Benfica midfielder Nicolas Gaitan is a reported transfer target for Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool according to several sources in the written and online media.
The 26-year-old is an attractive proposition for the Anfield side because he represents the chance to take care of a problematic left midfield problem, which has seen both Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge used in wide positions this season.
The Argentinian’s contract expires in the summer of 2016, which means an investment would be needed from Liverpool this summer if they go for him. The question is, is he worth it?
We’ve compared his basic stats in key areas against the current crop of Liverpool midfielders to see whether he’d improve or hinder Rodgers’ midfield.
Gaitan has just the one goal in the Portuguese league for Benfica, which suggests at the moment his attacking threat isn’t too imposing. Five of his appearances have come as subs but he’s still some way behind the stars Rodgers regularly uses.
Gaitan has two assists in the league, which again puts him behind the majority of Liverpool’s current crop of midfielders.
Gaitan has been booked in the league five times this season which puts him joint top with Liverpool’s midfielders in terms of discipline. That would mean a suspension in Premier League terms, not fitting the numbers, or lack of, that Gaitan has produced in terms of goals and assists.
Passes per Game
|Player||Club||Pos||Accurate Pass / apps||Apps||Mins|
One of the only areas he would be competitive is in terms of the number of accurate passes he makes per game; 36.2 per match based on Champions League displays this season. That ranks him higher than Coutinho, Sterling and Allen from the Premier League this season.
Crosses per Game
|Player||club||Pos||Total Cross / apps||Apps||Mins|
Gaitan averages 2.6 crosses per game in the Champions League, which makes him competitive compared to Coutinho and Gerrard. His ability out wide could certainly benefit Liverpool down their left flank.
Conclusion: Gaitan has promise in one or two areas but he’s statistically way behind Liverpool’s current crop of midfielder in several areas, which suggests any investment from the club this summer could be better used.
image: © plassen