12 Apr 2015

Sign Me: After Alonso chat, 'fantastic' €32m playmaker would love Liverpool transfer

In March, reports claimed that Reds legend Xabi Alonso tried to convince Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi to sign for LFC, and with speculation mounting about a possible summer transfer, it appears that the coveted midfield is interested in signing for Liverpoool.

According to The Mirror, Liverpool have already asked Real Madrid to keep them 'informed' about over Illarramendi’s situation, and a report today in Spanish newspaper Marca claims:

* Arsenal and Liverpool both want to sign Illarramendi, who 'wants to play in England'.

* Liverpool's interest has 'intensified' in recent weeks.

* Illarramendi 'loves the idea' of signing for Liverpool, even if the club misses out on the Champions League.

Hmmm. It seems highly improbable that one of Europe's most promising midfielders is happy to leave the bright lights of Real Madrid - and the Champions League - to battle out in the Europa League. Indeed, when asked in January about his future, he told reporters:

"I want to stay at Real Madrid. I'm very happy at this club and in this city [and] I'm only looking towards [Madrid]"

That said, Luis Suarez signed for the Reds in the same circumstances, so anything is possible. Some info about Illaramendi:

* Cost Madrid €32m.
* Plays as a central/defensive midfielder.
* 31 apps for various Spain youth teams.
* 82 apps for Madrid over the last two seasons.
* 17 apps in the CL for Madrid.
* Current deal expires in 2019.

Given the sheer number of top quality players at the Bernebeau, it's hardly surprising that Illarramendi can't hold down a place in Madrid's star-studded team, and the harsh reality is that the signings of Kroos and Lucas Silva will block the Spaniard's progression.

Ancelotti does seem to rate Illaramendi, though. In September, he explained what the midfielder brings to Madrid:

“We put Illarra in to avoid risks. He’s more defensive-minded, and e wanted to control the game and he showed he was up to the task. He helped us come back in the game".

Italian legend Arrigo Sacchi is also a big fan, and when asked last season about the midfielder, he raved:

“I was blown away by Illarramendi. He's a fantastic player. He can defend, he gets forward well, he reads the game well and can go long or short with his passing. I think he has a lot to offer Real"

That's a glowing recommendation from a true legend of the game, but with Silva getting games ahead of him, Illaramendi's future at the Bernebeu is looking shaky.

This season's dismal European performance underlines the urgent need for Liverpool to sign a couple of quality, Champions League-experienced midfielders, but is Illaramendi a viable summer transfer target?



  1. B Rodgers or whoever the new manager is in the summer should not bring in Illarramendi he is too light weight and weak like J Allen and would get bullied in the Premiership.
    One of these mobile top class quality DM'S should be brought to club instead:
    M Schneiderlin Of Southampton for £17-£21M
    L Bender Of Bayer Leverkusen for £16-£20M
    G Konogbia Of Monaco for £15-£20M
    We should not bring A Song either he is like Adebayor plays good for half season then goes missing as West Ham have found out over the course of season.

  2. I'm not sure what Illarramendi you've been watching, but he's not light and weak. A bit on the small side at 5'10", but that's the same height as Danny Ings, and he seems tall enough.

    You are right about his mobility though. He relies on his positioning rather than his legs to stop attacks.

    Personally, I think it would complement Hendo well, since he has a really good creative side as well. Him and Nainggolan would be class signings.

  3. The new tv sponsorship money will hopefully attract players to Liverpool without cl football. I hope Liverpool have no European football next year so we have a better run at the league..

  4. We do not have a DM with mobility or pace in side /squad and that's why whenever we have played the best sides in league away from home we have come unstuck.
    L Leiva and J Allen do not have the mobility or pace to nullify and break down most attacks. And Illarramendi is in the same category as them two where as M Schneiderlin, L Bender and G Konogbia all have mobility and a bit of pace with them and they are class and quality at breaking up play and starting attacks.

