21 Aug 2015

Offer Accepted: Liverpool agree £15m transfer for 'fantastic' playmaker with amazing stats this season

Earlier this week, SportMediaset claimed that Liverpool are actively trying to sign Amrmenian maestro Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and credible sources now claim that the Reds have reached a transfer agreement with Borussia Dortmund.

In February, German newspaper Bild claimed that Brendan Rodgers is 'desperate' to sign Mkhitaryan, and according to The Independent today:

"Liverpool have had a bid of £15m for Henrikh Mkhitaryan accepted by Borussia Dortmund".

The Independent is a credible source, but it cites 'reports' as the source for the rumour, but doesn't specify the actual source. As such, I'd take this alleged development with a pinch of salt.

Back in February, 'fantastic' 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."

However, when asked about his future in July, Mkhitaryan emphatically dismissed the idea of leaving the Bundesliga, and insisted that he is 'staying at Dortmund'. He told reporters:

"[Thomas] Tuchel [Dortmund manager] has influenced me positively and I want to prove to everyone that I am a good player. I want to make the BVB fans happy. I never felt that it was a mistake to come here".

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"

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

* Lallana: 2 goals in the last 21 apps.

* Henderson: 2 goals in the last 15 apps.

* Milner: 2 goals in the last 11 apps.

* Ibe: 0 goals in the last 15 apps.

* Coutinho: 5 goals in the last 19 apps.

Only Coutinho scores semi-regularly (right now), and his average is still one goal every four games. Is Mkhitaryan the answer, though?

* Last season: 12 goals/assists in 42 appearances (Goal/assist every 3.5 games)

* This season so far: 10 goals/assists in 5 apps (2 goals/assists per game)

After only 5 games of the new campaign, Mkhitaryan is on the verge of beating his total for whole of last season. It just goes to show the impact a new manager can have on a player.

On paper, Liverpool have good attacking players, but Rodger just isn't getting the best out of them. Perhaps a new manager will be able to get Lallana et al firing on all cylinders?

Author: Jaimie K


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