Liverpool’s spectacular opening day victory against Arsenal was a stunning showcase of the attacking talent they have at their disposal. Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana and; in particular, Philippe Coutinho, ripped apart a callow Arsenal defence, scoring four goals in the process.
What made this feat even more remarkable was that none of these outstanding attackers can be considered as centre forwards. The flip side of this, though, is that it shows just how far down the pecking order fourth choice striker Christian Benteke is, with game time looking unlikely at Anfield this season.
Benteke has been the subject of a lot of rumours, if little action, throughout the window, but things may be about to change after Crystal Palace lodged a bid of up to £30 million for the unsettled forward. However, the Reds rejected the bid, and are still holding out for the £32.5 million they paid Aston Villa last summer.
It seems fairly daft for the Reds to hold out for another £2.5 million, a drop in the ocean in the current market. However, the offer is for an initial £23 million with add ons, which could end up falling way short of Liverpool’s valuation.
Although the Anfield club will want to hold out for a bit more money, and want it all up front, it would be wise for them to be flexible with their negotiations. An intial fee of £25 million with add-ons up to £32.5 million would be a great move, as would £30 million as a flat fee. It is much better than hanging onto a player who is clearly not right for the club, and the fans of both Liverpool and Palace will hope and agreement is reached soon.
In other transfer news, Liverpool have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Chilean midfielder Gary Medel, after the Italian Press claimed that the Reds had been rejected by Inter Milan with their initial offer.
Medel, 29, has made 78 appearances for Inter in the two years since he joined them from relegated Cardiff City, and the Chilean has also won two Copa America trophies in that time.
Combative and not afraid of a challenge or confrontation, the diminutive Medel would provide Liverpool with some defensive cover in midfield which their current squad cannot offer. The closest they have to a player like Medel, who will shamelessly break up play, are Lucas Leiva and Emre Can, who are both very different players from the terrier-like Chilean.
If Liverpool can force a move through, Medel would certainly be a good addition to their squad.
Finally, Jurgen Klopp may have found a solution to his left back problem by signing…nobody at all.
Alberto Moreno took a lot of flak for his dire performance in the win over Arsenal, and virtually all Liverpool fans are desperate to see him replaced. The Reds have failed to bring in an adequate replacement in the transfer market, but Klopp believes he has a solution in the shape of midfielder James Milner, who was injured for the season opener on Sunday.
Milner played in his unfamiliar role a great deal in pre-season, and is tipped to come in against Burnley in an attempt to deal with Liverpool’s defensive issues. Renowned for his ability to act as a utility man, this will not be a task beyond Milner, but it is hardly ideal for a side that wish to be playing Champions League football next season.
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