17 Mar 2014

'Great Player': LFC to make €10m offer for feisty star betrayed by Man Utd. Risk?

Liverpool are reportedly lining-up a summer bid for Roma midfielder Adem Ljajic.

According to Italian newspaper Il Tempo this weekend:

* Liverpool are currently monitoring Ljajic.

* Brendan Rodgers is prepared to offer €10m to sign the 21-year-old.

This is not the first time Liverpool have been linked with Ljajic. At the height of last summer's transfer window, The Daily Express reported:

"Liverpool are the latest club to express an interest in Ljajic who has also been linked with a move to Manchester City, Atletico Madrid and Galatasaray this summer".

Some info about Ljajic:

* 2009: Man United secured an option sign Ljajić, with the deal supposed to kick-in in January 2010, but Ferguson et al welched on the deal, allegedly due to 'misgivings over the player's progress and development'.

This cruel snub apparently caused Ljajic 'psychological shock', a condition with which many United fans are familiar after witnessing their train-wreck of a team time slide into abject mediocrity this season.

* 2012: Ex-Fiorentina boss Delio Rossi lost his job after attacking Ljajic in the dugout.
* 2012: Barred from the Serbia squad for refusing to sing the national anthem.
* 5 goals/3 assists in 26 games this season.

* Last season: 12 goals/8 assists in 31 apps.
* Current contract runs until June 2017.

In January, Serbia boss Siniša Mihajlović hailed Ljajic as a great player who has 'improved a lot', but despite that glowing assessment, the attacker is on the fringes at Roma, and is struggling to hold down a first-team place.

For example: Ljajic hasn't played a full 90 minutes for Roma since the club's January's victory over Livorno, and right now, he appears to be fourth in the pecking order behind Totti, Gervinho, and Florenzi. As such, a move away this summer seems like a viable possibility, but is Ljajic an upgrade on any of LFC's current players?

Luis Alberto has missed out on the first team squad for seven games in a row now, which suggests that Brendan Rodgers has finally realised that he wasted €7m on the Spaniard last summer. As such, he'll probably need to be replaced next season, and Ljajic is (arguably) a clear upgrade.

Good move for LFC?



  1. Alberto won't be "wasted" until he's sold without making an impact. I'm still surprised that anyone expected a Barca B player to come into Liverpool and make an instant impact.

  2. Only when there is a vowel in the month

  3. But why does he have to feature this season? Why can't he be a purchase for the future?

  4. Haha, you got me ;)

  5. Too soon to say two players playing in a role means the system is flawed. Coutinho had a particularly bad game as Soto made a point of not giving him time on the ball and his passing was uncharacteristically bad. Sterling hasn't got the range of passing Cout has and so did a different kind of job against a different kind of team. I am not convinced either way yet. Feel I would need to see more of it to make my mind up.

  6. In fact in this case Sturridge was selfish. I read many reports when they say Sturridge actually made a bad shot and Suarez actually received reflected ball (from bad shot).

    Selfishness can cost us in the future. 2-3 goals could have happened in this game with less selfishness.

  7. Yes and two of his preferred players and hardest workers Willian and Ramirez will not be able to play. If Arsenal can get a result that is the time. It will hopefully throw the title race wide open if Villa's win didn't anyway.

  8. Dirk Kuyt just achieved a hattrick against Utd a few years ago.

    Others, totally agree. Sturridge dived, should be punished. Liverpool dominated but dependent on the penalties.
    I like the way you say '...poorer teams like Man Utd...' hahah!

  9. All very good points.

    I love the traditional tougher English game, for me the Merseyside Derby and North West Derby is what it's all about. You see Flanagan and Stevie go all in, I love that stuff. I wouldn't say it's particularly out of control. I'm not a proponent of anything dirty though, I just enjoy a bit of energy to the game. I'd also disagree with the tough guy act, modern players are pansies and the huff and puff tough tackling midfielders are a rarity these days. The biggest criticism of football in this country is that it's a pansies game, but I totally get your view.

    Overall players are just smarter, you're right about Suarez and Berisha, although Berisha did get kneed in the head he didn't have to act like a fish out of water.

    La Liga is on early in the morning, even the commentators over there get fed up with on field antics. Ronaldo was fouled, and because it was Ronaldo and because he fire rolled all over the ground, the defender got sent off - they admitted it.

  10. Rafael could have been sent off about 3 times.... Whats that about? But then Vidic got sent off for a non penalty... Refereeing these days huh!

