9 Jul 2016

Deal Close: Liverpool in talks to sign 'lethal' €25m sensation who's 'like Rivaldo'. Replace Coutinho?

Back in 2014, Liverpool were linked with a move for Benfica sensation Anderson Talisca, and new reports this week suggest that the Reds are close to sealing a deal for the Brazilian attacker.

According to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo this week:

* Liverpool are in talks to sign Benfica forward Anderson Talisca to Anfield, and a deal is close to being agreed.

* The FA has allegedly received a work permit application for the Brazilian.

Some info about €25m-rated Talisca:

* 22-year old attacking midfielder. At Benfica, splits his time between playing as central AM, and a secondary striker.

* 20 goals/4 assists (24) in 78 games (Goal every 203 mins. G/A every 169 mins)

* Scouting Report (Strengths): "Incisive passing, surging runs and thunderous shooting make him a constant threat. Combative approach, with no problem mixing it in physical encounters".

* Scouting Report (Weaknesses): "Tendency to drift out of games. Sometimes seems unsure as to positioning. Could do with filling out, and Benfica are working on that".

* Sep 2014: Jose Mourinho revealed his admiration for Talisca: "If he had a work permit, he would be [in the Prem]. There were many English teams that wanted to sign him".

* Nov 2014: Chelsea attacker Oscar raved: “Talisca is tall and left-footed like Rivaldo, and he has great quality".

* Nov 2014: Fellow Brazilian Fernandinho added: “I was impressed. He [Talisca] has trained well with the national team and fits in well. He has great charisma.”.

* Dec 2014: Benfica team-mate Jonas Oliveira's assessment: "Talisca has got everything to be a major player for Brazil. He’s tall, a lethal finisher, very fast, and he’s got a lot of strength".

Tall, strong, athletic etc - Talisca fits the profile of the type of midfielder Liverpool (arguably) need, but his goals/assist ratio is no improvement on Coutinho, Firmino, Lallana, and Henderson. Talisca's assist rate is particularly poor, and for €25m, I'd prefer to see the Reds sign a more prolific attacker who specialises in a specific role.

On a related note: I've mentioned this several times before, but Talisca's Benfica team-mate, Jonas Oliveira is worth a punt. He may be 32, but his stats are absolutely stunning:

* Benfica: 95 goals/assists in 83 apps (Goal/assist every 70 mins)

* Last Season: 56 goals/assists in 48 apps (Goal/assist every 69 mins)

* Last 5 Years: 25+ goals/assists in four of the last five seasons.

Another amazing stat: Oliveira has *never missed a game through injury*, which is almost unheard of for a player in his 30s. I'd love to see him at Anfield.


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