Was Liverpool's perfect Steven Gerrard replacement on display against Chelsea?

Marco Verratti unveiled by PSG

Marco Verratti impressed for PSG against Chelsea in the Champions League, showing why he is just the type of player Liverpool should be looking at.

Liverpool went on a spending spree in the summer after selling Luis Suarez to Barcelona, but whether they solved the biggest poser facing them remains unanswered.

That is not the obvious question of replacing the Uruguayan, which in Mario Balotelli they clearly didn't, but whether they showed enough forward planning to buy a replacement for Steven Gerrard.

Emre Can has looked excellent since signing from Bayer Leverkusen, but his best displays have come at in defence as part of a back three. Long-term his future is likely to be in midfield, but if the Reds decide they need a new face in to accompany Can and Jordan Henderson, they should look no further than PSG midfielder Marco Verratti.

Verratti v Chelsea

The Italian was everywhere for PSG in their 1-1 home draw against Chelsea, putting in a composed performance complete with a couple of crunching tackles.

Verratti made 96 touches in total, completing 92 per cent of his passes, winning four tackles and making two interceptions, figures only bettered in the PSG team by Blaise Matuidi.

At only 22-years-old, Verratti has all the tools at his disposal to become one of the best among his peers. The defensive midfielder has two goals and four assists this season to his name.

Could Liverpool get him?

Tempting him away would depend very much on Liverpool being able to qualify for next season's Champions League. He would come at a high price, with The Star reporting earlier this month PSG would ask for £40 million for his signature.

His departure from PSG would be more likely if the French side were to be successful in their pursuit of Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba. With Matuidi, Motta, Cabaye and even Luiz competing for positions, Verratti could find himself squeezed out, and one of the most saleable assets to comply with FFP.

It's very much a long shot for the Reds, as Juventus would show an interest in his service, while The Guardian have previously linked Arsenal with making a move. If Liverpool want to show real ambition however, and have money to spend should they finish in the top four, Verratti could be one of the best buys they ever make.

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