  5. According to Jim Beglin, his arm was off but somehow, he magically held his run and was onside.

  6. I suppose.

    In the end though, beggars can't be choosers. If Illarra is available and willing, and we go after the others and fail, we'll end up finishing the summer with Balo 2.0 (Mvila?)

  7. Top 2 last season totally blown it this season

  8. -.- Utd win by two... guess how many offside goals they had?

  9. 4th place is still on !!!

  10. I still harbour some hopes of finishing fourth. Win tomorrow and we will be 4 points adrift. But the wheels seem to be coming off at City and with some toughies still to play, their opponents will be looking to take advantage of their poor form and morale. Of course to stand any chance at all we will need to win virtually every game, but you never know, we might just be able to sneak in at the death.

  11. I have a bad feeling we will draw tomorrow

  12. As long as JK shares those feelings, we'll win.

  13. Whilst he does have Champions League experience, it has been suggested by some that Illaramendi lacks the fortitude and steeliness to make it at the top level. Make of that what you will.

    I've certainly enjoyed watching him at times. I think he suits the original Rodgers vision for Liverpool more than the vision he seems to have nowadays. Nainggolan or someone with more 'legs' seems to fit the bill nowadays.

  14. I think the "nowadays" vision is a compromise because of the players Rodgers has had available. He might stillharbour hopes of a tiki-taka team that can do the 'death by football' thing. If he's here next season we might just see the real Brendan Rodgers, at last.

  15. I think he might be the wrong age too ;-)

  16. Couldn't agree more. illaramendi is twice a player, he's more of a box to box and scores goals for fun (something Allen totally lack ). Comparing him to Allen is ridiculous! How Allen is still in red shirt is what i will never know, he wouldn't get in OPR 1st team if I'm totally being honest with my self

  17. I don't think so. I think the signings of quicker/more physical players with tactical versatility like Markovic, Origi, Can and Lallana (to a lesser extent but he presses well) point to a shift in philosophy by Rodgers or by the Transfer Committee at least.

  18. Ah, the Twistee transfer value returns!
    No way can I see Schneiderlin going to us with Arsenal and City on his trail

  19. Get a pacy, skillful DM with brute strength, yet affordable. Someone in the mould of Paul Pogba or Aturo Vidal

  20. Good point. I always wonder who our signings might have been if Rodgers had latter-day Rafe-esque control of things. Maybe the same players. I do enjoy the fact that, on paper at least, our players can cope with a 'total football' system.

  21. so you think A Wenger is going to go all out for Schneiderlin this summer with these players all at his disposal who can play in CM: Arteta, Cazorla, Coquelin, Diaby, Flamini, Wiltshire, Ramsey, Oxlaide- Chamberlain, Ozil and Rosicky.

    And in Arteta, Flamini and Coquelin he has three players who all play the DM position in side

    And if Pellegrini is still at Man City come the end of the season which i doubt very much, they have to DM specialists at club Fernando and Fernandinho. Why would they need Schneiderlin for?

    We need M Schneiderlin much more than Arsenal and Man City, they have world class CM's at their disposal, we have one world class CM who is on his last legs, who no longer has the energy, mobility, pace or speed he had 5-7 years ago otherwise he would be head and shoulders above everyone at club still. He is still the best passer and creater at club, but teams no longer give him the time or space to hurt them.

    And as he no longer has the energy, mobility,pace or speed he had 5-7 years ago he struggles to lose his markers.

  22. Whilst he does have Champions League experience,

    Only 2 games ?

