6 Jul 2016

Deal Close? Liverpool favourites to sign 'explosive' €25m midfielder who confirmed LFC 'contact' in 2011

After weeks of speculation, the Moussa Sissoko transfer rumours refuse to die, and new reports today suggest that Liverpool remain favourites to sign the €25m-rated Newcastle midfielder.

Last week, French newspaper L'Equipe claimed:

* Liverpool are now firm favourites to sign 'explosive' Sissoko, and will try to seal a deal after Euro 2016.

* Rafa Benitez wants to keep Sissoko, but the 26-year old is determined quit Newcastle.

According to Foot Mercato today:

"Liverpool is the hottest candidate [to sign Sissoko], but Tottenham could soon join the race".

Liverpool need positional specialists in midfield (a dedicated DM, or a top quality, Gerrard-like playmaker), and Sissoko - who describes himself as an 'attacking midfielder, who likes to move, defend, and attack' - doesn't appear to excel in either role. Plus, his end product is poor:

* 12 goals/19 assists in 133 apps for Newcastle (Goal every 960 mins. G/A every 372 mins)

On the subject of positional specialists - in his first Manchester United press conference this week, Jose Mourinho told reporters:

"I am a manager that likes specialists and not so much the multi-functional players. When you are in trouble you need someone who can fill, but basically I want specialists."

This is exactly the point I've been arguing for years. Liverpool's obsession with buying 'multi-functional players' (i.e. versatile players who can operate in multiple positions) is massively frustrating, and it's partly responsible (IMO) for the club's continual failure in the league (and England's continual failure on the international stage).

With very few exceptions (i.e. Gerrard), multi-functional 'Jack of all Trades' players are rarely good enough in a specific role to make a consistently game-changing difference, and right now, Liverpool have very few bona-fide positional specialists in midfield/attack.

For example, what is Coutinho's specialist position? He seems to split his time between left-wing, false-9, and the number-10 role, but he isn't really a specialist in any one role, which partly explains (IMO) his comparatively average creative return.

As for Sissoko: On the positive side, he is rarely injured, and at the age of 26, his best years are still ahead. A viable signing for the right price?

^ 2011-12: Confirmed 'contact' with 'Liverpool'.

Author: Jaimie K


Post a Comment