26 Aug 2015

Surprise Transfer: Liverpool now favourites to sign 'unique' £10m international attacker. Ibe-killer?

With only a week of the transfer window remaining, Liverpool are reportedly considering a late move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski.

According to a report in The Independent today:

* Liverpool are interested in signing Blaszczykowski, who is allegedly not in Dortmund's plans this season.

* Real Betis are also interested, but Liverpool are favourites to seal the deal as the Reds can improve on the Polish star's current £1.8m-a-year salary package.

* Blaszczykowski is avaialble for £10m.

Liverpool have been linked with Blaszczykowski a few times in the distant past:

* March 2012: Eurosport reported that Liverpool were considering a £7m summer bid for Blaszczykowski.

* Jul 2012: Blaszczykowski confirmed Liverpool's interest on his official website : "We've had a lot important conversations, and there is interest from, among others, Liverpool, Lazio and Inter Milan".

* Jan 2013: Polish newspaper Przegląd Sportowy claimed that Liverpool were considering a January move for Blaszczykowski.

Some info about 29-year old Blaszczykowski:

* Right winger, who can also play as a right-sided midfielder (as part of a 433, for example).

* Current deal with Dortmund expires in 2018.

* Captain of the Poland national team.

* Dortmund: 32 goals/52 assists in 253 games (Goal/assist every 3 games)

* Poland: 14 goals in 70 games

* 2013: Rejected a move to Manchester City. At the time, he told Przeglad Sportowy: "Dortmund simply had the advantage over Manchester City. We have a great squad, fantastic manager, incredible supporters and a very bright future ahead of us".

* 2015: Jurgen Klopp wrote the forward for Blaszczykowski's recently-launched autobiography. Klopp's assessment: "Kuba is a unique individual. He's a fantastic person, good friend, and a classy footballer, and was an absolutely excellent captain for the Polish national team".

Thanks, but no thanks. Blaszczykowski's goals record is not good enough (one goal every 8 games), and more serious than that, his injury history is atrocious:

* 10 injuries in the the last three seasons (averages over three separate injuries every year).

* 400 days on the sidelines (78 games missed, an average of 26 games per season for the last three years)

If this rumour is true, then it's absolutely maddening. Why spend £10m on a player with a poor creative record, and an atrocious injury history when Andriy Yarmolenko is available for just a few million more?

I must be living in some kind of bizarro world because it doesn't make sense. Contrast Blaszczykowski's record above with the following for Yarmolenko:

* 98 goals/66 assists (164 G/A total) in 267 games for Kiev.

* Goal/assist every 1.6 games.

* Last season: 19 goals/21 assists (40 G/A total) in 43 apps.

* 20+ goals/assists every season for the last five years.

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

* 6'2, powerful and fast, which is a good contrast to Coutinho/Lallana etc.

* Only 25 (4 years younger than Blaszczykowski), which means his best years are still ahead.

* Most important: Yarmolenko has never been injured.

So: 78 games missed over the last three years (Blaszczykowski) versus a player who's never been injured? 20+ goals assists without fail for 5 years straight vs. a player who's only achieved 20+ goals/assists ONCE in ten years?

It's just ridiculous to even contemplate that Liverpool would sign Blaszczykowski over Yarmolenko, which is why this rumour has to be nonsense.

Liverpool have a serious lack of width in the team right now, so a wide player is arguably a priority, but Blaszczykowski is not the answer.

Whoever comes in, though, Jordon Ibe will probably be the one to make way, and deservedly so. He's not ready to be a first-team regular yet, and taking him out of the firing line will reduce the intolerable pressure on him to perform.

Author: Jaimie K


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