19 Jun 2016

Marquee Transfer: Liverpool 'close' to signing 'extraordinary' €30m playmaker who's 'like Kaka'

Last summer, Liverpool were heavily linked with move for allegedly incredible Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic, and new reports this week suggest that Jurgen Klopp is keen to resurrect the deal in the upcoming transfer window.

In May, Italian newspaper Tutto Sport claimed that Liverpool are 'interested in signing Kovacic', and according to Gazetta dello Sport journalist Emanuele Giulianelli today:

"Liverpool close to taking Kovacic from Real Madrid for about €30m".

Rather unsurprisingly, Kovacic has struggled for regular game time at Madrid, and with the likes of Modric, Kroos, Isco et al ahead of him in the pecking order (plus more signings to come this summer), that's not going to change any time soon.

If Liverpool sign Kovacic, where will he play? During his career, he's operated as a deep-lying midfielder; a number 10; central-midfielder; DM, and a winger, but failed to hold down a regular spot in any one position.

Indeed, at Madrid, Kovacic played in four different positions last season, which suggests that he's seen as a utility man, filling-in wherever he's needed. With this in mind, there's no point signing Kovacic unless he has a specific, well-defined role in the team, otherwise he'll end as Joe Allen-esque Jack of all Trades.

Kovacic's experience at the Bernabeu is yet another cautionary tale for young players who chase bright lights and massive salaries too early in their careers. Moving to Real Madrid at the age of 20 is a waste of time as the expensive, big-name 'Galacticos' (Ronaldo, Bale, Kroos etc) will *always* get the nod ahead of young, foreign players.

Kovacic should've moved to a smaller club, played every week, and focused his development on establishing his best position. Then, he could've moved to the Bernabeu around the age of 23/24, and had a better chance of playing regularly. Now, he'll probably leave as a (comparative) failure, having squandered his golden chance to play for one history's greatest ever clubs.

All is not lost, though. Liverpool are also one of history's greatest clubs, and Kovacic will have a bigger opportunity to play regular football at Anfield. Worth pursuing?

^ Described by Giovanni Trappattoni as 'like Kaka'.



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