21 Jun 2016

Klopp to Sign? Liverpool chase 'excellent' £12m attacker who's 'similar' to 'Arjen Robben'

Another day, another English player linked with a move to Anfield, and this time, it's allegedly 'excellent' Newcastle winger Andross Townsend on Jurgen Klopp's radar.

According to The Independent:

"Liverpool have joined a list of Premier League sides contemplating making an offer for Andros Townsend^".

Some info about Townsend:

* Right winger, who can also play on the left. Current contract expires: 2021. Reportedly on £55k-a-week at Newcastle.

* Spurs and Newcastle: 15 goals/17 assists (32) in 106 apps (Goal/assist every 188 mins). England: 3 goals in 11 games.

* Jan 2016: Reds legend Steve Nicol told ESPN: "Townsend [is not] consistent at a high level. He is either ‘up there’ or ‘down there', or on his backside on the bench".

* Oct 2013: Harry Redknapp's assessment: "If you look at Arjen Robben, Townsend is the closest thing we have. He is very similar. He plays on the right, dribbles well, runs at people, gets shots at goal".

Usually, I'd vehemently decry the prospect of Liverpool signing yet another overhyped British player (Robben? Give me a break!). However, for a reasonable fee, Townsend is arguably a decent target:

* Premier League experienced, and proven on the international stage. Averages a goal/assists every two games.

* Rarely injured. Missed only 6 games through injury for his entire career.

* Blistering pace, which is something Liverpool desperately need, especially on the flanks. Additionally, the Reds need wingers.

* Only 24, so Townsend's best years are ahead. Plus, if Liverpool activate his release clause (£10.5m), it's not the biggest transfer risk in the world.

It's simply a matter of being realistic, and managing expectations. Forget the likes of Higuain, Gotze, and Hamsik - Townsend - like Arnautovic and Sissoko - is a realistic target, and given Liverpool's current situation (i.e. League mediocrity and no Europe), the Reds will probably have to make do with B-grade transfers this summer.

Given the choice, I'd prefer to see Liverpool sign better players, but, unfortunately, after Klopp's abject failure to get the Reds into Europe, beggars can't be choosers.

^ Jan 2016: Cost Newcastle £12m


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