Should Rafa look to succeed where he once failed with Keirrison?

Liverpool’s 4-1 demolition of Benfica in the Europa League proved that when they want to, they are capable of destroying almost any team on the planet. But it doesn’t disprove the theory that Liverpool are woefully short of striking talent after Fernando Torres and need to strengthen their attacking options in the summer. Earlier this week I wrote about how Raul could be a cheap answer to Liverpool’s striking problems, but if Liverpool want a younger alternative, what about Brazilian striking sensation Keirrison?

Liverpool have scored 54 goals in the Premiership this season, far less than their top four rivals (Chelsea have scored 84 goals, Man United have 77 and Arsenal have scored 75 goals). If you take out Torres’ (18 goals) and Gerrard’s (7 goals), that means the rest of the team have only scored 29 goals between them, with their backup to Torres, David N’gog only scoring three times. This means that Liverpool desperately need a quality backup to Torres that can either play alongside the Spaniard or start when he is injured or needs a rest.

Keirrison or “K9”, as he is known, can be that man for Liverpool. The 21 year old Brazilian striker, joined Barcelona last summer for £15 million but was quickly loaned out to Benfica and is now in Italy with Fiorentina. The Brazilian was linked with a move to Anfield last year and Rafael Benitez remains a fan of the talented youngster.

The Brazilian rose to prominence last year for Palmeiras, scoring 24 goals in 35 games and outshining the likes of Ronaldo and Adriano in Brazil. A move to Barcelona followed, where he was immediately loaned out to Benfica to get used to the European style of play. But Keirrison endured a torrid time in Portugal, rarely getting a chance to shine and failing to score in a competitive match. Benfica cancelled his loan and Keirrison moved to Fiorentina in January on a two-year loan deal, with Fiorentina having the option to make the move permanent. So far in Italy, Keirrison has scored one goal in six substitute appearances for Viola.

Labelled the “new Romario”, Keirrison is a deadly scorer with silky passing and has modeled his game on his idol Romario. He’s not your typical Brazilian that can produce moments of genius that change games, but he loves scoring goals and he does it with great aplomb. Keirrison can be guilty of disappearing in matches and his link-up play requires some work, but he is an excellent finisher that has the potential to be world-class in the future. Brazilian legend Ronaldo said of the striker:

“He’s a great player, he knows the ways to score. He’ll be in Europe in no time.”

Former Fiorentina striker Enrico Chiesa also praised the Brazilian when he joined the Viola in January, saying:

“Let’s give him time, he has the qualities to become a great striker. I’m just saying Keirrison has the numbers. Although we have seen very little of him, I’m sure he can do really well this season.”

So is there a possibility of Keirrison joining Liverpool? If and when he returns to Barcelona, “K9” is going to have his work cut out trying to break into the first team at the Nou Camp, with the likes of Messi, Ibrahimovic, Pedro, Bojan and Thierry Henry ahead of him in the pecking order. Combine this with the fact that Barca will improve their team in the summer, as they lack squad depth and need someone to fill the void on the left side of attack, like a Ribery for example. This could mean that Keirrison never gets the chance to follow in Romario’s footsteps at the Nou Camp and could either be loaned out again or sold in the future.

There is the fact that Keirrison is on loan at Fiorentina for another season, but after struggling to secure a place in the first team, he could be let go in the summer, just like he was at Benfica four months into a season-long loan. The Brazilian could be a success at Anfield backing up Fernando Torres and would take some of the pressure off the Spanish striker. If Liverpool fail to get the new investment they need in the summer, especially with the Rhone Group’s bid for the club failing, then the financial situation will dictate their transfer policy this summer.

Keirrison therefore could be a cheaper alternative to spending millions on a new striker and he has more experience in European football than Liverpool youngsters like Dani Pacheco and Lauri Dalla Valle. Even if Barcelona refused to sell the Brazilian, a loan move would be preferable for both sides, as it would let Keirrison improve his game in the Premier League and give Liverpool some much needed firepower in their strikeforce.

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Follow Tom Jinks on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomjinks

 


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