12 Jun 2016

Macca raves: 'Magic' £30m attacker Liverpool tried to sign has 'flair and class'. Transfer fail?

West Ham 'maestro' Dimitri Payet continued his scintillating Premier League form this week with a fabulous Euro 2016 goal against Romania, and after watching his performance for France, Reds legend Steve McManaman is now a confirmed member of the Payet fan club.

After France's 2-1 victory in the opening game of Euro 2016, Macca raved^:

"It was a wonderful goal by Payet to finish the game. A real moment of magic. With his flair and class, Payet was the outstanding player".

Liverpool were linked with Payet - now reportedly worth £30m - during Roy Hodgson's reign, and at the time, the Daily Mail reported:

"Saint-Etienne have warned Liverpool off a move for Payet".

Jamie Carragher has also confirmed Liverpool's past interest:

"Payet has captured the imagination. I know Liverpool looked at him five years ago when he played for Saint-Etienne".

It's a good thing that Liverpool didn't sign Payet at that time as it's doubtful he would've prospered during a period of such intense turmoil at the club. I also doubt that he'd prosper under Jurgen Klopp.

At West Ham, Payet is given the freedom to play his natural game, but at Liverpool, his skill and creativity would almost certainly be curtailed by Klopp's obsession with (and prioritisation of) running and pressing.

Payet doesn't run himself into the ground for West Ham; he is allowed to focus on doing what he does best, and look where it's got the Hammers: ahead of LFC in the league table (and West Ham have significantly lower transfer spending/wage bill than Liverpool).

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a good comparison here. Klopp signed the Armenian, but he didn't get the best out of him, and his incessant demand for physically draining running/pressing *restricted* his creativity (just as it has with Coutinho).. Mkhitaryan himself confirmed this a few months ago:

"Klopp was a football madman: pressure and counter-attack. Tuchel has changed our lives. Now we command the game and I have more freedom to attack. Thanks to him I now make myself more useful.”

The proof is in the pudding: under Klopp, Mkhitaryan averaged a goal/assist every 193 mins. With Klopp out of the picture, he smashed in contributed an incredible 55 goals/assists in 52 games for Dortmund (one every 79 minutes). Coincidence? I think not. But I digress...

The more serious issue is here that Liverpool constantly miss out on bargains like Payet, Ayew, Eriksen (and countless others), and end up paying through the nose for sub-standard players. Hopefully, that will change this summer, and with any luck, Klopp will unearth the Reds' very own version of Dimitri Payet.

^ Transcribed whilst watching live ESPN coverage.

Author: Jaimie K


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