10 Aug 2016

Contact Made: Liverpool submit €18m offer for 'excellent' Argentina star who idolises 'Riquelme'

Last season, Liverpool scouted Roma star Leandro Paredes^ on 'multiple occasions', and with the new season only days away, the Reds are reportedly taking concrete steps to try and sign the Argentine star.

In January, the Daily Express reported that Liverpool are 'determined' to sign Paredes, and according to Gazzetta journo Emanuele Giulianelli today:

"Liverpool have offered €18m for Argentinian midfielder Leandro Paredes. Roma refused, but if they [LFC] raise the offer to €20-22 million the deal could be sealed".

Some info about Paredes, described by Empoli boss Marco Giampolo as 'excellent':

* 21-year old central Argentine central midfielder, who can also play on the left wing, or as an attacking midfielder.

* Owned by Roma (Signed for €4m from Boca Juniors), but spent last season on loan at Empoli.

* Dec 2015: Giampolo outlined Paredes' role for the club: "For me, his role is that of the director in front of the defense".

* Dec 2015: Giampolo also highlighted a specific weakness: "When he arrived, he had concentration issues during the game, but now he is learning to be better in this area".

* Aug 2014: Francesco Totti's assessment: "Paredes has something more than the others. I think he has a bright future ahead".

* Feb 2015: Paredes told reporters: “Riquelme is my idol. Totti is also a great player, and I have learned a lot from both of them.”

Paredes had a decent game against Liverpool in the Reds' recent pre-season victory over Roma, so this link is no surprise. After all, part of Klopp's transfer policy seems to be: 'if X plays well against Liverpool, sign him'! Examples: Wijnaldum and Mane (Both of whom scored against LFC last season); Klavan (stood out when the Reds faced Augsburg), and now Paredes.

If this story is true, it means that the penny has finally dropped for Jurgen Klopp in that he finally understands that Liverpool need another dedicated defensive-midfielder. Plus, €18m [£15m] for a talented (and fairly experienced) 22-year old is arguably decent value (compared to, say, £35m for new Arsenal DM Granit Xhaka)

There are obvious benefits to signing another DM, but in this case, the biggest positive (IMO) is that Paredes - like many South American players - is physically robust, and rarely injured (only 3 games missed through injury in the last two years). Worth pursuing?

^ Jul 2016: Called up to the Argentina national team




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