Loic Rémy is very close to finalising a deal with Liverpool to join the Anfield club in what would be their 5th summer signing, after the recent acquisitions of Lambert, Can, Lallana, and Markovic. A fee has reportedly been agreed between current club QPR and Liverpool, believed to be in the region of £8.5 million. The Frenchman apparently has a relatively convoluted clause in his contract to determine different buy-out clauses for different suitors. High wage demands and a desire for European football meant that his position at Loftus Road was destined to come to an end and Newcastle United were not capable of offering enough to take him back to St James’ after a loan spell last year.
With personal terms now agreed, Rémy is widely expected to carry out his medical if he has not already done so, with this taking place in Boston; the current location of the rest of the Liverpool squad while there are away on a pre-season tour. A prompt completion of the deal may well allow him to join his teammates and at least take part in some of the remaining friendly matches.
The former Marseille man is equally as adept as part of a pair up front or playing the role of a lone central striker. Pace and quick feet help him to also perform on either flank as part of a front three. In his recent Newcastle days, Rémy demonstrated all of these on several occasions. Depending on the team’s mind-set, he could be left alone against multiple defenders and asked to do his best. Nevertheless, the defence was never given an easy ride with Rémy around and he was not averse to testing them down the channel, in behind, and coming short to receive the ball. Exhibiting this kind of intelligence and variation to his play will have been highly attractive for Brendan Rodgers.
Liverpool will have plenty of games on their plate next season with the added burden of Champions League football. This is of course what every ambitious club is striving for but it does demand a significant addition of depth and quality to the squad to ensure that it is not over-stretched. The versatility that he provides up front along with proven Premier League quality will be very useful, but we will have to wait and see if he forms a successful partnership with Sturridge or Lambert. Suarez and Sturridge had an almost telepathic relationship at times last season and while it is not expected to develop with Rémy instantly, a good understanding with his teammates will be crucial.
The contribution he gave to Newcastle last season proves to me that he is capable of adapting to the players around him and being a threat in all aspects of the game. It was primarily his goals that drew the most attention last term, but his skill at providing assists for his teammates should not go unnoticed. The Frenchman notched up 3 direct assists and several created opportunities to accompany his 14 goals in the league and a similar return for Liverpool over the coming months would see Rémy quickly become a favourite with the Kop.
At 27, the French striker should be performing at the peak of his powers but you would imagine that he does not have a great deal of years available to improve. Fabio Borini’s departure from Liverpool looks imminent, with a fee agreed that is believed to be £14 million. The Italian is 4 years younger than Rémy which will push up his price, but in every other aspect, the Frenchman is an upgrade. For two thirds of the price, Liverpool are obtaining a faster, more intelligent, and better finisher. You have to balance up the price versus age debate, but it is arguable that Borini has not yet shown enough to convince people that he is good enough for the long term at Anfield. Anything below £10 million is a great deal for Rémy and should Borini indeed depart, Liverpool have done well to come out with profit over the pair of transactions. It is this kind of dealing that is required in the era of Financial Fair Play, and we shall have to see how quickly the budget buy from QPR can hit the ground running.