Brendan Rodgers may have pulled off a repeat of his two best Liverpool transfers.
Brendan Rodgers has done what plenty of coaches have hinted they’ll do in signing players before the World Cup starts next week.
The deals for Lambert and Can are similar to the two signings he made in January 2013, when Daniel Sturridge arrived from Chelsea (£12 million) and Philippe Coutinho (£8 million) made the switch to England from Inter Milan.
Both players have grown to become two of Liverpool’s most important players, widely regarded as tremendous pieces of business by Rodgers in a contemporary football world where players exchange hands for tens of millions of pounds.
The deals for Lambert and Can are similar in several ways and hint at being just as successful.
Liverpool are operating on a budget and with Lambert, they’ve signed an experienced Premier League striker, who was competitive in terms of goals and assists last season for the princely sum of £4 million.
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Most importantly, Lambert offers Liverpool’s attack something different without altering the way they have to play.
The perception is that he’s a target man but his development at Southampton under ex-boss Mauricio Pochettino means he’s a much more subtle player than many appreciate, able to drop off and get involved in passing and creative play.
The £10 million deal for Can is a little more difficult to judge because it’s more of a gamble.
Bayern Munich sold him to Bayer Leverkusen for £4 million and one-year later he’s been sold to Liverpool for two-and-a-half times that amount.
As a defensive midfielder, Rodgers has a clear position for him in the team and just like Sturridge, he’s signed him with a point to prove as he’ll still feel bitter about his Bayern Munich exit, especially as he would have been forced to watch a right-back, Philipp Lahm, playing his position under Pep Guardiola last season.
Both deals have done nothing to damage Liverpool’s reported budget of £50 million and they have given the boss room to push on and sort out an £18 million deal for Moreno.
That leaves change for the boss to go and make another good signing but his criteria seems to be exactly the same as when he signed Sturridge and Coutinho. If Lambert and Can are half as effective, Rodgers will settle for that.