Should Arsenal and Liverpool have been looking at Jesé Rodriguez?
Real Madrid is a club with incredible talent at their disposal. Their forward line boasts three of the world’s elite forwards in Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema. Combined, they scored 78 goals between them over the course of the La Liga season, with long term injuries to the latter two seriously inhibiting their game time.
As such, it is easy to understand why young forwards at the Bernabéu would struggle to get game time. 23-year-old Jesé Rodriguez came through the youth system at Real, and struggled to break into the first-team squad under Jose Mourinho. The manager stated that Jesé specialised “in a position that did not exist in the main squad” and continued to limit him to substitute appearances between 2011 and 2013.
After Carlo Ancelotti’s appointment, the young Spaniard became more of a regular in the Real side, starting more regularly and having a much more substantial impact as a substitute. Ancelotti described him as an “insane talent,” yet he never truly staked his claim to a starting position.
His woes have continued under Zinedine Zidane. The forward, who can play across the front line or behind the striker, was limited to just seven starts last season, but also made 21 substitute appearances.
Now 23, it is understandable why Jesé may want to make a move to a different club. The next few years are vital in his development, and could see him push on to be the top class forward his previous managers have touted him as, or languish as a high profile squad player for the remainder of his career. Three clubs could most aptly utilise his services if a transfer materialises.
It is no secret that Jurgen Klopp is looking for a new striker at Liverpool. Christian Benteke seems to have fallen out of his plans, Daniel Sturridge is riddled with injury problems, Roberto Firmino would be better utilised in a different role and Danny Ings and Divock Origi are not at the standard where they can score 25 goals a season quite yet.
Jesé could be the man to revive the Anfield faithful’s push for Europe. The goals he could provide may be vital to fill in for the inevitable absence of Daniel Sturridge. He is also more than capable of playing across the front line, providing some of the depth the Reds need out wide.
Defensive work rate has never been his strongest asset, however – a trait that Jurgen Klopp seems to desire in his forwards.
As with every transfer window, Arsenal are in need of a centre forward who can push them to the next level on the domestic and European stages. Olivier Giroud is often prolific for half of the season, and Danny Welbeck proved an intelligent purchase, but neither provides the consistency to help the Gunners excel.
Jesé hasn’t had a consistent run in the first team to prove his worth as a striker. Predominantly playing as a substitute won’t get the best out of any player, but Jese’s hold up play and eye for goal would doubtless prove an asset to Arsene Wenger.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has left a huge void in his wake at PSG. The striker scored 47 goals in all appearances last season for the French champions, and with Edinson Cavani seemingly falling out of form, the Spanish forward could be a vital addition to a team pushing for more European success under new boss Unai Emery. It seems as though the Spaniard’s move to the French champions is picking up pace and bar quite a turnaround, could go through in the coming days.
Jesé only started two games as a centre forward for Madrid last season, but managed to score one and assist once in those games. That eye for goal could be the perfect supplement to PSG, and a record for assists could fill the gulf left by Ibrahimovic’s departure.
This transfer window could be the vital turning point in the 23-year-old’s career. The right move could push him into becoming a top class player, but the wrong one could break his hopes of reaching the elite. All three of the above clubs could utilise Jesé‘s talents, but if he will be a success away from Madrid remains to be seen.
Featured image: All rights reserved by Jose Luis Morejón Rodrigu
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