Liverpool's Porto target could be more effective than Sterling

Liverpool are reportedly in advanced talks to sign Christian Atsu from FC Porto in a deal worth just £3 million.

If they snap him up for that amount of money then it could turn out to be the one of the best pieces of business Brendan Rodgers does this summer.

Atsu’s position at Porto has become relatively obscure as the club scrambles to try and compensate for the attacking players who have just jumped ship and headed off to Monaco.

Atsu is a player who could help Liverpool in a number of ways so it’s important they use him effectively.

He has a pass success rate of around the 90% mark which is better than Raheem Sterling or Stewart Downing, both used down the left of Liverpool’s team last season.

That’s very significant because it means he has a superb chance of being able to link up with a player like Philippe Coutinho who naturally plays on that side of Liverpool’s attack.

It should make him very effective in the final third when it comes to linking up with other attacking players but also just playing simple passes in and around the opposition penalty area, allowing Liverpool to maintain pressure.

He’s also versatile enough to be able to play in different positions for the club.

He can play down the right in the same way that Gareth Bale has done occasionally for Tottenham, cutting inside and utilising his stronger left foot.

He can also play as a striker which is significant considering Liverpool could be very short on numbers in that department heading into the start of next season.

If Atsu can play effectively as a number ten sort of striker, he will take a lot of pressure off of the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Fabio Borini who will be tasked with carrying the attack in Luis Suarez’s absence.

He also offers a more experienced angle than the rawer and younger option of Sterling.

It’s actually very clever on the part of Rodgers if he’s getting him in for that reason because Sterling struggled at times last season, when the natural disadvantages he has as a younger player started to shine through most notably a quicker onset of fatigue.

Atsu has played at the top level for slightly longer than Sterling and he also has a longer international career with Ghana, meaning a natural compliment between Sterling and the even greater experience of Downing.

Atsu certainly isn’t the most exciting winger Liverpool could have gone after but he’s a safe option and guarantees fulfilment of all the positive qualities Rodgers is trying to instil over the current squad.

How do you think Liverpool should best use Atsu?

image: © superleagueformula

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