Ezequiel Lavezzi has been one of a small handful of strikers linked to Liverpool after the club’s move for Loic Remy broke down.
Lavezzi had a good World Cup for Argentina, and with Paris Saint-Germain desperate to offload Lavezzi, among others, now is the time to capitalise on the 29-year-old’s availability.
But it would be a complete contrast to what Liverpool have bought thus far into the summer. Lavezzi may only be three years Adam Lallana’s senior, but the Argentine, with his age in mind, doesn’t represent good value for money for Brendan Rodgers; certainly not in the way you can explain away Lazar Markovic’s transfer fee.
In addition, Lavezzi is coming off a particularly underwhelming two seasons in Paris. He may have held importance for Argentina on their right flank, and scored the opener at home to Chelsea in the Champions League last season, but the forward doesn’t offer Liverpool anything they don’t already have.
With Daniel Sturridge and Rickie Lambert the only centre-forward options in Rodgers’ squad, the team are worryingly light of numbers, and Lavezzi wouldn’t really do much to address that problem. Yes, he does have a history of playing through the middle, but he is most effective playing wide of a centre forward and, based on his two years in France, doesn’t have the scoring record that would warrant the fee PSG are likely to demand, said to be in the region of £16 million.
His upside, however, is clear. Lavezzi does have experience in European football with both PSG and Napoli, and has lifted silverware with both clubs. With a youthful and inexperienced squad at Anfield, someone of the Argentine’s experience would be of use in the Champions League.
The problem for Liverpool is that they need to be shrewd with their remaining purchases, having already spent a combined £45 million on Lallana and Dejan Lovren from Southampton, and a further £20 million on Markovic, who occupies the same position as Lavezzi.
That’s why there should be some degree of regret over the Remy deal. At £8 million, the Frenchman would have added the goals needed in Liverpool’s attack, as well as the versatility to effectively play in Rodgers’ system. Lavezzi, at double the price, doesn’t offer that, and at 29, he will naturally need some time to adapt to the Premier League.
There are other options available to Liverpool, with Wilfried Bony available and Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette an exciting forward who scored 15 league goals for the French side last season.
Juventus are also said to be interested in Lavezzi, which will suit him far more than Liverpool considering his experience of playing in Serie A.
But as for Brendan Rodgers, unless the deal is too good to pass up, he should be looking for a striker who can offer Liverpool something much more long term than the Argentine, as well as the ability to play effectively through the middle as an alternative or partner to Daniel Sturridge.