Liverpool: Leicester left-back linked; shock club after Balotelli; Croatian teenager could join
After demolishing Arsenal’s callow defence at the Emirates stadium and meekly collapsing to Burnley last week, Liverpool needed a solid result at White Hart Lane to get themselves on the right track ahead of their first home game of the season.
Thankfully, the Reds played very well in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, and were even disappointed to come away with just a point after Danny Rose’s equaliser.
James Milner; who has been filling in at left-back, played very well, but was caught out of position in the build up for Spurs’ goal, and it is clear that Liverpool still need to find themselves a proper left-sided full back ahead of the new season.
Not for the first time this window, this has led Liverpool to being linked with a Leicester City full-back, but this time it is not long term target Ben Chilwell, but Christian Fuchs – a stalwart of the Foxes title winning campaign.
Fuchs has seen contract talks at Leicester break down, and Liverpool could take advantage and try and sign the Austrian in order to solve their left-back crisis. A solid and dependable operator, Fuchs would be more of a stop gap signing than an exciting replacement for Moreno, but his no-nonsense defensive approach could be exactly what Liverpool need to solidify their leaky defence.
The Austrian is also very handy from a dead-ball situation, and is far better at delivering balls into the box than the erratic Alberto Moreno. He may not be a signing to set pulses racing, but if Liverpool can convince Leicester to sell, Fuchs would certainly improve a very weak area in the Liverpool team.
Another player who could soon be walking through the door at Anfield is 19-year-old Croatian Ante Coric.
Coric, long linked with Liverpool over the summer, was expected to join Manchester City in a £15 million deal, but that has apparently collapsed as a result of a lack of first-team opportunities for the Dinamo Zagreb player, with Liverpool now set to capitalise.
However, if Coric is avoiding Manchester City thanks to a lack of first team chances, Liverpool would seem a strange move. Currently, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are playing in a front three for the Reds, with Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum also able to occupy these three positions.
At best, Coric would likely come into the squad ahead of Lazar Markovic and get an indeterminate amount of game time from the bench.
Valued at £15 million, especially when only playing in the Croatian league, shows that Coric is clearly talented, but a move to Liverpool would more likely be a long term investment than any short term addition to the first team.
Finally, the Reds may be able to say goodbye to a player very far away from the first team picture as Mario Balotelli nears his exit from the club.
Italian news outlet Gazzetta dello Sport is still suggesting that Palermo would be a good fit for Balotelli, who held advanced talks with Swiss club FC Sion and French side Nice last week. However, the report also says that Everton, Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion are interested in his signature.
It is very unlikely that Balotelli would move across Stanley Park to Everton, although the move would be rather convenient for the player, as he is almost certainly not going to usurp Romelu Lukaku at the point of the attack, especially not in current form.
West Brom or Palace may be a better destination for the Italian, although it seems unlikely that Balotelli will remain in the Premier League; his reputation is just too damaged and too much of a risk. Liverpool are desperate to get rid of their flop, so it would be a cheap move for the mid table clubs, but it is still more likely that Balotelli will move abroad before deadline day.
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