Ezequiel Lavezzi has been strongly been linked with a move to Anfield, but would his arrival be welcomed…
Reports earlier this week – such as this from the Daily Express – claimed that Ezequiel Lavezzi was set for an £8m switch to Liverpool, with Paris Saint Germain openly looking to sell the player, and already eyeing Manchester Untied target Nicolas Gaitan as a potential replacement.
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According to the source, the Reds are long-term admirers of the Argentine international, having lost out to PSG to sign him from Napoli in 2012. But the Ligue 1 giants are now aiming to improve their FFP situation by reducing their wage bill, and Lavezzi could be the first to go.
While news of the club taking advantage of such an opportunity would have been joyfully received at Anfield a couple of seasons ago, Brendan Rodgers would do better to be more hesitant on pushing ahead with a deal this time around.
For one, while the transfer deal itself is an affordable one, Lavezzi is on a sizeable salary of £3.5m per season. With the Reds’ having worked hard to reduce their wage bill in recent seasons, it would come as a surprise if they picked up another high earner without greater consideration.
At 29, the player is towards the end of his ‘peak years’ in the game, while his attitude has also been brought into question this season – with fans appealing for his exit, and the club forced to fine both Lavezzi and teammate Edinson Cavani for turning up late to a winter training camp.
His form has been indifferent this season, with just two goals in all competitions, while is overall record for PSG – 25 goals and 21 assists in 109 games – has shown something of a drop off from his latter years at former club Napoli – where he recorded 48 goals and 49 assists in 188 matches.
As much as Liverpool are in need of reinforcements in the January transfer window, their options in attacking midfield are already relatively strong – with Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho, Lazar Markovic, Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson among those competing for the available positions.
With Liverpool’s winter budget thought to be far from high after their summer spending spree, they’d surely do better to spend what money they do have on improving their rather obvious problem areas – a goalkeeper, a centre back, and a striker.
Having only ever played in Argentina, Italy and France on a permanent basis, the Premier League might also be something of a culture shop for a player such as Lavezzi, who would need to work hard to quickly adjust to the power and pace of the division.
While the price of the deal is good on paper, the Reds must avoid falling into the same trap that they did in the summer, when they arguably spent for the sake of spending.
Take the £16m deal for Mario Balotelli for instance, how thought through was that transfer, and how much of it was to do with making a late panic buy to try and replace the goals of Luis Suarez?
If Brendan Rodgers is smart this month, he will keep his chequebook hidden, rather than splash out on a player that is far from guaranteed to be a success.
SEE ALSO: Liverpool transfer news