2 Sept 2015

TMW Exclusive: Liverpool tried to sign 'top-level' €20m attacker before the transfer deadline

In the last week of the transfer window, Liverpool were finally linked with a move for Dynamo Kiev star Andriy Yarmolenko, and according to reports in the dying throes of deadline-day, Liverpool made a last-ditch attempt to sign the prodigiously prolific attacker.

On Monday, TMW (The digital version of Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato) claimed that Liverpool were 'ready to pay' Yarmolenko's €20m release clause.

On Tuesday, 2.5 hours before the transfer window closed, a TMW exclusive claimed:

"The English transfer window will close in a few hours, but as discovered by by our editorial team, Liverpool will make one last attempt to sign Andriy Yarmolenko".

So near, yet so far, apparently.

Yarmolenko - described by Pep Guardiola as a 'top-level' player - would've been an amazing signing for Liverpool, but as usual, it's too little, too late. The Ukrainian attacker revealed in JUNE that he wanted to leave Kiev. He told reporters:

"Now is the perfect time to change clubs. I promised that until we become champions, I was not going anywhere. I kept my promise, we became champions. The president knows that I want to leave, I have repeatedly spoken about this".

June 1st to be exact, which is three months ago.

Five minutes after the words left Yarmolenko's mouth, Liverpool should've prioritised the signing, and pulled out all the stops to bring him to Anfield.

There's absolutely no doubt that Kiev would've agreed to a sale, and the club's President, Igor Surkis, confirmed as much on Monday. When asked about Everton's interest in Yarmolenko, he told Velikiy Futbol:

"If Everton came to me early in the transfer window, I would have sold Yarmolenko. Negotiations only started five days ago. When I sold Jeremain Lens, I had plenty of time to find a replacement. How can I sell Yarmolenko now and put my team in a difficult position?"

If the Liverpool rumours are true, then Rodgers probably realised too late what fans have known for months: Liverpool have no real pace in the team, and Ibe aside, there are no attacking players capable of providing genuine width.

To add insult to injury, Liverpool don't have the wide players to provide ammunition for Christian Benteke, which means that the Reds probably won't benefit from one important aspect of his game.

Rodgers will no doubt play Firmino, Lallana, and Origi out of position, but none of those players is a bona-fide wide player, and using them in that manner will unbalance the team.

There may be a silver lining, though. Yarmolenko can leave on a free next summer, so Kiev may be motivated to sell him in January, or risk losing him for nothing.

As such, Liverpool may get another chance to sign Yarmolenko in the new year, but if things go badly between now and then, the club may already be out of the Champions League race.

Yarmolenko was needed *now*, but as per usual, Liverpool failed to sign the players the club really needs, i.e. a pacy AM to replace Sterling; a DM/holding midfielder; an experienced left-back, and (arguably) a top-class goalkeeper.

Author: Jaimie K


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