8 Feb 2016

Replace Sturridge? Liverpool chase 'dangerous' attacker with €200m buyout who's 'better than Ronaldo' at one-on-ones

Last month, Ex-Red Danny Murphy urged Liverpool to consider signing Real Madrid attacker Jese Rodriguez, and it looks like the Spanish striker has now worked his way onto Jurgen Klopp's transfer radar.

Liverpool were last linked with Jese in November, and on Sunday, Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato claimed:

"Liverpool are tracking Real Madrid star Jese, and the Reds are prepared to offer 20 million Euros in the summer".

In January, Murphy advised Liverpool to switch the transfer focus to Jese. He told TalkSport:

“A more realistic alternative [to Aubameyang] is Jese Rodriguez at Real Madrid, who has grown tired of a lack of game time. Jese is young, quick and well worth a gamble in January given his current discontent.”

Some info about 22-year old Jesé, hailed by former Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti as a 'dangerous' player:

* Left-winger, who can also play on the right, and as a secondary striker.

* Current contract expires 2017 and contains a ludicrous €200m buyout clause (yes, you read that right).

* 25 goals/assists in 74 apps for Real Madrid (Goal/assist every 101 mins). 15 goals in 33 apps for various Spain youth teams.

* Dec 2014: Suffered a cruciate ligament injury, and spent 260 days on the sidelines recovering.

* Oct 2015: Former Madrid coach Deogracia Martin, raved: "In a few years, Jese will show that he is better than Cristiano Ronaldo. At the moment he’s better than him on a one-on-one situation."

So, Jese will be 'better than Ronaldo'? It's clear that Martin has been taking lessons at Hogwash, the Brendan Rodgers School of Balderdash and Bullsh^t. Comments like that are irresponsible, and create unrealistic expectations, but what can you expect when a club puts a €200m buyout clause in a player's contract?

Jese has 5 goals/assists in 18 appearances for Madrid this season, but he's averaging only 39 minutes of pitch time per game, so his alleged willingness to leave is understandable, especially with Euro 2016 on the horizon.

In my view, though, Liverpool should steer clear of any player with a significant injury in their recent history, and that includes ACL injuries. Some players are never the same afterwards, and ACLs can be particularly damaging for attackers who rely on explosive pace as a key part of their game.

As such, before taking the plunge, it's (arguably) worth seeing if Jese can remain fit over the next year...

Author: Jaimie K


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