1 Aug 2016

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

Last season, ex-Red Danny Murphy urged Liverpool to sign Real Madrid bit-parter Jesé Rodríguez Ruiz (aka Jesé), and reports over the weekend suggest that the Spanish attacker is now on Jurgen Klopp's transfer radar.

Liverpool were last linked with Jese in November 2015, and according to The Independent over the weekend:

"Jese Rodriguez has been linked to Liverpool. Zinedine Zidane has advised the 23-year-old to seek opportunities elsewhere".

When asked last week about Jese's future, Zidane told reporters:

“If he wants to leave to play more, I don’t know. It’s our first game. He’s here, he played. Everyone’s here, that’s all I can say now.”

Some info about 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).

* 34 goals/assists in 94 apps for Real Madrid (Goal/assist every 86 minutes). 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, he [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?

That said, Jese's creative stats are fantastic. 36 goals/assists in 94 apps seems average at first glance, but:

* Since promotion to Madrid's senior squad, Jese has averaged only 33 minutes of playing time per game.

* After converting his overall pitch time into full games (3112 ÷ 90), Jese's stats = 36 goals/assists in 34 games.

A goal/assist every 86 minutes for a bit-part player is excellent (especially for someone who is primarily a winger), and Jese's stats minutes-per-goal/assist ratio is superior to ALL of Liverpool's attacking players (including Sturridge)

Liverpool currently have lots of attacking players, but with players like Lallana and Markovic in the squad, there's still major room for improvement. If the Reds offload one or both of those players before the transfer window deadline, a replacement will be needed, and Jese arguably fits the bill.

Worth pursuing?


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