4 Aug 2016

Yes Please: 'Excellent' €30m Liverpool target who's like 'Inzaghi' wants transfer. Sign for Liverpool?

Earlier this year, Liverpool were linked with a move to sign Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani, and new reports this week suggest that Slimani is now a top target for a host of Premier League clubs.

In June, Portuguese news outlet Noticias ao Minuto claimed:

* Arsenal and Liverpool are favourites to sign Slimani.

* Liverpool submitted a €25m bid, but Sporting will only sell if the club meets Slimani's €30m buyout clause.

According to Sky Sports today:

"Islam Slimani is attracting interest from a string of Premier League clubs, Sky sources understand. Slimani feels it is the right time to move and wants to play in the PL".

If Liverpool submitted a €25m offer in June, then it's highly probable that the Reds are one of the 'string of Prem clubs' currently chasing Slimani. Sporting boss Jorge Jesus is seemingly resigned to losing Slimani, and in a recent interview, he noted:

"It's important that Slimani stays, but it's also important to sell a player for €30m. Sporting is not used to making these deals".

Some info about Slimani, who has missed only 12 games through injury since 2012:

* 56 goals/16 assists (72) in 109 apps (Goal every 131 mins. G/A every 102 mins). Last Season: 38 G/A in 46 games (One every 96 mins)

* Jun 2014: Algerian legend Djamel Menad raved: "He [Slimani] reminds me of Filippo Inzaghi, because he gets the ball in unexpected positions".

* Jan 2016: ESPN Scouting Report (Excerpt): "Penalty-area predator. Technical skills aren't as good as most, but few are more dangerous with their heading ability. Physical presence is certain to keep defenders busy".

* Jul 2014: Jose Mourinho's assessment: "He is a very aggressive striker. He likes scoring goals, is fast and strong in the air".

* Jul 2016: Wolfsburg defender Dante raved: "Marking Slimani was very difficult. He's a big-club player. The coach's philosophy is for a lot of ball movement, and Slimani [is an] excellent player."

Slimani's stats are superb over the last couple of years, and a goal/assist every 96 minutes is a Daniel Sturridge-esque creative return, which is just what Liverpool need.

Unfortunately, Sky also claims that two of the clubs interested in Slimani are in the Champions League. As such, I can't see Slimani taking a step backwards and signing for a team without European football next season, especially when he's in the prime of his career.


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