21 Mar 2014

Goal Machine: LFC want 'extraordinary' €15m star who smashed 47 goals in one season

Liverpool have been linked with Lazio starlet Keita Balde Diao - a former Barcelona youth player - several times over the last few months, and new comments from his Agent suggest that a summer move away from Serie A is a definite possibility.

In September, the Daily Mail reported that Liverpool's scouts watched the 18-year old in his debut in Lazio's 1-0 win over Legia Warsaw in the Europa League.

Then, in February, Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato reported that the Reds are still watching Keita-Balde, who is now playing regularly for Lazio.

Liverpool are still reportedly tracking the striker, and when asked last night about a possible move to the Premier League, Ulisse Savini, Keita-Balde's agent, revealed that the striker prefers a 'future in England', and provided an idea of how much he might cost. He told Radio Sei:

"If he was to leave Lazio, we will never find a club in Italy that will buy him. At present, according to my judgment, he cannot be worth less than €15million"

Some facts about Keita:

* Kicked out of Barca at 15 for playing a prank on a tour of Qatar.
* 2010-11: Scored 47 goals in one season for UE CornellĂ 's youth team.
* Rejected the chance to return to Barcelona.
* Currently contracted to Lazio until June 2017.
* 5 goals/5 assists in 26 apps for Lazio this season.
* 4 assists in 6 Europa League games.

Lazio midfielder Gianmarco Falasca is a fan of Keita, and believes he's destined for great things. In December, he told LazioNews:

"Keita is an extraordinary talent. When he works, you can see he is quiet and he is really strong"

Lazio coach Edy Reja is also quietly confident that Keita can develop into a top class player. In a recent interview with Rai Sport, he enthused:

"I knew about Keita’s talent two years ago, he is a player who has continued to grow. If he can maintain the right level of humility and work hard, even defensively, he can do very well.”

A player like Keita would fit perfectly into LFC's squad. There's arguably some truth to the old cliche that top clubs need four strikers, but there in order for that to work - and to avoid problems - there needs to be (IMO) a very specific, accepted pecking order:

* Two top class strikers (Usually mid-20s onwards), who'll play most games (i.e. Suarez and Sturridge)

* One talented understudy who will contribute when called-upon; is not as good as the main two strikers; has the potential to reach that level, and is happy to be third choice (usually, early 20s). This should've been Aspas or Borini, but it hasn't worked out.

* One up-and-coming youngster (late-teens to early 20s), who won't expect to play every game, but is happy to learn from the other strikers in the squad. This is where a player like Keita-Balde would fit in.

The price is a joke, though. €15m for an 18-year old with no real experience? No chance.



  1. I saw nothing in that video that said 1.5M let alone 15M.

  2. And those are his best bits. He ran the ball out of play 3 times and his diving wasn't even up to scratch - quick sign him.:-)