11 Sept 2015

Mega-Deal: Liverpool almost signed 'superb' £22m attacker but the transfer failed because of game-time worries

In May, Liverpool were linked with a move for Son Heung-Min, a player the club has relentlessly pursued throughout Brendan Rodgers' reign. Son ended up signing for Spurs, and it now transpires that the South Korean international rejected Anfield in favour of White Hart Lane.

Prior to his £22m move to Spurs (a record fee for an Asian player), Liverpool held a long-standing interest in Son:

Nov 2012: Former Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Rafael Van Der Vaart revealed the extent of Liverpool's interest: "It is tempting when Liverpool informs you of a twenty million offer, but he [Son] must stay here!"

Jun 2013: Son's agent, Thies Bliemeister confirmed Liverpool's 'concrete' interest: "Liverpool were interested in concrete terms. I think, at clubs like Liverpool and Tottenham, he would also be able to play".

Apr 2014: Brendan Rodgers reportedly made a 'personal check' on Son.

May 2015: Bliemeister told German newspaper Bild: "Liverpool have scouted him several times this season and they want him in their team."

According to the Evening Standard today, Son - hailed by Franz Beckenbauer as a 'superb player' - chose Tottenham 'despite strong interest from Manchester City and Liverpool':

"Son resisted overtures from City [and] Liverpool. Son’s camp have carefully mapped out his career and they consider Tottenham, a club where the forward is likely to play most weeks, a better option than Liverpool".

Son's decision makes sense: his top priority is playing time, and he's more likely to get regular games at Spurs than Liverpool or Manchester City, both of whom have bigger squads than Spurs.

Additionally, attacking players rarely thrive under Rodgers. Under his management, many of Liverpool's forward players have regressed, and failed to reach/maintain, a consistent level of performance.

It's a real shame that deal failed. Unlike Coutinho, Lallana, Firmino et al, Son is a tall, strong attacker, which is something Liverpool desperately need.

Rodgers seems to favour smaller, mobile attackers with a low centre of gravity, but the Reds consequently lack variety in attack, which partly explains the team's creative paucity this season.

On form, Son and Christian Eriksen (another player Liverpool pursued for years) are a potentially devastating attacking duo, and if they click together, Spurs will become a serious threat to Liverpool's chances of finishing in the top five.

Author: Jaimie K


Post a Comment