According to yesterday’s CaughtOffside Liverpool are preparing a summer swoop for Basel’s exciting prospect Xherdan Shaqiri which is a touch surprising considering he recently committed his future to Bayern Munich.
Reports elsewhere suggest that the Anfield club are aiming to muscle Spurs out of their quest to lure the sensational Eden Hazard to Blighty. Again common sense indicates that this is nothing more than fanciful rumour-mongering. Though Redknapp has publicly stated that the Lille schemer tops his shopping list it is extremely doubtful – even with Champion’s League qualification – that Tottenham will be able to dissuade the £30m target from heading to Real Madrid, the current firm favourites for his signature. So if they are unsuccessful what hope do a Liverpool side in transition have even if Hazard is viewed as a fundamental part of the club’s rebuilding process? Director of football Damien Comolli has drawn up a list of names with Hazard’s in capital letters but desiring a player ultimately amounts to nothing without a realistic chance of obtaining him. What is stopping Barnsley declaring they’d like to bring Messi to Yorkshire next term to improve their present creative options?
What is becoming increasingly clear however is that, despite Liverpool recruiting several high-profile faces to enhance their midfield it’s in this department they wish to further revamp in the months to follow.
Stewart Downing has spluttered into life on occasion but has been an overall disappointment while Henderson remains unfulfilled potential at this point of his development. An explosive, imaginatively creative force is what is required to flourish ahead of the industry of the returning Lucas who they’ve badly missed of late.
Step forward Marko Marin who Liverpool was heavily linked to last month and will look to rekindle their interest once the current campaign draws to a close. The Werder Bremen wideman has suffered a loss in form in recent months due to being employed centrally in an advanced role that doesn’t best suit his array of tricks, turns and the vision he is blessed with. He has also noticeably missed his former playmate Ozil and his cause has been damaged further by Werder’s poor showing in the Bundesliga.
While this is discouraging news for the Anfield faithful the significant up-side is that his value has dropped considerably and furthermore the 22-year old is now very much attainable at £10m. Half of the Henderson fee for a player of twice the promise: that must surely tempt the Liverpool hierarchy.
From the player’s perspective a move to the Premier League would be welcomed as an opportunity to revitalise his fortunes and force the hand of Joachim Low to bring him back into the national team’s fold.
Though it is expected that Liverpool will indeed pursue their dream target of Hazard don’t be surprised if pragmatism ultimately rules the day and Marko Marin – a player in the Ashley Young mould who drifts inside and troubles defences – is a red next term.