19 Apr 2016

Anfield MegaDeal? Liverpool favourites to sign powerhouse '€50m' attacker who's 'like Drogba'

With Christian Benteke and Mario Balotelli destined for the Anfield scrapheap, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is reportedly looking at potential replacements, and the latest name to enter the fray is Marseille goalscorer Michy Batshuayi.

According to The Mirror:

"Liverpool are ready to join the summer scramble for Michy Batshuayi. The Belgian...is on Klopp’s radar as the Liverpool boss prepares to shake up his strike force".

ESPN further claims that Liverpool 'lead the race' to sign Batshuayi ahead of Spurs, West Ham, and Juventus.

Some info about Batshuayi, who, according to Marseille President Vincent Labrune, is 'like Didier Drogba':

* 22-year old centre-forward, who has also (occasionally) played on the right-wing. Current contract expires: 2020. Nicknamed 'The Batsman'.

* Standard Liege: 44 goals/13 assists in 120 apps (Goal every 171 mins. G/A every 132 mins).

* Marseille: 30 goals/10 assists in 70 apps (Goal every 160 mins. G/A every 120 mins).

* 2 goals in 3 games for the Belgium national team.

* Scouting Report (Strengths): "Deadly finishing. Excellent at running with the ball at his feet. Upper-body strength to win physical battle with centre-halves. Ability to bring others into play makes him the ideal focal point up-front".

* Nov 2015: Belgium boss Mark Wilmots rapped: "I want someone who participates in the game, and moves. He [Batshuyi] lost eight balls out of ten. Defensively, he forgot to cover the corner. Such detail can be fatal for us to Euro 2016".

* Feb 2016: Amid a barren spell in front of goal, Marseille boss Michel also publicly criticised Batshuayi: "He [Batshuayi] lacked mobility and understanding of the game. We're working on it with him, but we must rely on his commitment. Now there is competition so he must improve".

* Nov 2015: Marseille president Vincent Labrune insisted: “Batshuayi is one of the most wanted players on the market. He’s proving himself on the pitch, and if clubs want him then they are going to have to pay around €50m.”

€50m? You're having a laugh. Despite the hype, Batshuayi remains unproven at the highest level, and that kind of money should be reserved for consistently proven goalscorers.

Batshuayi's haul this season of 20 goals in 43 games is fairly good, but it's not €50m good, especially in Ligue One, which - with respect - is nowhere near as tough or competitive as the Premier League.

Additionally, like with Benteke and Balotelli, there are question marks over Batshuayi's mobility and work-rate, two qualities that are non-negotiable under Jurgen Klopp.

One thing's for sure: With Belgium's options up-front (Lukaku, Batshuayi, Origi), Christian Benteke has a battle on his hands to make the Euro 2016 squad. Is Bathshayi about to replace Benteke for both Belgium and Liverpool?

Author: Jaimie K


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