28 Jan 2017

Late Transfer: Liverpool now favourites to sign 'excellent' €30m midfield star. Offer submitted already in August

Despite numerous protestations to the contrary, is Jurgen Klopp trying to seal a last-ditch transfer for Liverpool?

According to Four Four Two magazine this weekend:

* Liverpool, Arsenal, and Chelsea are all interested in signing Paredes, who is reportedly available for €30m.

* Sky Sports Italia further claims that Roma are willing to offload Paredes due to Luciano Spalletti's formation change to 343, which leaves little room for Paredes.

* Football Italia adds: "Liverpool are favourites [to sign Paredes] thanks to Jurgen Klopp’s long-standing interest".

Some info about Paredes, described by Empoli boss Marco Giampolo as 'excellent':

* 22-year old Argentine defensive-midfielder.

* Dec 2015: Giampolo outlined Paredes' role for the club: "For me, his role is that of the director in front of the defense".

* Dec 2015: Giampolo also highlighted a specific weakness: "When he arrived, he had concentration issues during the game, but now he is learning to be better in this area".

* Aug 2014: Francesco Totti's assessment: "Paredes has something more than the others. I think he has a bright future ahead".

* Feb 2015: Paredes told reporters: “Riquelme is my idol. Totti is also a great player, and I have learned a lot from both of them.”

* Aug 2016: Eurosport claimed: "Liverpool have offered Roma £18m for Leandro Paredes. Roma refused, but if they raise the offer to €20-22 million the deal could be sealed.

If this story is true, it means that the penny has finally dropped, and Jurgen Klopp finally understands that Liverpool need a specialist DM, or as Giampolo calls it, 'director in front of the defence'. There are obvious benefits to signing such a player (discussed to death already) but in this case, the biggest positive (IMO) is that Paredes - like many South American players - is physically robust, and is rarely injured (only 8 games missed through injury in the last three years).

That said, there's no point signing Paredes (or indeed any other deep-lying midfielder), if Klopp is going to play him out of position in an advanced role (as he has done with Emre Can). Paredes needs to be in Henderson's role (i.e. the deepest of the midfield three), and although Hendo has good passing stats, defensively, he lacks (IMO) the defensive instincts (and speed) of someone playing as the deepest central midfielder.


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