1 Apr 2016

Aldo blasts: Liverpool should've signed 'amazing' £20m powerhouse who 'wanted' Liverpool transfer. Agree?

Ever since it emerged that Liverpool rejected the chance to sign Spurs sensation Dele Alli, a succession of ex-Reds have bemoaned the club's decision to pass on the deal, and John Aldridge is the latest Anfield legend to slam Liverpool's failure to bring the talented midfielder to Anfield.

Throughout 2014, Liverpool were regularly linked with Alli, and at one point, Brendan Rodgers reportedly made a personal scouting trip to watch the young midfielder in action.

Liverpool ultimately nixed the transfer, and in his column for the Liverpool Echo this week, Aldo admitted that it 'hurts' to seel Alli at Spurs:

"Alli wanted to play for Liverpool; he was a fan who loved Steven Gerrard, and he had a manager at MK Dons who was keen for him to go to Liverpool. So to miss out on him is hard to take".

Jamie Redknapp is also a fan, and in a recent column for the Daily Mail, he raved:

"He [Alli] is the closest thing I've seen to Stevie [Gerrard]. This kid is fantastic".

In my view, this is irresponsible overpraise, but that's par for the course in the UK, where any British player with the slightest talent is lionised and deified to a ridiculous degree. Indeed, according to Harry Redknapp:

"Tottenham paid £5million for him [Alli] in the end, which is nothing. It is an amazing buy. He’s worth at least £20m now if not a lot more".

Gerrard himself admires Alli, and in November, he told BT Sport:

"I was disappointed Liverpool didn't sign him [Alli], especially with me coming to the end. I could see [him] playing for Liverpool for 10 or 15 years."

Gerrard's comments indirectly suggest that he sees Alli as a more viable replacement for him than Emre Can; if that's not the case, why is he 'disappointed' that Liverpool failed to seal the deal when he was 'coming to the end'? At that point, the Reds already had Can in the squad.

Who is the better player?

* In some ways, Can is similar to Alli (position/height etc), but statistically, the German is more effective defensively. For example, in the Premier League, Can wins a higher percentage of tackles/aerial/ground duels; completes more BRICs^, and has slightly higher passing accuracy (81% vs. 76%).

Going forward, though, Alli leaves Can in the dust: 18 goals/assists (all competitions) vs. 4 for Can; better shooting accuracy; more shots on target; more crosses; fewer minutes per chances created.

Overall, Alli appears to be the superior box-to-box midfielder as he excels in both defence and attack. Can, on the other hand, is arguably more suited to being a dedicated defensive midfielder, and if he's to stay in the team, that's the position I'd personally like to see him play.

Like Can, though, Alli is a little overrated (IMO), and one thing's for sure: neither player (from what I've seen) is capable of emulating the genius of Steven Gerrard in the long term.

^ BRIC = Blocks, Recoveries, Interceptions, and Clearances

Author: Jaimie K


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