Liverpool reportedly join race for Netherlands striker - is he good enough?

Klass Jan Huntelaar Netherlands

The Reds are said to have joined Arsenal in the race for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

According to the Daily Star, the 30-year-old is a transfer target for both Liverpool and the Gunners, with his Schalke contract heading into its final year.

Brendan Rodgers' side are said to be looking at Huntelaar as a potential replacement for Luis Suarez, with the Netherlands striker proving experienced at both international and club level.

Huntelaar has regularly played in the Champions League and scored the winning penalty for his country after replacing Robin van Persie in the World Cup last-16 tie against Mexico.

How, though, does the Schalke man compare to the Reds' current strikers and is he good enough for Anfield?

  PosGoalsAssistsShooting Accuracy (Goals per total shots)Dribbles WonAerial Duels WonAppsMins
Luis Suarez FW 31 12 17.13 93 23 33 2,964
Daniel Sturridge FW 21 7 21.21 37 8 29 2,275
Rickie Lambert FW 13 10 12.62 9 68 37 2,816
Fabio Borini FW 7 2 10.45 29 25 32 2,143

As Opta stats show, Suarez was undoubtedly Liverpool's best forward last season - but Daniel Sturridge was the Reds' most accurate striker, while Rickie Lambert was particularly effective in the air for Southampton and Fabio Borini also enjoyed a good season at Sunderland.

If we take Suarez out of the equation, however, 30-year-old Huntelaar would possibly fit somewhere between Lambert and Sturridge.

According to WhoScored.com, the Dutchman averaged 1.5 won dribbles per game, 3.6 aerial duels won per game and 0.5 key passes a match. Huntelaar was thus not as good in the air as Lambert but similar to Sturridge with his ability on the ball.

Perhaps most importantly, the Schalke man scored 12 goals in 18 Bundesliga appearances, a strike-rate similar to Sturridge's. The season before that, he scored 10 times in 26 league games.

The Netherlands man can score goals, then, and would offer Liverpool both experience and good finishing ability. The issue, however, is that he cannot really be seen as a direct replacement for Suarez.

In the Uruguayan, Liverpool have so much more than a striker, whereas Huntelaar is primarily a penalty-box forward, a job that could be left to 24-year-old Sturridge: a much younger option.

His signing may make sense - but only if the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Lazar Markovic or Xherdan Shaqiri were also guaranteed to come with him. In short, Huntelaar is a reasonable option, though he might not necessarily have that something special to really stand out at Anfield.

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