19 Aug 2015

Transfer Stunner: Liverpool to make surprise €21m offer for 'fantastic' international attacker who rejected LFC in 2013

As the first two games of the new season shows, Liverpool's alleged attacking midfielders are still letting the club down, and the proof of this is the failure of Lallana, Hendo, Milner, Ibe, and Coutinho to collectively create more than 6 chances in 180 minutes of football. Clearly, the Reds still need another attacker capable of scoring/creating goals on a consistent basis (something I've argued for all summer), and the latest name to enter the fray is previous target Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

According to SportMediaset this week:

* Liverpool and Juventus are actively trying to sign 'fantastic' Mkhitaryan.

* The Reds are allegedly planning to make a €21m offer to seal the deal.

Liverpool were last linked with Mkhitaryan in February, when German newspaper Bild claimed that:

* Liverpool 're-opened transfer negotiations' over a summer move for Mkhitaryan.

* Brendan Rodgers is 'desperate' to sign the midfielder as a replacement for Gerrard.

Back in February, Mkhitaryan seemed very keen to leave, and at the time, his agent confirmed:

"Henrikh wants to leave Dortmund at the end of the season. We will have to wait and see what we can do."

After snubbing the Reds, Mkhitaryan - who cost Dortmund €27.5m - revealed the reason why he chose BVB:

“Liverpool have a great past, but Borussia Dortmund has a great present. I made this decision with my heart. I’m not worried about the transfer fee – I hope Dortmund don’t regret a cent of it.”

When Liverpool missed out on Mkhitaryan back in 2013, Liverpool legends Jan Molby and John Aldridge bemoaned the Reds' inability to seal the deal. In his column for 5-Times, Molby observed:

"I was massively disappointed when we weren't able to get Henrikh Mkhitaryan. He would have been perfect for what we needed, an extra bit of quality and real signal of intent."

Aldo expressed similar sentiments, when he tweeted:

"It's a blow. He [Mkhitaryan] would have been a great signing: height, strength, goals and more"

Dortmund's stunning plunge into the relegation zone was one of the shocks of the 2014-15 season, and Mkhitaryan was one of a number of players who spectacularly failed to step-up.

At one point, Mkhitaryan was averaging just one goal/assist every 800 minutes. He ended the season with 5 goals/7 assists in 42 appearances, but When the going got tough, Mkhitaryan clearly became part of the problem, not the solution.

In Adam Lallana, Liverpool already have one expensive, misfiring, attacking midfielder, and spending big bucks on another one is not the brightest idea.

Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu is convinced, however, that Mkhitaryan is still the real deal, and in a recent interview, enthused:

"Mkhitaryan is much quicker and runs more than Sneijder. He is a complete player. He creates chances, wins back balls and always keeps on going. It is important for him to find the right environment again."

Signing an experienced attacking midfielder who scores/creates goals consistently is - or should be - a priority. Relying on Lallana, Henderson, Milner, Ibe, Coutinho et al to score goals consistently is a mistake as none of those players has ever reached double-figures in the Premier league.

In my view, though, Liverpool should forget Mkhitaryan, and sign, yes, you've guessed it, Andriy Yarmolenko. I've been banging this drum for a year, and I'll continue to do so as it's utterly ridiculous that Liverpool are ignoring him. Stats:

* 159 goals/assists in 260 games for Kiev (Goal/assist every 1.6 games)

* Last season: 19 goals/21 assists (40 G/A total) in 42 apps (Basically 1 goal/assist every single game).

* 19 goals in 49 games for the Ukraine national team.

* Tall (6'2) and strong, which is something Liverpool do not have in attack. Bar Henderson, all the club's attacking midfielders are on the small side.

* Most importantly: Yarmolenko has never been injured, which shows he's robust enough to handle the Premier League. Plus, in the Ukraine, he's used to playing (and delivering the goods) in crappy weather.

It's an absolute no-brainer.

Author: Jaimie K


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