2015: Corsi claimed that Sapponara Lorenzo Insigne are 'the best Italian players this season'.

* Empoli Coach Marco Giampaolo's assessment: "Saponara is a treasure for this team and he knows it was built with him as a protagonist.”

* July 2013: Revealed that he has a 'mental coach'. Saponara explained: "I had some sort of mental block that impeded me from playing like I knew I could. Roberto Civitarese [the mental coach] taught me to only focus on my work, and to help me express myself 100% without any conditioning or worries. Now we see each other once every two weeks".

Thanks but no thanks. The very best players don't need a 'mental coach' to fulfill their potential; players like, say, Luis Suarez have 100% belief in their own ability, and the self-confidence to make it happen on the field.

Liverpool are already have too many mentally weak players (Lallana, for example), so in my view, the Reds should steer clear of Saponaro. If Klopp is going to buy a winger, then the best option remains Andriy Yarmolenko.

Author: Jaimie K


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