5 Jan 2016

'Big talent': Klopp hails 'magic' £20m attacker Liverpool wanted under Rodgers. Future transfer?

In May 2015, Liverpool were linked with a move for Stoke City winger Marko Arnautovic, and ahead of tonight's League Cup semi-final with the Potters, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed his admiration for the powerhouse attacker.

In his pre-Stoke press conference on Monday, Klopp enthused:

"Marco Arnautovic has made really good development. I know him from Germany - he’s a big talent, and now everyone can see how strong he can be".

Ex-Red Jamie Redknapp is also a fan of 'magic' Arnautovic, and in a recent column for the Daily Mail, he and claimed:

"He [Arnautovic] is the whole package now in terms of defending, attacking and goals. If a top-four club were going to take anyone in January, it would be Arnautovic. Stoke bought him for £2million but you can put a zero on that now".

£20m? You're having a laugh. If Arnautovic was English, then the extortionate premium attached to buying British players may push his fee to that level, but I can't see any top Premier club paying that kind of money. Stats for Stoke:

* 38 goals/assists in 93 apps (Goal/assist every 182 mins).

* This season: 11 goals/assists in 23 apps (Goal/assist every 170 mins).

Compare this output with Andriy Yarmolenko, who has a £14.5 buyout clause:

* 182 goals/assists in 283 apps (Goal/assist every 123 mins)

* This season: 22 goals/assists in 22 apps (Goal/assist every 83 mins)

If the Reds are to pay £20m+ for an attacking midfielder, that money should go a player like Yarmolenko, who has a long history of injury-free prolificity (i.e. 20-25 goals/assists every season for the last 6 years).

That said, like Yarmolenko, Arnautovic is tall (6'3) and strong, and he'd be a marked (and welcome) contrast to the small, physically weaker attackers who are regularly bullied off the ball for Liverpool.

Reds fans will get a closer look at Arnautovic this evening, when Liverpool face Stoke, and based on his current form (3 goals/assists in the last 3 games), there's a strong probability that he'll score tonight.

One thing's for sure, I'd take Arnautovic over Lallana any day of the week (Come on, you know I had to get one in before the end of the article!)

Going forward, is Arnautovic a viable transfer target for Liverpool?

Author: Jaimie K


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