In this January's transfer window, Liverpool were one of a handful of Premier League clubs keeping tabs on Lazio's Antonio Candreva.
Back then, few English fans would have known too much about the midfielder. Despite him making his debut for the Azzuri in 2009, Candreva was in between several loan spells before settling at Lazio and enjoying superb in 2012-13, and particularly the campaign just ended.
The travelling Three Lions support will surely know more about the 27-year-old now, after he gave Leighton Baines a torrid time in England's 2-1 defeat to Italy. At the very least least Candreva matched the performance of Liverpool's own Raheem Sterling in terms of attacking threat.
It is more than possible that the Rome club will have to deal with rather more interest for their player after the tournament is completed, and with Liverpool still looking for reinforcements on the wings and the player keen on a move to Champions League club, it may be the case that Sterling and Candreva line up on the same team next year.
Below we analyse the two players performances from the Group D match:
|Team||Goal Assist||Passing Accuracy%||Crossing Accuracy%||Total Crosses||Mins|
The Italian proved himself the better passer, setting up Mario Balotelli's goal with a wonderful cross, and also enjoying a higher success rate with general passes. Sterling didn't manage to find the target with any of his cross attempts, though many of them came later on in the game when he, and his fellow England forwards were flagging.
|Team||% Successful Dribble Attempts||Shot Accuracy %||Scoring|
The Englishman did impress with his dribbling, managing to beat the player he took on 57% of the time. He also drew more fouls and had more touches. Candreva managed to land one of his four shots on target, but Sterling's early effort was mightily close to opening the scoring, rippling the side of the net.
With all the acclaim being heaped on Sterling back in the British press right now, in Candreva, it would be well worth Liverpool going back to a player they had previously been keeping tabs on.