30 Apr 2017

Shock Transfer: Fowler urges Liverpool to smash transfer record and sign 'world-class' €90m striker

Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has urged Jurgen Klopp to make a surprise move for the Premier League's top goalscorer this summer.

When asked on Saturday about possible Liverpool transfer targets this summer, Fowler told The Mirror:

"I’ve got a solution for Liverpool’s problems: buy Romelu Lukaku. Jurgen Klopp needs a proper striker, and if he’s leaving ­Goodison, why not move to ­Anfield?".

€90m-rated Lukaku - hailed as 'world-class' by Ronald Koeman - is a consistently prolific striker, but there are two reasons why this deal will never happen.

The first is obvious: Lukaku plays for Everton, which means the chance of a transfer is negligible.

The second reason is that Lukaku will not fit into Klopp's narrow, frustratingly restrictive, counter-productive idea of what constitutes a 'striker'. As Fowler notes:

"Lukaku doesn’t have quite the ­attributes to play the pressing game ­demanded by Klopp, but he does stay up there and asks ­constant questions of teams who ­defend deep".

A striker playing centrally is an alien concept for Klopp, and he basically confirmed this a few months ago after Daniel Sturridge publicly griped about being the manager's insistence that he constantly drift out wide.

In response to Sturridge's comments, Klopp claimed that it makes 'no sense' for a number 9 to spend most of his time playing centrally, and insisted strikers have to 'change positions' regularly throughout the game.

And therein lies the rub. If Klopp signed Lukaku, he'd ruin his effectiveness by constantly forcing him to go wide, endlessly press, and run his regulation 12km a game. Forget the fact that he averages close to 30 goals/assists per season for the last 5 years or that he's the Premier League's top scorer this season; none of that will cut any ice with Liverpool's ridiculously stubborn manager.

Klopp doesn't play to individual strengths; he has an ingrained, anachronistic, tactically inflexible idea of how his team should play, and every player must adhere to the collective performance template, lest they be discarded and/or marginalised (just ask Benteke!) Liverpool could sign Lionel Messi, and Klopp would (IMO) still insist on making him run and press like a madman, even if it meant a drastic reduction in creative output and personal impact.

Klopp should take a lead out of Pep Guardiola's book. During a Bayern Munich team meeting in 2015, Guardiola told his players:

"This year, everybody will run as I want them to. I say how things are going to be, and you listen. There is only one player in the world who doesn't have to, and that is Lionel Messi."

The point here is that some players are so prodigiously talented that they should simply be left alone to do what they do best. This kind of reasoning applies to players like Ibrahimovic, Suarez, Ronaldo etc, but it should also apply to the most prolific strikers in the world.

The likes of Lukaku, Sanchez, Higuain, Aubameyang, Griezmann, Lewandowski etc don't need to be changed, or moulded into something else; they don't need a manager to force them to try and be something they're not. You just put them up-front, and let them do their job, and if that means they score 25-30 goals without running 12 miles a game, or drifting out wide, THEN SO BE IT.

So, no - Liverpool will not be signing Lukaku, and I'm sure the Belgian is astute enough to know that a move to Klopp's team is a retrograde step.


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