16 Apr 2016

Transfer Update: Liverpool keen to sign 'extraordinary' €13m striker to replace Christian Benteke

With Christian Benteke seemingly on the way out of Anfield, Liverpool will have a vacancy up-front next season, and new reports this week suggest that Reds Boss Jurgen Klopp has identified a potential replacement for the Belgian striker.

According to CalcioMercato:

"Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp is thinking about signing Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar as a replacement for the departing Christian Benteke".

Some info about €13m-rated Babacar:

* 23-year old striker, who can also play on the right wing. Current contract expires: 2015

* Fiorentina: 20 goals/7 assists in 79 games (Goal every 175 mins. Goal/Assist every 129 mins (averages 44 mins of playing time per game).

* This season: 8 goals/assists in 24 games (One every 149 mins)

* Oct 2014: FIFA agent Antiono Caliendo insisted: “In terms of quality, he [Babacar] is better than Balotelli. He has something extraordinary...with the ball at his feet. The more he goes forward, the more you will see that I am right.”

* Nov 2015: Dismissed comparisons to Balotelli: "Many compare me with [Mario] Balotelli, but I have nothing to do with him. He’s Balotelli and I’m Babacar, I play for Fiorentina, and nothing else".

* Oct 2014: Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella told reporters: "Babacar [is a] young talent who must be managed well in order to get the best out of [him]. He's earned his place in the team. He’ll become a great striker”

* Nov 2015:  Scouting Report (Positives) "Powerful, accurate shot from distance. Able to make smart runs behind defenders. Constantly crafting space, exploiting his pace to dart around the box. Full of deft touches and audacious shots. Excellent first touch and close control".

* Nov 2015: Scouting Report  (Weaknesses): "Guilty of lapses in concentration. Must master retention of the ball and regularly draw team-mates into the game. Overzealous at times, making unnecessary fouls".

Babacar's goal record this season is no better than Benteke's (or Balotelli's, for that matter), and there's no point bringing in another striker unless he's a significant upgrade on both.

Author: Jaimie K


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