£15m Liverpool target a 'headless chicken' - Ex-Arsenal man

Ukraine Football Fans

Former Arsenal defender Oleg Luzhny has criticised Liverpool's top target.

Liverpool are battling to sign Yevhen Konoplyanka from Dnipro, and hope this pursuit of a player with a complicated name ends in better circumstances than their summer efforts to buy Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Managing director Ian Ayre has flown out to Ukraine to seal the deal, and after missing out on Mohamed Salah, the feeling among Liverpool fans is if he were to travel home empty handed, he may as well not bother coming back at all.

So the pressure is on, and Konoplyanka will have to reverse the trend of Ukrainians to fail in the Premier League, and do considerably better than Liverpool's last man to hail from the country, Andriy Voronin.

Yet one countryman is not convinced he is suited to the division, and that's former Arsenal man Oleg Luzhny, who also enjoyed a brief spell with Wolves.

He criticised Konoplyanka's style of play, labelling it ill-suited to the Premier League.

The Star reported: "You run at speed up and down, and it’s like that for 90 minutes.I saw how he played in the World Cup play-off second leg against France, when Ukraine lost 3-0, and he was like a headless chicken.

"It is a completely different level. When you play in the Ukraine, you can afford not to run. In the match against France, it was evident that Konoplyanka barely runs at all.

"Konoplyanka is a good player, but he is suited to Spain or Italy, not England."

Perhaps it will be good for the Ukrainian winger to come into Liverpool with a bit of doubt hanging over him, and have a point to prove.

For £15 million, fans will be realistic not to land an established world class star, but a very good player who may be a little rough around the edges. 

With two games against Luzhny's former side Arsenal upcoming in February in the league and cup, perhaps it would be apt that if Konoplyanka signs, he begins proving his credentials against the Gunners.

image: © worldwide souvenirs

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