Liverpool are close to completing the £7 million signing of Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo and if it underwhelms any Liverpool fans, there are some very good reasons it shouldn’t.
Aspas is a quality addition to the Liverpool squad and seemingly the perfect player for the small, dynamic and fast team which Brendan Rodgers is currently trying to create at the club.
He out-did Luis Suarez statistically last season in a couple of key areas which suggests that the club have picked up a real bargain.
Aspas actually had a better passing success rate that Suarez last season in league football; 77.3% compared to 76.6%
It’s not a majorly surprising statistic when considering that the majority of La Liga football is based around a passing game from the very top with Barcelona and Real Madrid, all the way down to Aspas’ former club Celta Vigo.
It shows that he can be equally effective, if not better than, as Suarez when it comes to linking up with the Liverpool midfield and also interchanging with his teammates in attack.
That slight advantage Aspas has in terms of passing has had a knock on effect in terms of his number of assists.
Aspas produced seven assists for teammates last season while Suarez only produced five.
That shows that Aspas’ decision making in the final third is superb and he shouldn’t feel flustered by the pace of Premier League play or the pressure when he gets into the final third of the pitch.
It also shows that he’s heavily a team player and would prefer to pass to a teammate for a tap-in rather than go for an epic goal himself.
Aspas picked up four yellow cards and one red card last season, which is a better disciplinary record than Suarez who picked up ten yellow cards.
You may point to the red card as a suggestion that Aspas has a worse disciplinary record but he actually played one more league game than Suarez last season.
It’s significant for Liverpool because of the harsh treatment Suarez apparently gets from Premier League officials.
It’s important that the club have a player who they know isn’t going to be unavailable through card suspensions regularly.
How Aspas does at Liverpool remains to be seen but if you’re a fan who trusts the stats then the early indications suggest this could be a masterstroke from Brendan Rodgers.
How do you think he’ll get on? Can he have anything like Suarez’s impact?
image: © grodal