  11. not good enough for us...we dont need more fringe players..what we need now is quality world class player to add to our squad

  12. Hhim being belong Gervinho in the pecking order says it all!

  13. Nice point about Agger and Skrtel.
    And if there's one man who deserves a PL medal it's Gerrard.
    Cannot even contemplate what his reaction will be if we win it.

  14. One of the things I've ended up really enjoying about the new dispensation is the increased, rather than decreased, physicality of the game. It has completely won me round. Even up to this season I was sceptical, and missed the sliding tackle, the way it meant that possession turned over so frequently, and players needed great individual skills in order to evade them.

    As I say I've changed my mind. Sliding tackles were dangerous but didn't require athleticism; no one could accuse Neil Ruddock of being an athlete, but he loved a tackle. They weren't really physical in any impressive sense. They were just dangerous and stupid. Much like Razor himself ; ) The way Liverpool or -- even more beautifully -- Athletico Madrid try and regain possession through pressing, levering players off the ball, nicking it with a well-timed assault on the player on the ball, which results not in a loose ball but in a proper change of possession, often with pace and momentum, is much more athletically demanding, and makes turnovers of possession much more consequential, than the old version of physicality did.

    I wouldn't say no to the slide tackle actually being outlawed altogether: that players have to stay on their feet, full stop: and if they go to ground intending to tackle an opponent, then it's a foul and that's that. I'm not talking about a non-contact version of football, far from it. Just think the sliding tackle has had its day. It would have been better for yesterday's game if Vidic had just been forced to accept, as he should have done, that he'd been beaten for pace and skill, rather than feeling that he still had a chance to stop the shot.

  15. Absolutely agree and it says a lot about Serie A in general. Gervinho was no great shakes in the PL and if he is chosen over Ljajic then why would we even entertain a purchase of Ljajic? I would look sideways at any purchase from this league. If this is a vision of the type of player being looked at for 4 season football: LC, FA, PL, UCL, then we are trying to do it on the cheap and it will ultimately not work.
    Ljajic is unhappy sitting the bench on a UCL bound Roma side...why would he be happy not being the first choice at Liverpool? No, we need players who want to earn success every day. Ljajic doesn't sound like that to me. I like Ings' hunger. I like Rakitic's leadership qualities. I like Kono's driven energy despite the conditions he's playing in now.
    I hope stories like this are designed to throw other teams off the scent of players we really want.

  16. AndWithSuchSimplicity1:34 pm, March 17, 2014

    Seriously ?????!!!!???
    You think that was a PASS??

  17. I bet it still counts as an assist in the stats that everyone likes to quote these days. Ho hum.....

  18. Agree Gerrard was absolutely outstanding. Never gave an inch all day and left a mark on fellaini which is no mean feat considering the man's a giant!

  19. Honestly wanted UTD to knick a goal at the end because it's imperitive they stick with Moyes. I haven't been so happy in years and he's a major reason for it. Ex-everton manager becoming the demise of UTD? You can't make this up.
    Manager of the award needs to go to both BR and Moyes for a great season
    Face of the season needs to go to old purple nose. That shot of him at the end of the game was priceless. Fell out of my seat at the pub I was laughing so hard
    Banner of the season has to go to "Moyes is a footballing genius" - absolutely brilliant stuff kopites!

  20. But we weren't playing City or Chelsea and the formation will be changed accordingly. Read Rodger's words about how important Sterling's role was yesterday and how instrumental he was in our victory.

  21. I personally like this Ljajic link...I think he's a very talented player, and let's not forget he's very young. He might be low on the pecking order at Roma, but look where Coutinho and Sturridge were in the pecking orders at Inter and Chelsea. BR is excellent at extracting every ounce of talent from players, and it's not hard for me to imagine Ljajic succeeding at LFC in our system and with our manager.

  22. You might recall that our fee for Raheem Sterling, with performance related increases, was 5mil, and it took him time to break into the first team. The argument for not buying Alberto because we have Suso is like saying we shouldn't have gotten Sturridge because we had Suarez. Suso and Alberto are both very talented young players who can play in a number of attacking positions, it's not like they couldn't both be on the field at the same time. Alberto was brought in as a player for the future, and he has featured this season...I personally have been very impressed with him, I thought his assist for Suarez v. Tottenham was incredible and didn't get talked about enough. It was a bit of a disguised pass, the pace on it was perfect, and it was bouncing which gave Suarez the option of chipping it like he did, or if Lloris hadn't come for it, ripping a half volley or dribbling onward if he chose to. I think both him and Ilori are going to be fantastic for us in the feature, and Suso as well, who I've rated for years...all BR is doing is buying players for 7mil now instead of spending 15-20mil on the same player in a couple of years, and thus creating sustainable success in the way that FSG wants.

