This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
According to L’Equipe, Liverpool were keen on bringing free agent Franck Ribery to Anfield this summer. Ultimately though, they have not moved for the French icon.
Ribery left Bayern this summer after 12 years at the Allianz Arena, time in which he scored 146 goals and recorded 210 assists in 556 appearances – he also won nine Bundesliga titles and the Champions League.
It definitely would’ve been a strange move for Ribery to go to Merseyside for a number of reasons.
For a start, the Frenchman – as aforesaid – is 36 years of age.
How many 36-year-old footballers can turn up to a league as intense as the Premier League and churn out excellent performances on a regular basis?
Additionally, the former Marseille man usually plays in the same position as Sadio Mane, a man who won last season’s Golden Boot with 22 goals to his name from the left wing – Ribery surely would only have been arriving as backup given that exceptional return.
In fairness, Liverpool have a number of additional competitions to partake in next term having won the Champions League, so Ribery could well have got some game time.
The Reds are in the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup, so it will be all hands on deck.
Having said that, how often would Ribery have been available to provide depth for Klopp given his recent injury history?
The 5 foot 7 winger has endured 11 separate injury problems over the course of the last two seasons, highlighting that his body is catching up with him.
The need for backup isn’t even a great one given Mane’s contrastingly clean injury history and frequent availability for the Merseysiders – he played 36 league games last term and missed just one game with a fractured finger.
If Mane does miss games, surely youngster Ryan Kent is now the best candidate – he’s impressed in pre-season and can take up the left flank as well.
Yes, Ribery boasts an abundance of experience but bringing him to Anfield would’ve been an effectively pointless thing for Liverpool, one that would’ve affected Kent’s chances of further development and been made purely on name and reputation rather than clear necessity.