£11m more, less goals, less assists: What Liverpool got versus what they needed

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Liverpool were long-linked with a move for Ivan Rakitic prior to his switch to Barcelona, so how does £25million arrival Adam Lallana compare?

Liverpool officially announced the signing of Adam Lallana shortly after Barcelona had done the same regarding Ivan Rakitic.  And given that Brendan Rodgers' side had been strongly linked with the Croatian prior to his move to the Nou Camp, those announcements prompted me to question just who had the better deal.

In truth the answer is simple.  Barca got a bargain in signing Rakitic for a reported £14million, a player who shone in La Liga last season and helped his former club Sevilla to Europa League glory.

In comparison, Lallana had his best individual season at Southampton and earned a World Cup call-up in the process.  But despite those achievements, he is not yet at the same level as Rakitic.

Last season, Rakitic scored 12 and set up 12 in the Spanish top-flight, while Lallana netted nine and set up a further six in the Premier League.  The Croatian also averaged 2.3 key passes and 2.4 scoring attempts per league game, while Lallana managed an average of 1.9 key passes and 1.8 scoring attempts.

In fact, the only area below where Lallana outperformed Rakitic was in terms of passing accuracy, with the England man successful with 84.6% of his passes compared with the then-Sevilla star's 79.7%.

  GoalsGoal AssistsAverage Key PassesAverage Scoring AttemptsPass AccuracyAppsMins
Ivan Rakitic 12 12 2.3 2.4 79.7% 34 2,709
Adam Lallana 9 6 1.9 1.8 84.6% 38 3,100

Rakitic is exactly the type of player Rodgers needs at Anfield, a player in a similar vein as another reported target Roberto Firmino, who scores and creates as if he is a top striker while operating in a more withdrawn role.

Once Barcelona were interested in Rakitic, a move elsewhere was unlikely for a player who recently spoke of needing to take a step up in his career.

There are few more upward steps then to move to the Nou Camp, and yet when you consider Liverpool paid £11million more for Lallana than Barcelona paid for Rakitic, you cannot help but question the logic of the transfer market; a place where every single move is measured by its own individual formula.

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