  23. It's worth mentioning that the same argument could have been made against the formation you advocate after the Aston Villa game. After that game Rodgers kept the formation and tinkered with the players responsibilities within that formation, and we started to excel. With the diamond, though you might be less impressed, we got two straight 3-0 wins, so clearly flooding the midfield in this way, as Rodgers said was the goal, helps our team defense and detracts a little from our team offense. There's always trade-offs to be had when switching formations, but I trust BR to make any necessary adjustments, either with formation or within it, to get the job done. If he thinks the diamond won't work against Chelsea/City than he won't play it, and if he thinks it will work than I'm sure he'll adjust the players responsibilities within it to suit the opponent.

  24. These articles are continuous tripe. Sterling was very good and diamond formation has seen us get two 3-0 away wins back to back. It doesn't nullify the number 10 role at all. Why the fuck would it?! Coutinho had an off day against Southampton. Sterling played well yesterday

  25. I've noticed he does pretty well when there is a consonant in the month too - probably slightly better in fact

  26. agree with you mate Alberto is class and I can't see him being sold. Maybe a loan spell next year? Should have been out on loan this season but the lack of squad depth probably made that not possible.

  27. Sounds right to me - if we'd had more injuries he'd have needed to feature more, BR must have kept him for squad depth. I'd definitely like to see him loaned next year to a premier league team, someone with a good style of play and solid strikers for him to feed - or we'll keep him and start him in all the cup games and give him more PL minutes. I'd also have no problem with Ilori being loaned to a premier league team next year, I don't think he'll be truly ready to make a big impact until the year after. Future looks bright though, Wisdom and Suso will be great for us coming back from loans, Borini might get another chance (I'm 50/50 on my opinion of him), and hopefully we bring in Shaqiri, Alberto Moreno, and I'd love someone like Axel Witsel...etc etc. I can't even imagine how good Sterling is going to be in 2-3 years, and same goes for Jordon Ibe in 3-4.

  28. thexcuriousxwanderer4:42 am, March 21, 2014

    Jamie: For the Sturridge point did you mean no contact from Vidic instead of de Gea?

    On the same point, I think there is such a thing as anticipatory foul. I think the column by Graham Poll, and the comments by Gary Neville explain that, and both of them agree it is a penalty, according to football rules.

    The problem is most people think that it is a penalty when a player is tripped in the box, but actually the rules state that a penalty is in order when they player is denied a clear goalscoring opportunity. In this case Vidic's actions denied Sturridge a clear goalscoring opportunity (even without contact, it was obstruction via a reckless dive), so it is a penalty. The dive by Sturridge (if we define diving by going to a ground without contact) only helped the referee to make the correct call, because if he had tried to stay on his feet (like what Suarez did in the first half), a penalty probably wouldn't have been given, and the lapse of time and the loss in balance in trying to stay on his feet while avoiding the lunge probably would have resulted in a very reduced chance of scoring instead of a 1v1.

    In this situation what would you have a striker do? Stay on his feet and miss a clear goal scoring opportunity or go to the ground, when the rules fully support that he should have a penalty? It's a very tricky situation. Personally (and maybe i will get flak for this) I support going to the ground, because Vidic shouldn't be allowed to get away with flouting the rules, and in the spirit of the law it is the right thing to do, thought the execution might be a bit dubious. In a sense it is like telling a white lie, where the intentions are good. It's like between a rock and a hard place, damned if you do and damned if you don't. So starting that point with a sorry is a good move :p

    So according to the rules above, there's no such thing as 'evening out' for the fourth penalty, we deserved it (and it would be five if we included the one Suarez had if he had gone to the ground).

    Just another point to make with your comments about Liverpool not dominating the attack: i think that's not a very accurate description, some of the penalties were won due to denying of a clear goalscoring opportunity. If we were on goal, and the opposition were so desperate that they had to foul us, isn't that a dominant display in attack? Suarez would have been 1v1 with keeper had Rafael not controlled it with his hand, and Strurridge would have been clear on goal had Vidic not challenged.