Emile Heskey thinks Borussia Monchengladbach ace Florian Neuhaus could add a dimension to Liverpool’s midfield not seen since Philippe Coutinho’s departure, speaking exclusively to HITC.
When a young player is bursting onto the scene, it is always tempting to compare him to someone who came before. You would need an abacus to keep track of how many ‘new Lionel Messis’ have come and gone over the years.
Neuhaus, however, is something different; something unique.
The stylish 24-year-old carries the ball with the kind of effortless elegance epitomised by a Mesut Ozil or a Kai Havertz but plays deeper than both; a number eight rather than a number ten.
With seven goals and eight assists this season for an underperforming Gladbach side – including a stunning winner against Bayern Munich – Neuhaus certainly has an eye for goal too, even if he is renowned more for his debonair dribbling and a first touch smoother than a vat of Belgian chocolate.
BILD reporter Christian Falk claimed last week that Neuhaus is interested in a summer move to Liverpool.
And Heskey believes that the five-capped play-maker could give Liverpool something they haven’t had since Philippe Coutinho’s heyday.
“I think they’ve missed that (sort of player) since Coutinho. Someone who can get in those pockets, travel with the ball and start committing defenders to come out of those spaces which they can exploit,” says the former Anfield hero.
“We don’t really have that at this moment in time.
“I thought Curtis Jones could be one of those but when you’re in and out of the team, like he is, it’s difficult – especially when you’re a young lad as well!
“So someone like (Neuhaus) would suit Liverpool in the way that they play. Someone who can really drive with the ball.
“If you just sit in your zones, then it’s difficult to actually break teams down. If you can have someone with a bit of creativity, who starts pulling players all over the place, that’s what you need.”
With Liverpool’s usually ruthless front three looking more like a clumsy kitten than a ferocious tiger these days, the lack of creativity in Jurgen Klopp’s rather workmanlike midfield has come under the microscope of late.
Neuhaus would at least give the suddenly goal-shy Reds something a little different.
Tuttomercatoweb reports that Neuhaus is valued at £40 million – a fee Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich cannot afford.