7 Mar 2017

Whelan: Liverpool should've signed 'excellent' £15m striker who's 'better than Sturridge or Origi'. Agree?

Liverpool legend Ronnie Whelan has bemoaned Liverpool's failure to sign one of the Premier League's most consistent goalscorers.

In his column this week for The Herald, Whelan - who won 6 league titles and the European Cup during his time at Anfield - insisted that Liverpool need to sign 'someone like Zlatan Ibrahimovic', and further argued:

"Jermain Defoe would have been a better option than either Sturridge and Origi, who seems to be heading in the same direction as Benteke".

Whelan is not alone with this view. Last month, ex-Red Stan Collymore noted:

“He [Defoe] could easily do a job in a top six team. He would have been a deal clincher for Liverpool chasing the top four".

Liverpool were reportedly offered the chance to sign £15m-rated Defoe in January 2015, but Brendan Rodgers rejected the deal. At the time, Phil Thompson publicly endorsed: the transfer*

"I would love to see Defoe come to Anfield in the [transfer] window. He still has plenty of legs, and would really add to the squad"

Jamie Carragher has also confirmed that Liverpool twice rejected the chance to sign Bellamy in the past:

"[Kenny] Dalglish [considered] signing Defoe in January 2012 as he knew he'd guarantee goals. Rafa Benitez also considered him in 2006 but chose Bellamy instead".

Comparative stats for Defoe, Sturridge and Origi since January 2015 (When Defoe signed for Sunderland).

* Sturridge: 29 goals/assists in 46 apps (One every 123 mins)

* Origi: 24 goals/assists in 66 apps (One every 127 mins)

* Defoe: 40 goals/assists in 83 apps (One every 170 mins)

Not bad for a 34 year old. Sturridge and Origi's minutes per goal/assist ratio is better, but that should be the case, especially since Defoe - who signed from the MLS - is in his mid-30s, and plays for one of the worst teams in the league. Conversely, Sturridge and Origi play with vastly superior players at one of the world's biggest and richest clubs.

Just imagine what might've been if Rafa Benitez signed 'excellent' Defoe back in 2006, at the age of 23...


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