The transfer window is upon us and Liverpool need reinforcements, so where could they go shopping in Italy?
But whilst the switch for the now Fiorentina man came at a fairly hefty price, here we’ll take a more fiscally conservative approach.
Following are five value targets for the Reds this January currently plying their trade in the peninsula.
1) Allan, Udinese: The Brazilian isn’t well known around Europe, but personifies the type of player the Friuli club have become renowned for signing – a steal. Only Vidal has made more tackles than Allan thus far in the Serie A campaign and can count on reliable creative faculties in addition. He’d be an ideal candidate to add much-needed physicality to the Liverpool midfield with Lucas Leiva the only truly defensively-minded option at present.
2) Sime Vrsaljko, Genoa: Just 21, the full-back possesses considerable versatility and can play on either flank as well as in midfield. Such qualities make him an ideal candidate, as Brendan Rodgers requires depth on either side of the defence. And as a bonus, the Croatian has experience playing in the 3-5-2 formation, which the Northern Irishman has previously experimented with. Vrsaljko only just joined Genoa in July for less than €4 million so the signing would be difficult, but is tempting nonetheless.
3) Jonathan Biabiany, Parma: One of the quickest wide men around, Biabiany has constantly been linked with Serie A’s top sides over the past 12 months. Considered a bust at Inter, he’s found a new lease on life at the Stadio Tardini and may now be ready for another experience at a big club at 25 years of age. Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson have certainly improved, but the Reds always look like needing another option to attack down the flanks.
4) Maxi Moralez, Atalanta: Known for his small stature in Serie A, the Argentine is an energetic character best deployed behind a lone striker. Moralez has a knack for popping up against more illustrious opponents, with abundant dribbling ability and incisive vision his strengths standing at just 159 cm. He’d be a useful alternative to Philippe Coutinho and could be had for only about £5 million.
5) Eddy Onazi, Lazio: An all-action performer, Onazi is a technically sound central midfielder capable of closing down opponents and bursting forward in equal measure. The Nigerian previously suggested he would relish the opportunity to pull on a Liverpool shirt, has a high ceiling at 21 and would seemingly at most cost around £8 million.
image: © ell-r-brown