28 Mar 2017

Replace Can? Liverpool ready to pay €25m to sign 'excellent' Argentine powerhouse; offer made already in January

With Lucas reportedly on the way to Galatasaray this summer, and Emre Can's future still up in the air. Liverpool will have at least one vacancy to fill in midfield, and it appears that Jurgen Klopp has already identified a possible replacement.

According to a recent exclusive from Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato:

"According to our sources, Liverpool are ready to spend €25m to sign Roma star Leandro Paredes".

Liverpool were last linked with Paredes during the January transfer window, and asked about Reds' January offer, Roma boss Luciano Spalletti told reporters:

"Paredes? We live in the same building so we got to speak. He told me: ‘I don’t want to go anywhere’. These words pleased me".

Recent transfer timeline:

* Aug 2016: Eurosport claimed: "Liverpool have offered Roma £18m for Leandro Paredes.

* Jan 2017: Four Four Two claimed that Liverpool were planning a January offer for Paredes:

* Jan 2017: Sky Sports Italia claimed claimed: "Liverpool are favourites [to sign Paredes] thanks to Jurgen Klopp’s long-standing interest".

Some info about 'excellent' Paredes, who spent last year on loan at Empoli:

* 22-year old Argentine defensive-midfielder. Contract expires: 2019

* 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.”

* Dec 2015: Ex-Empoli boss Giampolo's assessment: "For me, his role is that of the director in front of the defense". When he arrived, he had concentration issues during the game, but he has learned to be better in this area".

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), but Klopp is unlikely to move the club's captain, which means Paredes (if signed) will probably be shoehorned into a different role.


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