28 Aug 2015

Late Transfers? Rodgers reveals Liverpool's deadline-day plans and confirms that 'signings' are probably over. Mistake?

The countdown begins! It's only four days until the summer transfer window slams shut, and Liverpool continue to be linked with a variety of players, but what are the chances of LFC making any further signings?

According to Reds boss Brendan Rodgers, there's little chance of new players coming in. When asked in his pre-West Ham press conference today if he's 'done and dusted' in the transfer market, Rodgers told reporters:

"We made a lot of our signings early on in the season, and I think it will be quiet around here [on deadline day]".

Liverpool's transfers this summer seem to be an upgrade on last year's dross, but there's still something missing, and that's an experienced wide-player with a history of scoring/creating goals.

I've been making this point for months, but it's even more acute now: it's a mistake to go into the rest of the season relying on Coutinho, Ibe, Lallana, Firmino, Milner, Can, and Henderson to score goals regularly.

* Last season: Hendo grabbed 6 goals; Coutinho, Lallana, and Milner (for Man City) limped to 5 goals; Can got a measly 1 goal, and Ibe failed to score at all.

* This season: Milner, Can, Hendo, Lallana, and Ibe have continued where they left off last season, and have so far failed to score.

* None of these players has *ever* reached doubled figures for goals in the Premier League.

Firmino is an unknown quantity in the Prem, and there's no guarantee that he'll replicate his Bundesliga form. His recent creative output is good, but one player isn't capable of picking the up the goalscoring slack for an entire misfiring midfield. As such, it's absolutely vital (IMO) that Liverpool bring in another goalscoring attacking midfielder before the transfer window closes.

Andriy Yarmolenko is the obvious choice, and I've explained at length Liverpool need to pull out all the stops to seal the deal, and with Markovic now gone, there's clearly a vacancy in the squad that needs to be filled.

On the subject of Yarmolenko: I'd just like to debunk one particularly spurious, cliched myth about the player, which is currently being peddled buy fans desperate to discredit him. This is a direct quote from a comment on the site.

"Yarmolenko is still playing in the Ukrainian league at the age of 25, so he can't be that good. Plus, why are no other big clubs trying to sign him. There must be something wrong with him".

This argument has zero credibility, for the following reasons:

* Yarmolenko is still in the Ukraine because he specifically chooses to be. After winning the league in June, he told ESPN: "I promised that until we become champions, I was not going anywhere. I kept my promise, we became champions".

* Prior to last season, Kiev hadn't won the league since 2009, which is the year Yarmolenko became a regular at the club. As he states, he didn't want to leave until he won the league, and it took six years to achieve that.

* Yarmolenko is clearly a man of his word, and even if teams pursued him in the past, he probably rejected them based on that promise to win the league.

* As a comparison, consider Jackson Martinez. He didn't leave the Mexican league (arguably inferior to the Ukrainian league) until the age of 25, Using the specious logic of the anti-Yarmolenko argument, there must've been something wrong with him, too. Clearly, that's nonsense. Since coming to Europe, Martinez has smashed in 112 goals/assists in 133 games for Porto, which proves that he is a top class attacker.

It really makes me laugh. Rodgers and his bungling transfer committee are happy to spend £103 million on Lallana, Markovic, Aspas, Alberto, Origi, Lambert, Borini, and Balotelli, but seemingly baulk at spending €20m (Yarmolenko's buyout clause) on one of the world's most consistently prolific attacking midfielders. Yarmolenko blows every one of those players out of the water (plus Coutinho and Firmino)

* 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.

Yes, I endlessly go on about this, but this deal is the biggest no-brainer in my lifetime of being a Liverpool fan. Bar Ibe - a teenager who shouldn't be pressured to produce - The Reds have no pace in attacking areas, and no real width.

It's such an obvious transfer to make, and it's so frustrating to see Liverpool persistently signing dross over proven players with a history of *delivering the goods*.

Alas, Barcelona are now pursuing Yarmolenko to replace Pedro, which means Liverpool have almost certainly missed the boat.

Mark my words: If Liverpool fail to sign another goalscoring attacking midfield, the team will struggle to beat last season's goals-scored total, which will inevitably lead to failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Author: Jaimie K


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