  23. Mvila has been quoted as having a terrible attitude, no thanks. Plus, I remember some other Midfielders who were technical but lacked mobility, maybe a certain Xabi Alonso, or a Dietmarr Hamann? Maybe a bit of Gary Mac?
    This isn't FIFA, where without pace, you lose. Illara would be an awesome, albeit unlikely addition to the squad IMO

  24. Arsenal do have alot of midfielders, but they would still go for Schneiderlin. Lets look at the players you listed:
    * Arteta - Old, Injury Prone, May last 1 maybe 2 seasons at the top
    * Cazorla - Not in competition with Schneidi for a place, different positions.
    * Coquelin - His only real competition for the DM role, doing well but still young.
    * Diaby - Sick note, makes Sturridge look stoic.
    * Flamini - Sick note, old, may only have 1 season left.
    * Wilshere - Sick note, will probably be lured to city for a price way above what he is worth (about £10m if I'm being completely honest).
    * Ramsay - Kind of competition for schneidi, but not really, much more attacking player.
    * Ox - Not even close to the same position
    * Ozil - Attacking player.
    * Rosicky - Attacking player and is oooold (I think, he just seems to have been around for decades).
    So in reality, over the next couple of seasons, if Wenger signed Schneiderlin, he would have competition from Coquelin, and thats basically it...

  25. Benj, Well all the players you have said are sick notes are still on Arsenal's books and being paid well. Until A Wenger ships most of them out, I think we need Schneiderlin more than Arsenal.
    And if B Rodgers somehow keeps his job in summer, he should do everything in his power to get Schneiderlin signed ahead of Arsenal.

  26. Hard to say, isn't it. It seems like some of our most ineffectual from the past summer (Lallana, Lovren, Lambert) were very much Rodgers signings. Maybe it's for the best, maybe not. We're always just going to be guessing, particularly with this 'Transfer Committee'.

  27. That was my point :D

  28. If anything, they need him the same as we do. You just said yourself that they're all sick notes. They need SOMEONE to play when everyone's injured. And they think that someone is Schneiderlein.

  29. We need him more than they do. Lets be real and honest the reason Chelsea, Arsenal and Man United are dominate and win games is because they have a variety of world class Centre midfielders at their disposal and they dictate and dominate most of the games they play in.
    Do you think its coincidence Man United are now steam rolling teams and actually playing top class football and not flukely winning or nicking points.
    Because they have three ball playing Central midfielders in side all the time ( Carrick, Herrera and Mata)who are all very neat clever and keep ball very well and all are forward thinking and creative. Even though Mata is being played out wide, he comes in more times than not too link up with Herrera and Carrick to keep things ticking over nicely.
    And this burns me badly as I hate hate hate Man United and Chelsea with a passion, but when you break it down:
    Arsenal have centre midfield class and quality of: Cazorla, Oxlaide- Chamberlain, Wiltshire, Ozil , Ramsey and Rosicky
    Chelsea have centre midfield class and quality of: Fabregas, Matic, Oscar and Ramires
    Man United have centre midfield class and quality of : Carrick, Herrera and Mata
    We have the class of Can, Henderson and Coutinho. But Can has had to play at back so B Rodgers L Child J Allen gets place in team and even J Henderson has had to play numerous times at Right wing back so clueless and useless J Allen is given starting spot.
    L Leiva has been a loyal great servant, he is the best defensive midfielder we have at club and only one we have at club but his lack of energy, mobility, pace and speed like S Gerrard now is where he is exposed. If he had the energy, pace and speed in his locker he would be up there with Matic and Schneiderlin as those are the three key assets they have over L Leiva.
    Club have still not replaced the class or quality of Alonso and Mascherano in Centre midfield in over 6 years. In which we could dominate games home and away and go and play at nay ground in world and still dominate the battle ground.
    Most games are won in centre midfield, Our centre midfield is no where near as good as it could be.
    And I am hoping and praying in summer , owners sanction two top class central midfielders: M Schneiderlin Of Southampton FOR £16-£22m should be the first signing in summer
    Marquee signing: M Verratti Of PSG For £25-£32M
    Those two central midfielders alongside one another, with either Can, Coutinho, Henderson or Lallana playing just in front of them would be able to compete with any centre midfield trio in world football.