7 Jan 2016

Anfield Stunner: Klopp could smash Liverpool transfer record to sign 'combative' £37m playmaker

In November 2015, German newspaper Bild claimed that Liverpool were planning a massive January bid for Borussia Moenchengladbach star Granit Xhaka, and new reports today claim that Jurgen Klopp remains interested in signing the coveted Swiss internatonal.

The Telegraph reports:

"Liverpool could break their transfer record to sign Granit Xhaka. Borussia Moenchengladbach want £37m for the player".

Some info about Xhaka, who, according to Moenchengladbach Sporting Director Max Eberle, is 'one of the best players in the Bundesliga':

* 23- year old central midfielder, who's spent much of his career playing as a DM.

* Recently extended his contact until 2019, and his new deal contains a €30m buyout clause.

* 127 apps for Moenchengladbach (16 goals/assists). 38 apps for the Swiss national team.

* Jul 2015: Revealed his next career goal: 'Gladbach are a top club, but there are top clubs that could be the next step in my career.'

There is one major issue with Xhaka, however: discipline on the pitch.

* 40 yellow cards since the start of the 13-14 season. 8 yellows/1 red in 23 games so far this season.

* Total: Eight suspensions since in the same time period (!)

With the overt physicality of English football, it's highly likely that Xhaka will pick up suspensions in the Prem. Gladbach boss Lucien Favre is aware of the problem:

"I'm doing my best to change aspects of Granit's combative behavior on the pitch. He is making progress , but it will take a while."

Liverpool clearly need a tough, combative midfielder, but Xhaka's yellow card/suspension record will needs serious improvement. As with injuries, it's impossible to build a team around a player who's constantly on the sidelines.

Liverpool fans have regularly called for Liverpool to sign a new defensive-midfielder, and if Klopp brings in Xhaka, then it'll probably be curtains for Lucas and/or Joe Allen.

If the Reds pay £37m for Xhaka, he won't be sitting on the bench, that's for sure.

Author: Jaimie K


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